Olympic skiers do it, they see themselves carving their turns down the run before they ever leave the gate. Architects see soaring structures breaking the skyline before starting their blue prints. Artists often fill sketchbooks with studies in an effort to see the final work in their mind before putting chisel to stone or brush to canvas. Having a clear picture of your end goal often helps with achieving it, whether it’s a piece of fine art, a machine, or a space ship. Conversely this clear image of what you’re striving for may become a roadblock if the reality of what you are working on doesn’t match up to what’s in your head, or the picture in your mind starts to fade as you concentrate on the real world creation in front of you. And though we don’t know exactly why this happens scientists may be getting closer. Perhaps it’s a lack of focus, perhaps it’s a crossed signal in the brain. In this article from iflscience.com they discuss a recent study of the neural pathways and the flow of information between the parietal lobe, a physical sensory processing region of the brain and the occipital lobe, the region of the cortex responsible for processing visual stimuli. It seems that when we imagine things the parietal lobe engages first despite the concept of “seeing” an image in the mind, and the opposite occurs when we actually see something with our eyes. In any case don’t lose sight of what you’re working on, “Happy accidents”, the results of creative problem solving or exploration have been a boon to many an artist and scientist. And if you need a break to recharge, you can always read more comics.