Will wrote an important blog post where he cites a cool study about the fact that the brain represents objects in different manner depending on contexte (where you are seeing it or trying to grab it):
this work remind[s] us once more that (ultimately) the brain did not evolve to enable us to think; it evolved to enable us to act.
This might explain why merely reading papers about a theory is not the same as working with this theory. Why reading theorems and their proofs is not the same as writting your own proofs. In short, “If others do your work, others learn in your place.”