WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: Understanding Intuition by Lois Isenman

This in-depth exploration of intuition is written by a biologist and philosopher of science. She is particularly interested in the role of intuition in scientific research.

The book examines intuition from biological and cognitive dimensions, and many multidisciplinary perspectives. Isenman considers how intuition is related to implicit learning, emotions and motivation, past knowledge, mental imagery, bodily sensations, metacognition, feelings of knowing and truth, and spirituality. She describes different kinds of intuition, and the role they can play in our insights, decision making and goal-directed behaviour.

She provides a number of vignettes of how various scientists (including the author, Einstein, Bohm, and Salk) have used intuition in reaching their ground-breaking discoveries. She also shows how various well-known studies in neuroscience support her ideas about intuition.

While sometimes I found the neuroscience content and Isenman’s explanations a bit too deep for me, I did discover many useful ideas about how our subconscious can support our intuition. I think I’ll go back and read this book another couple of times to try to draw out more understanding and learning each time.

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