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Dopamine System in Highly Creative People Similar to That Seen in Schizophrenics, Study Finds

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posted on May, 19 2010 @ 07:42 AM
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Ever written a poem, story? How about a song? Can you sketch, paint? maybe you are great at solving puzzles?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you have a mind similar to that of a person with schizophrenia.



Science Daily (May 19, 2010) —

New research shows a possible explanation for the link between mental health and creativity.

By studying receptors in the brain, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have managed to show that the dopamine system in healthy, highly creative people is similar in some respects to that seen in people with schizophrenia.

High creative skills have been shown to be somewhat more common in people who have mental illness in the family.

Creativity is also linked to a slightly higher risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Certain psychological traits, such as the ability to make unusual pr bizarre associations are also shared by schizophrenics and healthy, highly creative people.

And now the correlation between creativity and mental health has scientific backing

"We have studied the brain and the dopamine D2 receptors, and have shown that the dopamine system of healthy, highly creative people is similar to that found in people with schizophrenia," says associate professor Fredrik Ullén from Karolinska Institutet's Department of Women's and Children's Health, co-author of the study that appears in the journal PLoS ONE.


link: www.sciencedaily.com...

So, based on this finding, would this have a positive or negative impact on a persons life?

Why?

Thanks for your thoughts,

Pax




posted on May, 19 2010 @ 08:23 AM
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I think this should be seen as a spectrum not an either/or like being pregnant or dead. Every highly creative person I know has highs/lows in cycles -- it's only a matter of degree, whether they go all the way into what is labeled bipolar. I know people who are probably bipolar by definition but are highly functional and so it's no issue.

To me there are 3 issues that complicate understanding this topic.

The first is nutrition. Schizophrenia and other psychological problems are pretty highly correlated with intake of gluten grains, which are at this point one of the most dominant foods of our culture. I think a lot of people would be fine were it not for their diet.

The second is that there is a larger universe we are part of that science is as ignorant about as the Church was about Galileo's astronomical claims. I'm referring to what I call "Jungian Stew", an archetypal universe we swim in all the time. The degree of 'awareness and encounter' with this also comes in a spectrum and there seems to be some correlation with those who are highly creative and especially schizophrenic. Why they may be more aware of this is unclear.

The third is that many schizophrenics have a fractured or abused childhood, and this can create a lot of problems that I think cause some definition issues with schizophrenia. I think sometimes it describes more like, people who have *a problem dealing with* a certain mental state, than those who have the state without the problems. For example:

The McKenna brothers in their book 'The Invisible Landscape' talked a lot about shaman folks and how they were essentially controlled schizophrenics, kind of walking the border of two different worlds. If we were in a culture that did not live on gluten grains and sugar dominantly, and if the issue of serious childhood abuse and resultant side-effects did not muck up the subject's clarity, and if we had what amounted to some kind of training for people with this kind of psychological 'awareness', I think the results might be very different.

Right now, anybody who perceives other identities (than what we consider normal), or perceives communication with non-human creatures (such as animals), or considers themselves to be a multiplicity inside, is officially insane. Except if you go through even some of the most respected writers addressing such topics, such as Jung, you find that this is not insane, it's just part of being 'aware' in certain respects. What differentiates the people who are aware and 'creative' vs. those who are labeled as sick, is not the perception (although officially it is), but how they *deal with* that perception. Which is where issues like damaging nutrition and abuse during formative years comes in and makes it all seem like a disease.

RC



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 08:46 AM
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The main thing that seems questionable with the report is that unipolar people are also creative yet are genetically not schizophrenic like bipolars. This kind of distinction wasn't made in the past about a decade ago, so it doesn't seem to have yet been understood widely.

Some people argue the high dopamine levels break down the brain to schizophrenia, yet I disagree and say it was the mannerism (like slamming) that caused the brain matter disappearance.

Dopamine levels of women seem to rhythm with their moons while male tend to be more level and maybe flatline. I would think that males that show a dopamine level like a moon cycle is a good indication of a female brain in a male body and what people mistake as homosexuality but really indicates an intersexual.

Does an intersexual have greater creativity than normal? Hard to say with real life problems in the way, but I would say these problems have made people think of them to have schizophrenia rather than being creative. Nowadays, I'm positive they don't have schizophrenia and there is a clear distinction between bipolarism and unipolarism.

Bring on the caffeine!



