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week 4

“The Eureka Hunt” Response

People experience intuitive experiences through two internal mental processes: Analysis and insight. Through “Eureka Hunt ‘Why do good ideas come to us when they do’?” Jonah Lehrer, a neuroscience journalist, explains how our minds provide moments of instantaneous insight. The author begins the article with a recollection of Wag Dodge, a man who escaped death from a fifty foot tall fire by lighting another fire around him. Cognitive neuroscientist Mark Jung-Beeman studies insight: where does it come from, Can the revelation be shown through neurons on f.M.R.I machines, and is there a possibility that the mind was expectant of the oncoming revelation. Lehrer communicates how the human brain produces insight through the research and test results of many reliable cognitive neuroscience sources. Through this, readers learn when insights occur and the careful phases that lead to insight vs. analysis: Preparation phase, Search phase, the (aSIG) becomes unusually active, Relaxation phase. Research proves that not only are the left and right hemispheres involved in the major process of insight, but the prefrontal cortex is a major proponent as well.

John Lehrer’s focus is to inform readers and educate them on a process everyone experiences sporadically but know little information about. It is appreciated that the author not only reports factual information from scientists but also the most likely times to experience revelations: in warm showers, the early morning because “The drowsy brain is unwound and disorganized, open to all sorts of unconventional ideas. The right hemisphere is also unusually active.” Lehrer explains how delicate and instantaneous the insight experience is versus the analysis path when people double check their answers and work towards a definite solution. Throughout the article, the author successfully avoids straying from the main topic: Where does insight come from and what portion of the brain is liable for it. Lehrer ensured readers of reliable sources and trustworthy information.  This article was a pleasure to read because it was interesting and highly informative, which not many neuroscience journalists achieve.

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