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Neuroscience of Creativity$
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Oshin Vartanian, Adam S. Bristol, and James C. Kaufman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019583

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019583.001.0001

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Creativity and Psychopathology: Shared Neurocognitive Vulnerabilities

Creativity and Psychopathology: Shared Neurocognitive Vulnerabilities

(p.175) 9 Creativity and Psychopathology: Shared Neurocognitive Vulnerabilities
Neuroscience of Creativity

Shelley Carson

The MIT Press

One of the most debated topics in creativity research is whether creativity is associated with psychopathology. Many anecdotal reports and empirical studies have indicated an increased risk for psychopathology in at least abbreviated forms among groups or individuals deemed highly creative. However, other research suggests that creativity is associated with positive mental health and resiliency. In this chapter I review the evidence for a connection between creativity and a selected set of mental disorders. I then present a “shared vulnerability” model of creativity and psychopathology in which creativity and mental illness share certain neurocognitive mechanisms that affect attention, perception, and motivation. According to the model, creative individuals also possess protective mechanisms that allow them to take advantage of these shared vulnerabilities to produce novel and useful products and ideas. The shared vulnerability model can account for the increased risk for psychopathology among highly creative individuals while also accounting for the many creative individuals who are symptom-free and express optimum mental health.

Keywords:   Alcoholism, Creative achievement, Bipolar, creativity, Divergent thinking, Genetics, IQ, Latent inhibition, Novelty-seeking, Psychosis-proneness, Schizotypy

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