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    Are "Aha!" Moments Legit?


 

Absolutely.  Experiments show that "Aha!" solutions are correct more often than those achieved deliberately.  In one experiment they were correct 94% of the time compared with 78% for analytical solutions.

This outcome may result from the way the brain generates insight.  Because such processing occurs largely outside a person's awareness, it is all or nothing—a fully formed answer either comes to mind or it doesn't.

EEG and functional MRI scans reveal that just before insight takes place the occipital cortex, which is responsible for visual processing, momentarily shuts down, or 'blinks', so that ideas can 'bubble into consciousness'.  As a result, insights are less likely to be incorrect.

Analytical thinking, in contrast, happens consciously and is therefore more subject to rushing and lapses in reasoning.

 

— Jacobson, Roni. "Is Eureka Right?" Scientific American  May 2016.

 





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