July 31, 2008

Distractivity vindicated

Quotes from “The Eureka Hunt” – published in The New Yorker – July 28, 2008

Scooler's research has also lead him to reconsider the bad reputation of letting one's mind wander. Although we often complain that the brain is too easily distracted, Schooler believes that letting the mind wander is essential. … We must concentrate, but we must concentrate on letting the mind wander. … “The relaxation phase is crucial,” Jung-Beeman said. “That's why so many insights happen during warm showers.” Another ideal moment for insights, according to the scientists, is the early morning, right after we wake up. The drowsy brain is unwound and disorganized, open to all sorts of unconventional ideas. … We do some of our best thinking when we're still half asleep.