Mind-wandering seems to have evolved from walking

Mind-wandering seems to have evolved from walking

I walk when I really want to concentrate and think about new ideas. And there is a reason why I do that: it seems that I am actually using the same brain systems to walk and think.

Intuitively when we describe how we remember, we use verbs such as, travel and go back in time; verbs that have a motion connotation. It looks like we move within our memories when we actually plan or remember. It is only fitting then that the brain structures, involved in navigation and memory, seems to be the same.

"Memory, navigation and theta rhythm in the hippocampal-entorhinal system" is an interesting paper, by Buzsaky; the paper sketches a possible implementation of the memory system. Here is a quote from the paper:

"The clear parallels between allocentric navigation and semantic memory, on one hand, and path integration and episodic memory, on the other, raise the possibility that the same networks and algorithms support both physical and mental forms of travel".

As usual, the term memory is used in a way that is very different from the traditional computer science use of the term.