RESEARCH | Can you relate to the feeling that people that are diagnosed with mental disorders are sometimes all the more inspiring to be around? Of course there's a scale of eccentricity, but they generally are often far less inhibited, more openly associative, and may surprise you with unexpected ideas and behaviors. After coming across the research discussed below, I suddenly realize that my observation may make a lot more sense than I ever expected.
How dense is your thalamus? Swedish research shows that creativity and schizophrenia share similar dopamine systems in the brain. The psychological testing used to prove this similarity focused on problem solving skills: both groups--highly creative people as well as those diagnosed with schizophrenic disorder--show a great capacity for thinking out of the box and coming up with less obvious solutions to problems. Additionally, the research points out that creativity is associated with a higher risk for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and that people with highly developed creative skills tend to have a higher likelihood of mental illness in their family.