September 19, 2005
Fine Line Revealed Between Creativity and Insanity
History suggests that the line between creativity and madness is a fine one, but a small group of people known as schizotypes are able to walk it with few problems and even benefit from it.
A new study confirms that their enhanced creativity may come from using more of the right side of the brain than the rest of us.
In the spectrum between normal and insane, schizotypes generally fall somewhere in the middle. While they do not suffer many of the symptoms affecting schizophrenics, including paranoia, hallucinations and incoherent thoughts, schizotypes often exhibit their own eccentricities.
"They may dress or carry themselves in a strange way," says Bradley Folley, a graduate student in clinical psychology at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the lead author of the study. "They're not abnormal, they live normal lives but they often have idiosyncratic ways of thinking. Certain things may have special meaning for them or they may be more spiritually attuned."
"Creativity at its base is associative," Folley told LiveScience. "It's taking things that you might see and pass by everyday and using them in a novel way to solve a new problem."