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 09:33 AM
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reminds me of an interview i did with a comic book artist, neal adams, who proposes that the planets and moons grow. i think you might find this interview interesting
thestargates.com...

his clip collection of evidence for growing planets/moons
www.nealadams.com...

his website
www.nealadams.com...

it dawned on me that perhaps science and art have a future together in ways that have been overlooked in the more recent years, due to the belief that artists are simply too in touch with the "fantasy" realm.

listen to neal and see what you think? (warning: it's a long interview)



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 09:59 AM
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Well damn I guess I am schizophrenic as well as bi-polar. I have always been very creative and the way I associate things with another is very weird and only something I would come up with. I was diagnosed bi-polar years ago but I figured out my own "cure" that didn't involve pills and I am happier than ever. I find this to be interesting and i will have to read more on it.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 10:39 AM
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If only it were so simple as gluten and sugar. The brain is the most complex organ we have, so ridiculously complex. I was diagnosed with major depression 9 years ago, and with a 32 year background in medicine, I began researching this stuff like a wild man. It's all about balance between neurotransmitters and anatomical variations one brain to another. Many researchers have found a direct link in the imbalance between the limbic system and the frontal lobe. Cravings come from up-regulation of the limbic system, so that the controller (frontal lobe) loses control of our urges because it becomes overpowered. That part of it is behavior, because we develop urges we cannot control. One of the most important differences between schitzophrenics and "more normal" highly creative people is thatthose without schitzophrenic symtoms understand and control in a positive way their delusions. I laugh at mine and throw them into a mental trashcan, while schitzophrenics and bi-polars actually believe their delusions, and act on them. They have great trouble in discerning what is real and what is delusional. Visual and aural hallucinations make it even harder, and I feel great empathy for these people.

There are theories that some peoples brains don't produce adequate dopamine from square one. These are the melancholy and sad kids who become depressed adults who end up self-medicating trying to feel "more normal". They force their brains to produce more dopamine, but often end up addicted. Yes, it is behavior, but it is also physiology.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 10:59 AM
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Originally posted by deadred
Visual and aural hallucinations make it even harder, and I feel great empathy for these people.


I believe in hallucinations as much as I believe in the miracles of their existence.... I don't.

There is an origin for memory, visual, auditory, or any sensory experience. Mundane science doesn't seem to have a technological explanation for imagination and virtual sensations, so they've been all grouped into hallucinations. The mere suggestion of a mass hallucination, however, suggests there never really was a hallucination but merely a lack of explanation for the experience.

With a physical form of schizophrenia, there is an actual deterioration of brain matter. The cause of the hallucinations could be said to be bleed-overs from other signals in the brain that would be normally separated.

With bipolarism, there is no deterioration yet the some genetics found with schizophrenia seems to be the causes for the experiences. This suggests to even remove the term schizophrenia as a mental condition at it has been except to use it to denote deterioration.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:21 PM
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So what you are saying, is because it hasn't happened to you, i.e. hallucinations, or miracles, they don't exist?

I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that true schizophrenics and sometimes manic depressives experience either visual or auditory hallucinations
that to the individual is very tangible. They believe what they are seeing or hearing is real.

There is enough research to support that both of these mental illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances with the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

I do not believe people with Schizophrenia are products of their environment.
If that were true, every child that has been subjected to abuse or trauma would be schizophrenic.

I think the article is saying that the mind of one who is creative responds to stimulus, an over production of dopamine, the same way a schizophrenics mind responds. The difference being, a break in reality does not occur in the mind of an individual who is artistic because something puts the brakes on.
Where as the schizophrenic keeps spinning out of control.

kindly,

Pax



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:43 PM
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I think this thread is important, given the constant accusations whenever someone has a theory others cannot accept of them being "schizophrenic". Sure, to your laymans-mind it might look like schizo but what it most likely is, is somebody with a very open mind who is able to explore alternative possibilities that the average person would not think of. I bet in history that a whole lot of secrets have been uncovered by people just like this. Not just conspiracies, but science too for example. Most people looked at the ground and assumed the world must be flat since it appeats to be so as far as the eye can see, I bet Columbus was one of those people who seemed schizo sometimes just because he was able to wrap his mind around what others couldn`t. And that was just an example, we could use another one, so I don`t want to hear about how the templars went to america in the 1300`s and after the templars became the masons, chris columbus` father-in-law (a mason) gave him the secret information. We could use the heliocentric model of the universe.


 
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posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by paxnatus

So what you are saying, is because it hasn't happened to you, i.e. hallucinations, or miracles, they don't exist?



It's possible dzonatus has hallucinations and is trying to defend his/her delusion as reality by claiming that they are "messages from beyond that mere mortals are too unenlightened to see". I used to be the "safe buddy" for several paranoid schizophrenics back when they tried that at the local VA for PTSD patients. It was a nice idea, but a lot of work and they eventually dropped it - basically you were someone not family/not medical personnel that they could confide in without risking saying something doofy to their caretakers or doc. I did it mostly for PTSD patients but got saddled with a few PS as well.

On the meds and the meds working, they recognized that the hallucinations were just hallucinations, not real, and not fraught with special meaning. Off the meds, or time to make a change to something else, and they'd start seeing ninjas and hearing Satan talking from the garbage disposer telling them to kill themselves.

