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Physiological Evidence for functional expression

“The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning, while those other subjects merely require scholarship."
- From the character Lazarus Long by Robert A. Heinlein in Time Enough For Love

     In this section of the site I attempt to explain the physiology behind enlightenment as well as many of the environmental factors that influenced the evolutionary development of the human brain.  I also describe some interesting implications of this information including pattern recognition and the ability to partially determine what people are thinking by observing eye movement.


"In light of knowledge attained, the happy achievement seems almost a matter of course, and any intelligent student can grasp it without too much trouble. But the years of anxious searching in the dark, with their intense longing, their alterations of confidence and exhaustion and the final emergence into the light -- only those who have experienced it can understand it."
- Albert Einstein (1875-1955), German-born American theoretical physicist, theories of relativity, philosopher

"Although many processes are shared by most types of problem solving, insight solutions appear to differ from noninsight solutions in several important ways. The clearest defining characteristic of insight problem solving is the subjective “Aha!” or “Eureka!” experience that follows insight solutions (Schooler et al. 1993). This subjective experience can lead to a strong emotional response—according to legend, Archimedes ran home from the baths shouting “Eureka!” without donning his clothes first. In addition, problem solving with insight is characterized by the following features. (1) Solvers first come to an impasse, no longer progressing toward a solution (Duncker 1945). Archimedes, for example, was stymied by King Hiero's challenge to determine whether his new crown was pure gold without damaging the crown. (2) Solvers usually cannot report the processing that enables them to reinterpret the problem and overcome the impasse (Maier 1931). Insight often occurs when people are not even aware they are thinking of the problem, as reportedly happened to Archimedes while in the baths. (3) Solvers experience their solutions as arising suddenly (Metcalfe and Wiebe 1987; Smith and Kounios 1996) and immediately recognize the correctness of the solution (or solution path). (4) Performance on insight problems is associated with creative thinking and other cognitive abilities different from those associated with performance on noninsight problems (Schooler and Melcher 1997)."
- Mark Jung-Beeman, Edward M. Bowden, Jason Haberman, Jennifer L. Frymiare, Stella Arambel-Liu, Richard Greenblatt, Paul J. Reber, John Kounios, Published April 13, 2004, Neural Activity When People Solve Verbal Problems with Insight




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This site was last updated 05/10/06

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