According to this research, loafers may really be learners.
Idlers, loafers and layabouts, listen up. A new study suggests that the times when we sit around twiddling our thumbs could in fact be vital for learning.
The idea stems from experiments in which neuroscientists eavesdropped on the brains of rats as they explored their environments. They found that the rats' brains 'replay' their experiences in reverse when the animals pause briefly to rest.
So how does this rat research transfer to humans?
If this idea proves true in people, it could have many implications for human learning. It suggests that those idle times, perhaps spent gazing into space, are actually crucial for our brains to replay, and learn from, recent experiences.
The next time you are caught staring off into space, planning your weekend or maybe thinking about that Powerball jackpot, hand your boss a copy of this article and ask to be left alone.