Human cognition is not limited to the processing of events in the external environment, and the covert nature of certain aspects of the stream of consciousness (e.g. experiences such as mind-wandering) provides a methodological challenge. Although research has shown that we spend a substantial amount of time focused on thoughts and feelings that are intrinsically generated, evaluating such internal states, purely on psychological grounds can be restrictive. In this review of the different methods used to examine patterns of ongoing thought, we emphasise how the process of triangulation between neuroimaging techniques, with self-reported information, is important for the development of a more empirically grounded account of ongoing thought. Specifically, we show how imaging techniques have provided critical information regarding the presence of covert states and can help in the attempt to identify different aspects of experience.