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What is Intuition?

I recently had the pleasure of writing an article for The Muse about intuition. In it I shared a piece of my journey from my brain injury to today and how I navigated the complicated personal experience of coming to not only be baffled by but come to trust my intuition. And, then how I dove deeply to understand how I can lean more rapidly on my intuition and how you might be able to as well.

In the article, I shared this:

"Intuition drives innovation and fuels our career decisions. And when we downplay the role of intuition, we risk our ability to innovate in the workplace and navigate our jobs and life paths. This isn’t woo-woo theory.

Working in emerging technology for 15 years, I’ve spent a lot of time with teams that were truly innovative. In my last role as the chief science officer of an

AI company, I had a front-row seat watching some extremely nimble minds brew up dynamic solutions to complicated problems, like using software to create situational awareness. But something else happened at the same time. I suffered a traumatic brain injury that changed my way of thinking and made me more innovative. I didn’t understand why, so I began to research how our brains create ideas. "

Find more here:

But, I wanted to provide a little more nuance here.

What is Intuitive Cognitive Processing?

Intuitive cognition involves unconscious situational pattern synthesis and recognition unconstrained by working memory limitations. Intuitive cognition is independent of conscious “executive” control, large in capacity, and fast.

Intuitive cognition is effective "because it (1) possesses a capability for grounded, situational mean- ing making (sign interpretation); (2) is operative over extended work intervals involving interruptions; and (3) is instrumental in handling situated complexities of everyday living."

One can conceive of intuition as the preliminary perception of coherence. Since this requires holistic perception, it is hypothesized that underlying processing strategies are dependent on the possibility to obtain all relevant information at once. Some argue that intuition is the primary method of cognition with our analytical brain serving as an exoskeleton for rational cognitive brain.

In fact, the argument is that our rational logical brain may just be how we transmit information between our intuitive knowing and the audiences who may question our intuitive responses.

For more, check out: Understanding Intuition, A Journey in and Out of Science.

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