The Twilight Zone

For your consideration: a baffling conundrum – a question without an answer. Next stop . . .The Twilight Zone!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

I’ve been puzzling over this Sudoku for HOURS! Maybe it’s time for . . . a trip to the inner landscape of the mind?

Enter Celia Lacaux and colleagues at the Paris Brain Institute. 

The researchers showed over one hundred participants a math problem. It contained a hidden rule that allowed it to be solved quickly. Next, the subjects relaxed in a dark room for twenty minutes, monitored by a camera. Afterwards, they returned to their problem solving.

Results? One quarter of the group entered the “twilight zone” between sleep and wakefulness. And those who did were able to find the hidden rule and solve the problem! They found the key THREE TIMES faster than participants who stayed awake! No benefit was observed if the subject fell into a deep sleep.

This study suggests that entering the “twilight” zone could activate the problem-solving region of the brain!

Truly, “a journey into a wondrous land of imagination”!

Reference: Lacaux, C., Andrillon, T., Bastoul, C., Idir, Y., Fonteix-Galet, A., Arnulf, I., & Oudiette, D. (2021). Sleep onset is a creative sweet spot. Science advances, 7(50), eabj5866.