“No great thing is created suddenly.” –Epictetus
Writers, philosophers, inventors, and artists have all spoken of sudden insights and epiphanies as being creative muses responsible for their greatest works and masterpieces. Isaac Newton, after all, is said to have conceptualized his ideas on gravity when an apple fell from a tree and hit his head. Whether composing a symphony or solving a crossword puzzle, we are constantly generating novel ideas. These insights are often chalked up to bursts of creative genius, but scientists are determined to understand the biochemical mechanisms that produce these seemingly unprompted epiphanies.