Off-track thoughts: Intentional and unintentional mind wandering in Alzheimer's disease

Mohamad El Haj*, Pascal Antoine, Ahmed A. Moustafa, Jean Roche, Véronique Quaglino, Karim Gallouj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Despite the recent upsurge of interest in mind wandering (i.e. the occurrence of task-unrelated and stimulus-independent thoughts), little research has attempted to evaluate mind wandering in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We addressed this issue by evaluating intentional and unintentional mind wandering, as well as the relationship between both mind-wandering domains. We also investigated the relationship between mind wandering and depression and working memory. 

Methods: A total of 30 participants with AD and 33 control participants participated in the study. 

Results: The results showed higher intentional and unintentional mind wandering in AD participants than in controls. In AD participants and controls, both mind wandering domains were significantly correlated with depression, but not with working memory. 

Conclusions: The present findings show a tendency of AD patients to shift from external stimuli to task-unrelated thoughts and concerns, a tendency that seems to be related with depression. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; 19: 342–346.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-346
Number of pages5
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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