A clue to the secret of intuition is provided from the 2004 Nobel Prize winning discovery of how you recognize the smell of an orange. Your smell system locates the coded pattern of that smell from your memories for thousands of smell patterns.
The secret of intuition is that it is a logical routine, an algorithhm, which enables your brain to recognize a smell pattern. From the patterns of moving leaves and scurrying shadows, an animal identifies a predator, feels fear and takes flight.
Intuition is the same routine behind each intelligent animal response. It is a pattern recognition process. Intuition enables nerve cells to swiftly recognize, interpret and act, by extracting logical answers from massive neural memories. Nerve cells respond to the combinatorial codes firing at their dendritic inputs.
The Secret Of Intuition - Instant Access To A Massive Memory The unimaginable size and scale of your memory far outclasses the memorystores of a computer. If the DNA codes in the human body were written into 500 page books, those tomes will fill the Grand Canyon 50 times over! Your brain stores memories of evolutionary experiences from millions of years. It stores the sights, sounds and experiences of a lifetime. It stores the memories of thousands of habitual activities.
From this galactic store, your brain recalls just the image of a school picnic, or the complex hand movements of your signature - the same moment you think about it. Your intuition is this process, which assists you in all the problems you face in life.
The Secret Of Intuition - Inductive Reasoning Intuition uses logic to retrieve data. Traditionally, logic follows either deductive, or inductive paths. All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore Socrates is mortal. That is deductive reasoning, where an accepted principle is used to draw a conclusion. In inductive reasoning, a number of established facts are used to draw a conclusion. Over centuries, all observed elephants are gray. So, elephants are gray. An inductive argument, however, is never final and is open to being falsified. The discovery of a pink elephant will falsify "the gray elephant theory." Both science and intuition use inductive logic.
The Secret Of Intuition - Reverse Reasoning Traditionally, inductive reasoning uses the principle of inclusion. The gray elephant theory is a result of experience over time. If we see a gray animal, we will confine our search to a list of gray animals. Intuition uses the principle of exclusion. If the animal is pink, elephants are excluded from the search. Subsequent discovery of a pink elephant will make this induction wrong. But, if the reasoning that all elephants are gray is true, then the induction that a pink animal is not an elephant is equally true. Nerve cells become inhibited, if they fail to recognize a pattern.
The Secret Of Intuition - Inhibit To Highlight If the back of your hand is touched with a felt tip, neural activity takes place in the related touch sensory region of your cortex. Particular neurons begin to fire to indicate this sensory information. You will feel the touch. In the process, the surrounding neurons will become inhibited. This inhibition is strongest for those immediately adjacent to the excited neurons. Throughout the nervous system there are neural circuits which switch off other circuits when their own areas are energized. This phenomenon reveals the secret of intuition. Intuition highlights messages by inhibiting information from non contextual sources.
The Secret Of Intuition - Eliminate To Identify Eliminating all unrecognized categories from a list is a quick way to focus the list on the answer. Neurons in the olfactory system store the inherited combinatorial codes of myriad smells. Over a lifetime, an animal adds millions more differentiated odors in codes. All cells in the system which fail to recognize the code of an encountered odor shut down. The active cells fire strongly to indicate the identified smell.
It is a routine, which searches a massive database in the blink of an eye. When you speak, an inhibition process swiftly combs your entire vocabulary, eliminating every unrecognized relationship to your idea. If it is furry, it is not an elephant. If it is gray, it is not a rabbit. If you are looking at a gray, or furry thing, it is not this page. If there are 100 cars, it is not your garage. Intuition eliminates a galaxy of possibilities to accurately use each word, even as you speak.
The Secret Of Intuition - An Enigma For Science Scientific searches seek an exact match to identify a complex pattern. Back and forth searches grow exponentially as the search space expands. For science, it is impossible to search for subtle overlapping patterns in large spaces. So they never imagined it would be possible to swiftly and instantly search the mass of data in the mind. Science continues to follow the theory that the mind is a computational device. But, the mind recognizes patterns, using intuition.
