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week 4

“The Eureka Hunt”

In Jonah Lehrer’s article “The Eureka Hunt”, he discusses the idea of insight and why it happens. Lehrer begins with a story about a person who survived a fire from a moment of insight to start his own fire. Lehrer introduces Mark Jung-Beeman, who is a cognitive neuroscientist, who is trying to figure out where insights occur in the brain. Lehrer explains that you can either go through steps an come up with an answer or you could have a moment of insight. In order to have insightful thoughts your brain has to be relaxed enough to be open to new ideas. However, some scientists believe that the prefrontal cortex controls how insightful you can be. So they believe your prefrontal cortex stops you from using the one part of your brain that would help you with having an insightful moment.

This article is interesting because I never really thought about whether my thoughts are insightful or were carefully thought out. It was interesting to read that hot showers and early mornings, when you are half asleep, are the main times for insightful thoughts to occur. The story about the fire going up the hill and the man thinking of the idea to lay down and starting his own fire was an amazing idea.



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