In the study referenced below, it was found that neurons in the frontal cortex of rats change rapidly when a new behavior replaces a prior behavior. After being exposed to a period of trial and error, the neural patterns suddenly reorganize and a new behavior emerges. There was no observed period of gradual change, but rather, an “a-ha” moment in the brain.
The implications are quite interesting for areas where human neural operation is similar. This suggests we need the exploration in thought and/or action, but that transitions occur relatively quickly. We often reference the first moments of real balance on a bicycle as similar to how the brain learns new behaviors and pathways. This is fairly consistent with that viewpoint.
Cell Press (2010, May 14). Eureka! Neural evidence for sudden insight. ScienceDaily.