Creativity & psychosis

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Possible confirmation of folk wisdom? Genes for Psychosis and Creativity: A Promoter Polymorphism of the Neuregulin 1 Gene Is Related to Creativity in People With High Intellectual Achievement:

Why are genetic polymorphisms related to severe mental disorders retained in the gene pool of a population? A possible answer is that these genetic variations may have a positive impact on psychological functions. Here, I show that a biologically relevant polymorphism of the promoter region of the neuregulin 1 gene (SNP8NRG243177/rs6994992) is associated with creativity in people with high intellectual and academic performance. Intriguingly, the highest creative achievements and creative-thinking scores were found in people who carried the T/T genotype, which was previously shown to be related to psychosis risk and altered prefrontal activation.

Also see ScienceDaily

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14 Comments

  1. Finallly, there is genetic evidence for this relationship between creativity and psychosis. This link has been speculated by many based on observation and deduction.

  2. Yeah, I have the T/T genotype!

  3. I have known three schizophrenics who, when in remission, were far more talented than the average educated person. One of them was successful in life at least twice, but each time his problems destroyed everything. 
     
    Some of the extremely “eccentric” scientists of the past may not have been viable in our society. In the old days there were a lot of little niches in the aristocracy, extended family, and Church for less than perfectly functional individuals.  
     
    People here don’t like Foucault, but his “madness is the absence of work” makes sense. Some very productive people, for example Edison, gave signs of being nuts. It’s just whether they also find a niche and produce something. 
     
    One field full of crazies is formal logic / mathematical logic / game theory. Goedel, Zermelo, Nash, and others I forget were all institutionalized or on the verge of institutionalization at times.

  4. I meant also to say: one of the traits of one of the schizophrenics I knew was the ability to work long hours and learn very quickly. For example, on one job she learned the cyrillic alphabet more or less overnight when a coworker quit. As I remember, she took over his job in addition to her own and they didn’t even replace him.

  5. I meant also to say: one of the traits of one of the schizophrenics I knew was the ability to work long hours and learn very quickly. For example, on one job she learned the cyrillic alphabet more or less overnight when a coworker quit. As I remember, she took over his job in addition to her own and they didn’t even replace him.

  6. Pconroy, I’m curious how you came to know your genotype at this loci. Is there a commercial test? Were you a research subject?

  7. Kosmo, 
     
    Yeah, 23AndMe… for $399 
     
    For any study with a SNP listed, I can lookup my allele values. 
     
    So far I’m homozygous for the derived SNP for: 
    1. this creative trait 
    2. autism spectrum disorder 
    3. 7 of the 8 SNP’s I’ve found relating to increased IQ 
     
    It’s fun stuff!!!

  8. Pconroy, that is just cool as hell. Do your genetic results mirror what you know about yourself? (I’m guessing you’re a smart, creative guy.) Just out of curiosity, which Drd4 alleles do you have?

  9. I have results for 4 SNP’s of DRD4, which are you interested in?

  10. Pconroy, I was just curious if you had the seven-repeat allele. (It seems to be implicated in a lot of behavioral /personality studies, and is likely an allele of large effect.)

  11. The relationship between creativity and psychotic traits was established by Hans J Eysenck – the most cited pyschologist in the world – two or three decades ago. The evidence is summarized in his book Genius, 1995.

  12. Kosmo, 
     
    I’ve no idea, as none of the SNP’s I have reference the 7R allele – I could be wrong but think this is a Copy Number Variation (CNV), which is not measured by 23AndMe??

  13. I think that the idea of normality might be the actual problem. A normal law-abiding person who goes to work, goes home, and watches TV is really pretty constricted and unenterprising — it can be a fairly passive life consisting entirely of performing routines tasks correctly, not causing trouble, and not breaking any rules.  
     
    Beyond the particular constrictions involved in the particular kinds of normality involved in modern life, the very idea of normality is constricting, since it would be harmful if all people were the same, regardless of what they all were like.  
     
    Various kinds of talent are high-risk high-return gambles.

  14. My boss was just discussing this with me. He used to hate me because I would disappear for weeks at a time, and other people would notice too. 
     
    Always when he was ready to fire me, I would hand him my work. My software has now doubled the revenue of the company, and he likes me better. 
     
    Unfortunately, I have been in a foul depression, and I can’t seem to pop out of it. He says he is worried about me, but I just want him to go away. 
     
    I am sitting on a piece of novel technology that nobody even knows about, and I am nearly paralized in my ability to productize the technology myself, and loathe to turn it over to work. 
     
    I have been doing everything exept what I should be doing. Recently, I designed a new, highly-expressive computer language and wrote a working interpreter for it. Nobody asked for it. Nothing I am doing needs it, but there it is. 
     
    I wrote a short story recently. The problem was, it was not the story I was going to write. Not even close. It was a completely different story that was not planned for, had great linear progression, and a tidy ending, almost as if I knew what I wanted to write. It’s the only thing that has made me happy recently. 
     
    B.T.W. Someone above mentioned Gödel. Crazy is a good definition. Gödel starved to death while living in Jersey. How many famines have plagued New Jersey? 
     
    Eating is important.

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