Insights about “insight”: Let’s turn to a distant cousin of “idea” called “insight”. An insight is that “Aha!” or “Eureka” moment when you are convinced the problem is solved. What does science say about insights? Psychologists and neuroscientists have found out following essential features of “insight experience” (see Eureka Hunt):
- Phase-1: First phase is called “preparatory phase” where brain devotes considerable power to the problem. Many times we call this “focusing on the problem”.
- Phase-2: What happens next is “search phase” as brain starts looking for answers in all the relevant places.
- Phase-3: The next phase is when the brain “gives-up” or reaches an “impasse”. While solving word puzzles, this happens in a few seconds.
- Phase-4: This phase is what scientists call the most important phase and it is the phase of relaxation. During this phase the cortex seeks out more distant associations in the right hemisphere. As Jung-Beeman says, “That is why so many insights happen during warm showers”.
- Phase-5: This is the last phase where the brain connects and restructures existing information (dots) and sees the same old thing in a completely new way. Miller, a neuroscientist from Princeton says, “Once that restructuring occurs, you never go back”.