Incubation is a term indicating the time for which the problem is solved subconsciously while an individual’s thinking is consciously dedicated to other activities.
American neurologist and neuropsychologist Antonio M. Damasio aptly notes: “If you encounter an intellectual obstacle, anything doesn’t profit you more than when you have a break into the problem.”
The incubation period is needed especially for the individual’s new problems. Psyche (or the brain) needs it for subconscious problem processing and linking new knowledge to existing knowledge. It can be also talked about the time necessary for restructuring of existing cognitive maps or mental representations and models.
Practical application of knowledge about the incubation period: In solving complex problems, it is appropriate to proceed in keeping with Damasio’s quote and give your brain (psyche), the essential time required to subconscious processing and problem restructuring.