Invariably, while they were at the peak of the hallucination phase, they'd become convinced that there was some sort of otherworldly wisdom in the experience that other people were too dull to perceive - it's part of the "pattern seeking" thing that a lot of them do, IMHO, where they look for messages sent to them by Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune or whatnot. When the meds kicked back in, they'd begin to realize that the ninjas and voices from the wall sockets were neither real nor enlightening, and eventually they'd stop perceiving them.

I'd have to say, the experience was an interesting one, it cured me of a lot of misconceptions about mentally ill people.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by paxnatus
 


I never would of guessed this.lol

This thread is so true, and i always said if the people at the top of society where poor, they would be classed as mentally unstable, and schizo often.

Just shows you the terms are often bull and describe so many people.



[edit on 5/19/2010 by andy1033]



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:50 PM
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It's also true that some very creative people are also mentally ill.

Tesla is the first that comes to mind. Bright, but with a really bad case of OCD, and probably schizophrenic at the end. It didn't help that he had a penchant for blasting his head with x-rays.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 04:41 PM
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reply to post by Bedlam
 


That was a good story.

Very creative of you.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by paxnatus
So what you are saying, is because it hasn't happened to you, i.e. hallucinations, or miracles, they don't exist?


More like because of my career path I'm a very logical thinker and consider many possibilities other then to simply excuses such experiences as mere hallucinations. The brain can be compared to a computer and the imagination to virtual reality. That in no way doesn't mean anybody never ever had such an experience, but it just explains why the experience happens.



I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that true schizophrenics and sometimes manic depressives experience either visual or auditory hallucinations
that to the individual is very tangible. They believe what they are seeing or hearing is real.


We are pretty stupid to believe only three dimensions of space exist. We can easily claim dreams exist in another dimension and the only difference between dreams and space is just rather you have your eyes open or closed. With your eyes open you see through your normal eyesight and with them closed you see through your dream eyesight, like a 3rd eye. This is one of the more common explanations that doesn't agree the experience is a mere hallucination.

A scientific miracle is an effect with no cause. Hallucinations are usually denoted as such. My point is that there is a cause and it is no miracle, even if the cause is unknown.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by dzonatas
reply to post by Bedlam
 


That was a good story.

Very creative of you.


Easy to do when you're recounting things you did. Only then, I guess, it's not a story.

So, maybe you've never had much experience with people in full-blown schizophrenic episodes, or you're in denial.

It's a bit tough to make myself believe that someone schizophrenic is secretly in tune with the universe when they're clanging, tossing the old word salad or watching the TV for hidden messages.

That's not to say that there isn't something rational in there trying to get out and just not quite making it intact. Had one guy that kept claiming he'd been a Marine, that he lived in a forest that had fruit all year, and that the doctor had stolen his truck. They'd bagged him at the homeless shelter.

He was full-blown when I first met him, clanging, word salad, neologisms, flights of ideas, the whole thing. But he was communicative and not paranoid, just not connecting real well. But there were too many accurate references to Marine lore - I never caught him making up anything wrong, when he could get it out at all.

When the fingerprints ran, it turned out he was in fact a retired Marine, lived in what had been an orchard in California, and his truck had been repossessed from the VA parking lot out there. He also had a history for going off his meds and then riding the rails across the country.

Anyway, I doubt there was a lot of higher knowledge filtering down from the Akashic records or something while he was babbling rhymes and making up words. Sort of like listening to Underdog on coc aine.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 05:11 PM
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Originally posted by dzonatas

We are pretty stupid to believe only three dimensions of space exist. We can easily claim dreams exist in another dimension and the only difference between dreams and space is just rather you have your eyes open or closed. With your eyes open you see through your normal eyesight and with them closed you see through your dream eyesight, like a 3rd eye. This is one of the more common explanations that doesn't agree the experience is a mere hallucination.


New Age speak. You could easily claim dreams are "in another dimension", which actually wouldn't make a lot of sense in terms of physics, and others, with much more scientific proof, could claim that dreams are what happens when neural nets "anneal" at night - a process of incorporating data learned during the day that provokes nonsense correlations which are examined and discarded by your sleeping mind.

You don't really have a "3rd eye" despite what mystics like to call your pineal gland.

edit: if you're trying to say that hallucinations must be objectively real because the schizophrenic perceives them, it's a common belief (backed by some amount of research) that what you're seeing/hearing is caused by a deficit in source monitoring

[edit on 19-5-2010 by Bedlam]

[edit on 19-5-2010 by Bedlam]



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by Bedlam
So, maybe you've never had much experience with people in full-blown schizophrenic episodes, or you're in denial.


Maybe you never personally experienced anything like it yourself and therefore you have no explanation.


Originally posted by Bedlam
New Age speak.


You aren't being serious.


