I was going through this book by Guy Claxton last night. He says many things that support what Paul says in the PhotoReading book and backs them up with evidence from scientific experiments.
Early on, he quotes a Japanese proverb that I'm beginning to think applies to PhotoReading:
"Don't learn it; get used to it."
His thesis is that we in the West rely too much on our conscious mind. He contends that we should place more value on the contributions of our unconscious (he calls it "undermind"). The strength of the conscious mind is to quickly solve simple analytical problems. The undermind is the key when issues get complex or the data is incomplete. Often, if we give ourselves a few more minutes, we'll find the slower answers that come from the undermind are better than the quick ones we get from the conscious.
He stresses the importance of:
Incubation -- The undermind is exceedingly good at finding and analyzing patterns. It needs time to do it. In many cases, the undermind gets results quickly but needs a little external "nudge" to make the information available to the conscious. Incubation provides the time for the "nudge" to occur.
Play -- Being playful keeps the pathway to the undermind open. Stress (or emphasis on immediate results) narrows the focus and the conscious mind kicks in.
Finally, there is a discussion about the problems we get when we try to focus too hard. In experiments, recognition of faces that had been seen before, decreased when the participants were asked to describe the face. If people were allowed to go with their intuition rather than analyzing faces, the success rate was much higher. He says,
"The problem with description is twofold. First, the effort to describe the face forces one to break it up into its articulable features, and focuses attention on what can be said at the expense of what is genuinely (but non-verbally) distinctive. And secondly, at the time of recognition one may be trying to retrieve the 'written records' from memory, and match these to the pictures that one is being shown, rather than relying on the non-verbal, sensory records that have been registered."
Sorry this was so long. I thought it was interesting and it helped to explain the blocks that I've probably created in my own efforts to PhotoRead.