Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id GAA00811 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Thu, 20 Dec 2001 06:28:37 GMT To: email@example.com Message-Id: <AA-2C1FD6C1C790DF3F9465B097E416AAAF-ZZ@maillink1.prodigy.net> Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 01:24:22 -0500 From: "Philip Jonkers" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Fwd: Eureka! Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>The thrill of discovery is the purest, least
understood event in science.
>Now, studies of the brain are revealing the anatomy
of a 'Eureka moment.'
>By Gareth Cook, Globe Staff, 12/18/2001
>The story begins in utter confusion.
>Imagine reading a sentence that doesn't seem to make
sense: ''The girl
>spilled her popcorn because the lock broke.'' The
mind starts casting
>about for answers: Who is the girl? Why would she
have popcorn, and why
>would a lock make her drop it?
>Soraci said that he now believes confusion is an
essential part of
>remembering things. As the object comes into focus,
he said, the brain
>generates a stream of guesses (Is it a doughnut? A
peace symbol?) until
>the truth emerges (a clock). These wrong guesses may
lay the foundation
>for a strong memory, he said. Other experiments
conducted by Solaci, in
>which people have to generate words in response to
clues, have shown the
Apart from creating this rich contextual or
speculative foundation which indeed may contribute
to ensuring good memory of the element of confusion,
let's conjecture a little in my favorite direction.
Confusion is a state of anxiety that needs relief,
sooner rather than later.
If relief is gained, by identifying the source which
caused the confusion (solving the puzzle),
the brain responds by issuing feelings of reward
(the familiar sigh of relief). With it, dopamine
levels increase in the brain. Dopamine is
associated with facilitating memory of events.
Consequently, it might be that the resolution to
aleviating the confusion is better remembered. If
through prior (wild) speculation about the nature of
the source of confusion it may become embedded in
a rich and relevant contextual environment. Then the
source may find even easier way to be stored in
Also it makes sense for the brain to reward events of
relief of confusion as it so reinforces/encourages
attempts to resolve future events of confusion.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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