What happens when we space our during a menial task and by the time we “snap back” the task is completed?



E.g: Copying some text, space out, think about something random, snap back, done copying text.
I hope it makes sense.

In: Biology

Most menial tasks are things that we have done before, and a lot! It ends up in our procedural memory, so you don’t have to pay attention to it. Basically you’ve done it so much your body just “knows” how to do it, leaving your mind think about other stuff while you go through the motions.

We have two kinds of memory, short term and long term. Short term memory has everything you experience, and the most interesting bits are converted to long term memory, and the rest are forgotten. Often a menial task is so boring it doesn’t make it into long term memory, and we wind up with a recent gap we can’t recall. You are fully aware during that time, you just don’t remember anything from it.

This is called dissociation. Although often described as a serious psychiatric symptom, dissociation also occurs in normal, everyday life. In the brain, when engaged with a menial task, we can rely on procedural memory deeper within the brain such as the basal ganglia. This allows the outer layers of the brain to disengage from “outward activity”, and brain activity will spread to a large network of brain regions called the default mode network.