New study reveals just how many thoughts we have each day

woman headache
If your brain feels like it's in pain after a long day, it's down to this eye-watering number of thoughts. Photo credit: Getty.

A new study has found the average person has more than 6000 thoughts every day.

Researchers have developed a new way to determine the beginning and end of each thought. Identifying this moment as a "thought worm" has allowed scientists to calculate exactly how many we have a day - and the average was a staggering 6200.

"We had our breakthrough by giving up on trying to understand what a person is thinking about, and instead focusing on when they have moved on," Dr Poppenk, Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, explained in the research, published in Nature Communications. 

"Our methods help us detect when a person is thinking something new, without regard to what the new thought is. You could say that we've skipped over vocabulary in an effort to understand the punctuation of the language of the mind.

"When a person moves onto a new thought, they create a new thought worm that we can detect with our methods."

The study involved 184 people watching clips from movies with 20-second rest periods. While the films were on, researchers measured brain activity by looking at changes in blood flow.

"Thought transitions have been elusive throughout the history of research on thought, which has often relied on volunteers describing their own thoughts, a method that can be notoriously unreliable," Dr Poppenk said, reports Mail Online.

"Being able to measure the onset of new thoughts gives us a way to peek into the 'black box' of the resting mind - to explore the timing and pace of thoughts when a person is just daydreaming about dinner and otherwise keeping to themselves

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