Episode 9: Schizophrenia, Creativity & the Disordered Brain


Topics covered (& reference links, when applicable):

1) Schizophrenia, Creativity & the Disordered Brain

Mad Genius: Study Suggests Link Between Psychosis And Creativity


Dopamine system in highly creative people similar to that seen in schizophrenics, study finds

‘Noisy’ memory in schizophrenia

2) An Unexpected Correlation Between Meat-Eating and Aggression

Caveman behavioral traits might kick in at Thanksgiving table before eating

3) The Sacrifice of Curiosity

4) Why Science and Sales Don’t Mix

Want to convince? Use abstract rather than concrete language

5) The Walking Whale, a Nightmare for Creationists

6) What the Heck do We Know?

7 Why Word Choice Matters

Carnegie Mellon scientists crack brain’s codes for noun meanings

Words used to describe substance-use patients can alter attitudes, contribute to stigma

2 thoughts on “Episode 9: Schizophrenia, Creativity & the Disordered Brain”

  1. When it come to mental disorders, I think it helps to realize that these “disorders” are not like other medical health issues that result from something different or wrong…in a sense. What I mean is that mentally ill people suffer as such by the means of exactly the same chemicals and processes as everyone else. Mental illness are states on a scale by which we are all bound. While everyone’s balance differ on such a scale, we only call something a disorder when a person’s state hinders their ability to fully function by living a productive and social life.

    Schizophrenia is not a specific disorder per se, even if labeled as such. It’s a state that can result from several different reasons, and the only common denominator is a lack of recognizing and living in reality. So, if schizophrenia is a state belonging to the very high end of the scale of mental activity (depression being on the low) are people really creative while suffering schizophrenia, or is it more likely that people who do suffer from schizophrenic episodes also go through periods of hypomania, where the brain is just high enough in mental activity to get creative, yet not manic or schizophrenic beyond a functional level, when the mind is so active it becomes chaotic and in the case of schizophrenia, literally takes on a life of its own.

    So, what I’m trying to say is that schizophrenia doesn’t produce creativity (other than the imaginary world it imposes on the sufferer perhaps). It is high mental activity that produce creativity.

  2. Good points, Jessica. Relevantly, I recall recent research that posits schizophrenia is not a single disorder, but up to 9 related disorders! Fascinating….So much left to learn.

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