Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You're Not Crazy!

Well, maybe you are. A recent science article suggests that there is very little difference in brain chemistry between schizophrenics and healthy creative people. Specifically, the dopamine D2 receptors in healthy creative people have been found to be similar to those in schizophrenics.

Highly creative skills have been shown to be somewhat more common in people who have mental illness in the family. This does not suggest that because your crazy uncle (or aunt) is crazy, you will be an amazing talent.

However, there does seem to be a connection. It could be because the D2 receptors are less dense in an area called the thalamus, which directs a lot of traffic in the brain. By having less receptors, the thalamus is more prone to allow many more random connections to form, in a lateral or tangential sense, rather than a linear or logical sense. These uncommon connections may be useful in problem-solving situations, or, as in too much of a good thing, result in the bizarre associations of the mentally ill.

"Thinking outside the box might be facilitated by having a less intact box".

You know, I've always felt that phrase "think outside the box" was created by a plodding ponderous unimaginative person who was stuck on a problem and was pleading for help.

And, yes, I am crazy.

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