February 08, 2024

META Lab researchers and Dr. Schooler present newest findings and ongoing projects on creativity (pictured), mindfulness, and mind-wandering at the annual SPSP conference:

Ortega, J.R., Gross, M.E., Schooler, J.W. (2024) The Virtuous Cycle of Creativity: Exploring the impact of art on cognitive judgments and divergent thinking [Poster]. Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference, San Diego, CA.

February 06, 2024

The Daily Nexus features META Lab's most recent studies on Finding Focus, read the full article for an update on how the nwest version of the app can strengthen attention skills and minimize mind wandering!

November 18, 2023

“It’s an existence proof that we can set out to discover new findings and replicate them at a very high level,”--read more on META Lab's work on the decline effect and other topics of science reproducability! 

November 09, 2023

See this news blitz from Nature on META Lab's newest paper and learn how we're working to improve how different fields in experimental psychology can successfully replicate each other’s work by following best practices.

October 11, 2023

Enjoy this recording of Dr. Schooler's Lecture at the School of Neurotherapy Conference at the Beach 2022. Note the password requirement below for access!

Topic: "Information Integration in Nested Observer Windows (NOW): A Theory of Hierarchical Consciousness" Recorded: Saturday, September 17, 2022 


Password:  Conference2022

September 05, 2023

META Lab researcher Tam Hunt's May 2023 Taormina Science of Consciousness (TSC) conference presentation.

August 03, 2023

UCSB Magazine interviews Dr. Schooler on how META Lab and leading researchers are looking at the interior life of the mind

June 15, 2023

In this ConnectIONS Live member video, IONS Scientist Arnaud Delorme, PhD, interviewed Dr. Schooler, check out his view on how to bridge the objective/subjective divide and how consciousness might relate to the physical universe. (Original interview held Nov 2022)

June 15, 2023

In 28 very fast minutes, this interview with Dr. Schooler covers curiosity and creativity, the transformative power of asking questions, pivotal differences between general interest curiosity and deprivation curiosity, turning mind wandering into mind wondering, the loveliness of open mindfulness and implementation intentions ... and the possibility of an app for all of that!

May 03, 2023

How does curiosity play out in the mind and our lives? Read Dr. Schooler's take and see how META Lab's ongoing research is unfolding.

March 16, 2023

Conversation with Dr. Schooler, essayist Leslie Jamison, and Lily Tyson from the Colin McEnroe show on daydreaming, why we do it, and how you can use it to lead a richer life.

February 14, 2023

See META Lab's work in this idea piece on what psychological and brain sciences tell us about breakthroughs!

January 12, 2023

See the latest Washington Post Wellness article featuring META Lab's research on the importance of mind-wandering, or "mind-wondering" for creativity!

November 29, 2022

Check out Technology, Mind, and Behavior's special video feature recapping META Lab's 2022 publication examining the effects of the Finding Focus app on adolescents' self-reported focus and emotional regulation!

November 11, 2022

Dr. Schooler presents on Information Integration in "Nested Observer Windows (NOW): A Theory of Hierarchical Consciousness"

November 02, 2022

Are there different kinds of mind-wandering?  What is the difference between mind-wandering and mindfulness?  What is the link between creativity and curiosity? In this episode, Dr. Schooler bridges research and everyday life to navigate the world of creative neuroscience.

October 31, 2022

Many artists are haunted by the specter of creative burnout, but research suggests that the best way to overcome barriers to creativity may be to accept them as part of the process. Dr. Schooler weighs in on the role of mind wandering, or mind-wondering in this process.

September 28, 2022

The Daily Beast features META Lab's work on "[how our] mind’s regular resting state can be the source of creativity and inspiration—and also a ton of stress and anxiety too." Check out Dr. Schooler's thoughts in the article!

August 31, 2022

This NY Times newsletter gives insight on what researchers, including Dr. Schooler, have to say about how letting your mind wander can benefit the brain.

August 15, 2022

Feeling creative and clever in the shower? Check out this article featuring Dr. Schooler's thoughts, and META Lab's 2019 study on creativity in physicists and writers during active mind-wandering. 

July 12, 2022

A deep dive into the roots of how evolutionary psychology may explain why magical thinking is so central to love and what META Lab Researchers have to say on the matter.

July 06, 2022

In this interview, Luis Cásedas talks with Dr. Schooler about some currently highly active research areas that he and his team are contributing to move forward, from mindfulness and how to apply it in the classroom, to mind-wandering and its multiple facets, to consciousness and the development of an emergent theory to explain it. The interview closes with Dr. Schooler offering advice to starting researchers aiming to launch their scientific career.

April 01, 2022

What is creativity, exactly? This APA Newsletter features the psychologists and neuroscientists who are exploring where creativity comes from and how to increase your own.

November 23, 2021

Dr. Joe Dispenza interviews Professor Jonathan Schooler, discussing mindfulness, resonance, coherence, biological upgrades, fractals, and more.

November 19, 2021

The 2021 edition of Clarivate Analytics’ Highly Cited Researchers List includes the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department’s own Jonathan Schooler. The Highly Cited Researchers List is composed of researchers whose publications rank in the top 1% of citations by field and publication year. He also appeared on the list in 2017, 2018, and 2020, making this his fourth appearance. Congratulations, Prof. Schooler!


January 29, 2020

UCSB News covers the META Lab's found success in a new program to address those four themes, which stand out as struggles for the majority of high school students in the United States. A new, evidence-based, online course that provides students with personalized attention training is being developed at the Center for Mindfulness & Human Potential (CMHP). Check out the article for discussion on how the course teaches students to focus their minds and manage their emotions so they can succeed academically.

