Why your kid’s dark pandemic play is normal—and healthy
Not enough studies have been done yet to ascertain what’s actually occurring in the brain while children are engaging in this sort of play. But Laura Phillips, a neuropsychologist with the Child Mind Institute in New York City, says scientists can look to what’s going on in adult brains when they’re in creative problem-solving mode. Based on MRI research, Russ says, mind-wandering and improvisation activate a different area of the brain from logical, critical thinking. When adults are trying to solve a problem, they go back and forth between these modes.