The Imagination Network

The Imagination Network is researched in neuroscience under for example the name “the frontopolar network”. It is associated with more complex thinking. You use it to consider original or unusual routes or ways of solving a problem. We must here make a difference between feeling, which is involved in daydreaming, and the imagination network, which is involved in imagination.

With daydreaming, neuroscience implies that feeling is involved in carefree, free-flow thinking, where your mind just randomly drifts from one thought or perspective to another. With imagination, neuroscience refers to your ability to in your head conjure an image or picture of a person, an idea, or a thought. This can be either free-flow, when paired with feeling, or conscious imagination, when paired with thinking. The point is that imagination is involved in unusual, original, or abstract thought.

Research describes that we use this network to think counter-factually. We can use this network to ignore known facts and information, which may help us consider more novel and creative approaches to a problem. By thinking counter-factually, you can see yourself doing something you normally wouldn’t be doing. This is related to imaginativity. We believe the imagination network is related to intuition and to existential and interpretative intelligence.

The imagination network can be compared to the habitual network, which is involved in holding on to or maintaining a previous strategy.