November 20, 2019

Dr. Schooler and Jonathan Smallwood insights on the levels of mind-wandering, and why it may occur.

November 10, 2019

Looking down on today’s youth says more about how you perceive your own abilities.

October 29, 2019

The field of metascience has gained increasing momentum in recent years as concerns about research reproducibility have fueled a larger vision of how the lens of science can be directed toward the scientific process itself. Metascience, also known as metaresearch or the science of science, attempts to use quantifiable scientific methods to elucidate how science works and why it sometimes fails.

Article Link

July 11, 2019

Some factors to help you figure it out

July 10, 2019

Take a moment to be present in the moment.

April 02, 2019

When you hear the word meditation, you may think of sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed—breathing deeply and trying to clear your mind.

Article Link

April 02, 2019

Daydreaming about an interesting idea can yield creative insights, a process Jonathan Schooler calls mind-wondering, rather than mind-wandering.

Link to Podcast

February 22, 2019

Our obsession with productivity is making it harder to solve simple problems

January 30, 2019

A powerful determinant of self-regulation—our ability to do the things we know we should do—is how we interpret effort.

January 18, 2019

A new theory of consciousness

September 10, 2018

Dr. Michael Mrazek and the CMHP Mindful Education Initiative were featured in the latest Time Magazine special edition: The New Mindfulness

An excerpt from the article:

"Mrazek and his team are developing an online program using mindfulness practices to increase academic achievement in high schoolers. 

July 28, 2018

Article with quotes from an interview with Dr. Schooler

July 25, 2018

Aha! moments of inspiration seem to come from nowhere – but the counterintuitive key to a creative brain is to defocus your thoughts

April 22, 2018

You can’t will yourself to a breakthrough insight. But by following a hunch, 
you can absolutely improve your odds.


September 18, 2017

Keep your mind from 'zoning out' on the road


July 27, 2017

Wanna learn more about META Lab's funded research on imagination? The John Templeton Foundation's Imagination Institute---a Philadelphia think tank that for the last two years has been tapping an array of talent for insight into the creative process--is hoping ultimately to come up with an “imagination quotient.” Three dozen scientific investigators at 16 institutions, including Dr. Schooler, have been awarded Templeton grant funding related to the project. But can imagination really be quantified?

July 26, 2017

At first glance, you might think happiness and a sense of meaningfulness in life go hand in hand. However, numerous studies challenge this assumption – and some even suggest it’s rare for the two to co-exist.

Article Link

May 22, 2017

From Vincent Van Gogh on through Kanye West, the figure of the broody, tortured artist looms large in the popular imagination. But research suggests that the key to creativity has little to do with angst. In researching my book The Happiness Track, I found that the biggest breakthrough ideas often come from relaxation.

May 17, 2017

Daryl Bem Proved ESP Is Real

Which means science is broken.

May 15, 2017

It’s not that stressful to hide something from people, but it is stressful to think about it all the time.

April 27, 2017

Comfortably Dumb: If the Car Is Doing the Driving, Will Anybody Be Doing the Thinking?

March 15, 2017

No smartphone, no Netflix, no laptop—and we mean it


December 22, 2016

No. 1: Because sometimes your brain just needs a damn break.


July 13, 2016

The Current

July 01, 2016

There’s a reason some people say they get their best ideas when they’re running. A new study from researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and published in the journal Psychological Science, suggests that a clear mind—free of too much chatter—is a more creative one.

June 27, 2016

The search to understand where great ideas come from.


May 16, 2016

But we’re better off believing in it anyway.

May 12, 2016

New York Times

May 09, 2016

The Wall Street Journal

March 28, 2016

New research debunks the belief that when we have a lot of things we want to change, we should take it one step at a time.

November 23, 2015

UC Santa Barbara Annual Reports

September 30, 2015

New Scientist Article

July 12, 2015

Drexel professor’s new book reveals the science behind those “eureka” moments


January 30, 2015

Therapists now have the ability to track their patients’ progress between therapy visits with Mobile Therapy, a recently launched web-based dashboard and mobile application, one researcher told


January 02, 2015

The advice is as maddening as it is inescapable. It’s the default prescription for any tense situation: a blind date, a speech, a job interview, the first dinner with the potential in-laws. Relax. Act natural. Just be yourself.

September 04, 2014

The New Yorker

August 04, 2014

Huffington Post

July 03, 2014

A study found that people prefer electric shocks to time alone with their thoughts.

In the rush of everyday life, many people say they crave a moment of solitude, but a startling new study finds that people don’t really enjoy spending even 10 minutes alone with their thoughts.

June 17, 2014

 Exposure to information that diminishes free will, including brain-based accounts of behavior, seems to decrease people's support for retributive punishment

May 03, 2014

If you find yourself in a creative slump, scientists have a suggestion: Take a walk.

People generate more creative ideas when they walk than when they sit, according to new research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition.

March 11, 2014

How is it that an activity considered a lapse in attention can bring about benefits believed to result only from the strict exercise of cognitive control? Let's hear it for daydreaming!


March 04, 2014

Neuroethics at the Core: The Blog of the National Core of Neuroethics

February 01, 2014


January 15, 2014

Huffington Post

January 14, 2014

New York Times

July 24, 2013

Science Channel

June 09, 2013

The New York Times

June 05, 2013

APS: Association for Psychological Science

April 03, 2013

The New York Times

October 18, 2012

Women's Health Magazine

June 29, 2012

The New York Times

June 05, 2012

The New Yorker

October 25, 2011

Wired Magazine

January 07, 2011

The New York Times

December 13, 2010

Annals of science

November 23, 2010

The New York Times

August 05, 2010