The most mysterious aspect of insight is not the revelation itself but what happens next. The brain is an infinite library of associations, a cacophony of competing ideas, and yet, as soon as the right association appears, we know. The new thought, which is represented by that rush of gamma waves in the right hemisphere, immediately grabs our attention. There is something paradoxical and bizarre about this. On the one hand, an epiphany is a surprising event; we are startled by what we’ve just discovered. Some part of our brain, however, clearly isn’t surprised at all, which is why we are able to instantly recognize the insight. “As soon as the insight happens, it just seems so obvious,” Schooler said. “People can’t believe they didn’t see it before.
Jonah Lehrer, The Eureka Hunt, The New Yorker, 2008.
(My favorite thing Pak has ever shared with me, I reread it all the time.)