The Secret Of Intuition - Delivery Of A Single Choice As someone said "When a tiger bounds towards you, what should your response be? Should you file your toenails? Do a cartwheel? Sing a song? Is this the moment to run an uncountable number of randomly generated response possibilities through the decision rule?" Inhibition works to eliminate alternatives for every decision of the nervous system. Animals cannot afford to freeze into immobility, unable decide between chewing grass and drinking water. Intelligent action, pivotal for survival, mandates a swift logic, which ceaselessly narrows possibilities down to a single answer. Nature's logic evaluates myriad known possibilities to choose one option for action. If the choice is to chew grass, the drive to quench thirst is instantly inhibited.
The Secret Of Intuition - Delivery Of Artbitrary Choices Inhibition delivers swift answers. Inhibition of weaker signals inhibits even less active possibilities. This image is interpreted by your mind as either two faces facing each other, or as a vase. Logically, it is both two faces and a vase. Your system inhibits one idea to identify the other. Intuition may not always deliver logical answers.
The Secret Of Intuition - The Spreadsheet Analogy All nerve cells are known to be active in all regions of the brain, even when they do not appear to be actually participating. If a nerve cell is but a single entity in a multi billion processor system, why is it active when it does not need to process any data? Such activity is vital for the global evaluation of the mind. Even a spreadsheet follows the same routine. Any change in one cell is reflected in all the cells, even if there are a million cells. This is because entries in all cells of a spreadsheet are recalculated for each new input. With its ability to do millions of calculations a second, simultaneous recalculations enables the user to see the global impact of any change. Similarly, each one of billions of cells is tirelessly alert to events in the system, “recalculating” its inputs in the context of its own inherited and acquired memories
The Secret Of Intuition - Just Hints Are Enough Intuition finds answers from even slivers of data. For a militant hiding in a cellar, the movement of a few hairs could indicate a current of cold air from a stealthily opened door. That is a vital message, which will inhibit every other sensory input. Instant elimination of possibilities from a database of cosmic proportions would trigger his immediate recognition of danger. Unexpected meanings are derived for a soft whisper or a shifting shadow. With access to vast data, intuitive recognition needs imperceptibly small slivers of information to enable recognition.
The Secret Of Intuition - Access To A Massive Wisdom Your mind has immense knowledge, stored as coded answers from myriad evolutionary and real life experiences. With such global access, the system swiftly evaluates trillions of pages of that wisdom to locate competent answers. But, to win, you need to be aware that you are so equipped. That self assurance is crucial. The eliminative search process wisely discards “impossible” solutions from its search. If you think it is impossible, you will not think of it. It is confidence, which can prevent many winning solutions from being so excluded. Confidence is the key to a good life. Listening to intuition delivers the wisdom of your mind.
The Secret Of Intuition - Often, A Blinkered Vision But, the elimination routine has its limitations. From the extensive knowledge in your mind, intuition eliminates all out of context items to reach an answer. If something you know does not suit your current emotion, that data is also eliminated at the outset. Your mind eliminates all data linked to conflicting emotions. It narrows possibilities to the answer, which is appropriate to the current emotion.
If you are angry, it eliminates all positive views of your opponent. You have no awareness of such elimination. For you, the reduced list of possibilities is the truth. So, emotional decisions become irrational. Because of this emotional weakness of intuitive wisdom, science has founded its vast structures purely on clearly defined reasons.
The Secret Of Intuition - Superior To Reasoning Chains The structures of science are built on definitions and reasoning chains. But, intuition is incomparably superior to reasoning chains for pattern recognition. So many things known to scientists can never be explained through reason. Analytical logic cannot assess a great painting, or comprehend passionate poetry. It cannot identify between charm and dignity, or contempt and enmity. Scientific knowledge, is a mere subset of what is known to intuitive wisdom. Intuition can be just as often wrong as scientific reasoning. But it girdles a wider horizon and is an incredibly powerful weapon for coping with the environment. Ultimately, it is their intuition, which enables scientists to build reasoning chains.
Developing Intuition With success in developing intuition, your mind will enrich your life by granting you timely and helpful insights.