According to the last zettel, background states in sensory systems (at least in the V1) are not just background states, but dynamic states with intrinsic cortical activity patterns encoded in them. They closely resemble their stimulus-driven patterns.
This high variability in dynamic systems could degrade response reliability, which in turn might be an explanation for creativity. This reminds me of the default network in the association cortex.
Source: Buckner, R.L. and DiNicola, L.M. (2019) ‘The brain’s default network: updated anatomy, physiology and evolving insights’, Nature Reviews. Neuroscience, 20(10), pp. 593–608. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41583-019-0212-7.
Priebe, N.J. (2016) ‘Mechanisms of Orientation Selectivity in the Primary Visual Cortex’, Annual Review of Vision Science, 2(1), pp. 85–107. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-vision-111815-114456.