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The Trouble with Bored Brains

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

People who suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) are prone to boredom. This may sound like something to yawn over, but those who experience significant boredom are more likely to show aggressive behaviour and have lower self-control, according to researchers at the University of Waterloo.

bored woman

Psychologists are beginning to take boredom seriously. It is correlated to mind-wandering as well as to depression and aggressive behaviour. (Nicola Albertini, flickr.com)

Boredom is an increasingly recognized problem where people have trouble engaging with activities and maintaining interest – even if they would like to be more engaged, according to Waterloo cognitive neuroscientist James Danckert.

Boredom is now seen by psychologists as having cognitive and affective features, meaning it is both a mental process (similar to memory and perception) as well as an emotional state.

Danckert became interested in boredom after his brother was in a car accident, suffered a brain injury and complained of feeling more bored and less engaged than he had before the injury. Since then, Danckert has found lack of engagement, or boredom, to be a common problem among people with TBI.

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