Daydreaming: Genius at Work!

by Ruth Folger Weiss

“Aha!” :  all those Eureka moments I’ve come to count on as a creative professional in the advertising and marketing field, were really instances of insight reflective  of an active mind with some serious neuron brain activity. And though the classically cerebral thought processes of my so analytical spouse are  more often associated with “smarts”, researchers mapping the anatomy of the brain’s breakthrough moments reveal that insight is crucial to intellect.

Epiphanies that lead to bursts of mental clarity are often so physical because of the intense activation of alternating electrical currents- that have lead to monumental breakthroughs and revelations  in the sciences. Think Einstein imagining trains and lightning when the idea of special relativity hit him like a bolt of lightning. Sir Isaac Newton, lolling in his orchard, espies universal gravitation. And perhaps the one most readily identified with: Archimedes taking his bath came upon his formula calculating density and volume- and, as legend would have us believe, emerged from the tub, exclaiming: “Eureka! I’ve got it!

Daydreaming, scientists have found, is often the brain hard at work; MRI scans indicate intense activation in problem solving areas. Patterns of high frequency neural activity in the right frontal cortex are easily manifested right before an answer to a problem dawns upon the person!

Sudden insights are the fusion of  a complex series of brain states that require more neural resources than methodical reasoning!

A  person’s frame of mind influences whether she has a Eureka moment.

Your state of mind affects your inclination to insightful thinking.

Your positive mood impacts your likelihood to experience insight.

Which leads me to my exit, as I anticipate the drawing of a luxurious bath… and some brilliant flashes of insight…

20. June 2009 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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