Another insightful snapshot from Michael Fitzgerald; see the full post for more details and related references
I lunched today with a well-known quantum physicist, who mentioned that about half his ideas, and most of his best ones, happen in the shower. I asked him whether he knew why.
Being a physicist, he has developed a model to explain why. It goes, loosely, as follows:
1) There is an unconscious part of the mind that processes things without our knowing it, and in fact while our conscious mind is doing its thing.
2) Ideas are either algorithmic, like working through a differential equation, or non-algorithmic, which means they get worked out more or less randomly.