A fairly old (1997) paper by Suddendorf and Fletcher-Flinn, Theory of Mind and the Origins of Divergent Thinking (here) has an interesting study showing that
The development of a `theory of mind’ may not only be important for understanding the minds of others but also for using one’s own mind. To investigate this supposition, forty children between the ages of three and four were given false-belief and creativity tasks. The numbers of appropriate and of original responses in the creativity test were found to correlate positively with performance on false-belief tasks. This association was robust, as it continued to be strong and significant even when age and verbal intelligence were partialled out. The results support the hypothesis that the meta-representational skills involved in theory of mind also affect the way children can access and scan their own mental repertoire beyond the areas of currently activated content (i.e. divergent thinking). With the advent of theory of mind a basic cognitive shift takes place in human development, and possibly took place in cognitive evolution.
They point out that
Because the creativity tasks did not involve any obvious kind of mental attribution,
this finding points to another factor underlying both measures. The prime candidates,
since the relationship holds even when intelligence and age are partialled out, is
improved metarepresentational capacity and the ability to disengage from the
immediate present. Understanding false beliefs in others requires the individual to
dissociate from the immediate situation and to form a representation of the other's
representation. Similarly, one may argue that the creativity task requires the
children to dissociate from the immediate situation and to represent one's own
knowledge, scanning it for items with a particular feature. This theoretical argument
is consistent with the informal observation that during the testing procedure
younger children tended to look for answers in their immediate environment, while
older children gazed at the ceiling, apparently looking "inside" for appropriate
responses. The data support the hypothesis that a general, rather than a
specifically social, representational improvement takes place between age 3 and 4.
The ability to juggle two variations of our model of the world at the same time seems to be important
to our social life and our general intelligence/creativity. I think it would be important to metaphorical
or analog thinking too. So when I understand electrical current by reference the flow of a liquid,
for example, I have to hold the wire and the river in my mind at the same time and compare them.