Sunday, February 26, 2012

Generating Deep Thoughts

I was reading a lot by David Rock, who seems to have some pretty neat insights on the mind. Anyway, I was struck by this insight on generating 'aha!' moments:
variables that improve the ability to detect weak associations may improve insight solving. In short, insights tend to involve connections between small numbers of neurons....Just as it is hard to hear a quiet cell phone at a loud party, it is difficult to notice signals that have less energy than the general energy level already present in the brain. Hence, we tend to notice insights when our overall activity level in the brain is low. This happens when we’re not putting in a lot of mental effort, when we’re focusing on something repetitive

Which reminded me of one of my favorite Nietzsche quotes:
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.


B. A. said...


Dave Pinsen said...

Did Nietzsche take showers?

Mercury said...

Wealthy patriots might want to consider sending treadmills to Washington instead of setting up super-PACs!

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, a couple of days ago a study came out that said people do their best writing in a place with lots of hub-bub as opposed to silence. e.g. a Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

Try meditation! It's very common to have insights while meditating, and the usual guidance is to let them go and return to the object of your meditation, e.g., the breath. I usually remember the ideas that came up after the session is over.