What’s the science behind the “aha” moments that have inspired great thinkers and Oprah alike? A team of Israeli researchers set out to discover what happens in the brain when we gain sudden insight.
In this study, subjects viewed camouflaged images that were impossible to decipher. Researchers then revealed the true image, creating an “aha” moment (a shift in perception from unknown to known). A week later, subjects viewed the camouflaged images again and tried to recall the true image. When subjects showed activity in the part of the brain that processes emotions (the amygdala), they were more likely to remember.
Strangely, the pics themselves didn’t elicit emotion, yet the amygdala still lit up, suggesting that our emotional brain helps us commit insights to long-term memory.
Or, more like a YouBeauty connection. Creating real change in our lives often has to do with the moments of realization that really stick with us. When you have a moment of clarity (maybe from a Daily Aha?) that inspires you to take a daily walk, or replace diet soda with seltzer, your emotional brain commits it to long-term memory. Word to the wise: Thinking about that moment often can strengthen the neural connections, and may help reinforce your resolve.
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