|MadSci Network: Neuroscience|
Brain activity related to daydreaming seems to be similar to sleep dreaming with the same brain areas activated. (Never know the relevance of brain areas whose activity decreases.) Anyway, a useful article can be found here:
Christoff, Kalina; Alan M. Gordon, Jonathan Smallwood, Rachelle Smith, and
Jonathan W. Schooler (2009-05-11). "Experience sampling during fMRI
reveals default network and executive system contributions to mind
wandering". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (21): 8719–
The brain areas are associated with "problem-solving", which means that a lot of activity is occuring in the front of the brain (pre-frontal so- called decision-making areas) as well as deeper frontal regions. Curiously, less is found in the occipital regions -- visual cortex. This is probably because the visual areas actually are processing the sensory input from the eyes to build the actual visual scene. The scene is put together from back-to-front in the brain -- that is, the scene becomes more full of details from many regions of the visual field to fill our "mind's eye". So, less activity in back, but more in the front where we act on the visual scene.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Neuroscience.