changes | June 05, 2012

Jonah Lehrer Joins the New Yorker as Staff Writer

Great news! Jonah Lehrer, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, is now a staff writer at The New Yorker, one of America’s premier showcases for thoughtful long-form reporting. Lehrer’s recent New Yorker articles include a profile of Edward O. Wilson (focusing on his research into the nature of altruism), and a controversial piece about flaws in the scientific method. That story was the #1 most-read article the week it was released.

Lehrer, who has a degree in neuroscience from Columbia University, will also move his acclaimed blog, Frontal Cortex, to the New Yorker’s website, alongside contributors such as Sasha Frere-Jones and Susan Orlean. In his first post, “The Virtues of Daydreaming,” Lehrer discusses the importance of letting the mind wander:

Here's Jonah Lehrer:

In recent years, however, psychologists and neuroscientists have redeemed this mental state, revealing the ways in which mind-wandering is an essential cognitive tool. It turns out that whenever we are slightly bored—when reality isn’t quite enough for us—we begin exploring our own associations, contemplating counterfactuals and fictive scenarios that only exist within the head. In fact, the only activity during which we report that our minds are not constantly wandering is “love making.” We’re able to focus for that.