As fits this particular canvas, the article is painted with a broad brush, and there wasn’t room to go into detail about any particular study. But for those who are interested in the details, I’ve included below some links to the original sources along with the relevant quotes from the Aeon piece.
To quote a recent article by the psychologist Jonathan Schooler and colleagues ‘we are often startled by the discovery that our minds have wandered away from the situation at hand’.
…the Court of Appeal opined that the defence of automatism should not have been on the table in the first place, due to a driver without ‘awareness’ retaining some control of the car.
In the early 1970s, Lawrence Weiskrantz and Elizabeth Warrington discovered a remarkable patient… studies on similar patients with ‘blindsight’ confirmed that these responses relied on a neural pathway quite separate from the one that usually passes through the occipital lobes
…a key difference between conscious and unconscious vision is activity in the prefrontal cortex…
Other research implies that consciousness emerges when there is the right balance between connectivity between brain regions, known as the ‘information integration’ theory.
…anesthesia may induce unconsciousness by disrupting the communication between brain regions.
A series of innovative experiments have begun to systematically investigate mind-wandering… Under the influence of alcohol, people become more likely to daydream and less likely to catch themselves doing so.