You could easily claim dreams are "in another dimension", which actually wouldn't make a lot of sense in terms of physics, and others, with much more scientific proof, could claim that dreams are what happens when neural nets "anneal" at night - a process of incorporating data learned during the day that provokes nonsense correlations which are examined and discarded by your sleeping mind.


I don't think you have any idea how virtual reality works and you probably think "virtual" means 'fake' despite the fact you look at a monitor full of colors that change right in front of your face.


You don't really have a "3rd eye" despite what mystics like to call your pineal gland.


People can move around in a virtual world with a camera view and that camera is what is being extrapolated as the 3rd eye.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 06:49 PM
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Originally posted by dzonatas

Maybe you never personally experienced anything like it yourself and therefore you have no explanation.


What? Schizophrenia or hallucinations? Definitely not a schizophrenic, but I did have a bad reaction to a med once that had me hallucinating for a few minutes. Very interesting stuff, but I'm pretty sure there's no alternate reality featuring dead nuns surrounded by a sparkling violet aura pushing prams full of dead babies up to my bed.

So when I saw it, my reaction wasn't "Oh, wow! Sister Agatha is sending me a dramatic, if somewhat cryptic, message from dimension X" and instead said "Sir, I don't know what you just gave me, but I'm having a really bad hallucination - maybe you ought to restrain me while you have a good shot at it"

But I'm not sure that "experience" is causally tied to "explanation". I can explain to you what will happen if I shoot you with a .50BMG at close range without having to have it done to me personally.




You aren't being serious.


Anytime I see "third eye" and "see into another dimension" in the paragraph, it's a giveaway that the poster isn't into physics, and is into some offshoot of theosophy, usually the generic term "New Age" applies well.



I don't think you have any idea how virtual reality works and you probably think "virtual" means 'fake' despite the fact you look at a monitor full of colors that change right in front of your face.


Oddly, I'm a EE amongst other things, and one of the things we design here are specialized video cards for military flight simulators. (I've been doing a heat sink design for one the last two weeks, if you look in my other posts you'll see me talking about doing ATS posts between thermal simulation runs, that's what it's for)

To make the same sort of assumptive leap you just did, you probably think that somewhere in an alternate reality, you're really flying the airplane that you're seeing in the simulator.



People can move around in a virtual world with a camera view and that camera is what is being extrapolated as the 3rd eye.


Riiiiight.

Look, I don't believe that somewhere in another dream universe my 'buddy' was actually seeing real ninjas in the trees and bushes with a third eye that he received by being schizophrenically enlightened. Nor do I think the drains were giving him commands to hurt himself by real beings in another dimension. Neither did he, when he was on the meds. It did scare the crap out of him when it was at its peak, so it must have seemed really real to him, and some of the stuff he recounted to me was full-on Stephen King, but you're not really supposed to address the content of the hallucinations directly. It would have been interesting to get the full description, in a morbid sort of way, but you can end up reinforcing their perceptions if you act as if you're interested in their content.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 07:38 PM
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Originally posted by Bedlam
So when I saw it, my reaction wasn't "Oh, wow! Sister Agatha is sending me a dramatic, if somewhat cryptic, message from dimension X" and instead said "Sir, I don't know what you just gave me, but I'm having a really bad hallucination - maybe you ought to restrain me while you have a good shot at it"


Somehow you think that visions have to be from some other parallel universe that exists in completeness like ours. That seems like a common theme to the statements you have given. A parallel universe is a possibility, yet this conversation is about what's going from the perspective of our brains and how the brain could possibly process such information -- it doesn't matter if the vision was from another universe or this universe.

Even with a completely deteriorated brain, how could someone still possibly experience even this reality let alone any said hallucination. I think the truths of these matters have just been ignored too often.


Anytime I see "third eye" and "see into another dimension" in the paragraph, it's a giveaway that the poster isn't into physics, and is into some offshoot of theosophy, usually the generic term "New Age" applies well.


Logic isn't always physical. I think you, like many physicists, tend to dismiss the possibilities to use the symbols and names of systems simple because they have been associated with metaphysics somehow. It's like being able to use the symbol for the plus sign, but if the plus sign is said to be associated with metaphysics then you would say the process of addition is "new age."


thermal simulation runs


How would it even ever be possible to take some idea out of ones imagination and put it down in some logical means that executes as a simulation... and then go back and say that imagination is a mere hallucination. That is nonsense.


To make the same sort of assumptive leap you just did, you probably think that somewhere in an alternate reality, you're really flying the airplane that you're seeing in the simulator.


The Wright brothers maybe imagined being able to fly around in a plane before there were things to actually fly. If they never got off the ground, it would still be an hallucination in your terms.

Their brain ran a simulation -- not a hallucination.

[edit on 19-5-2010 by dzonatas]



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by dzonatas
 




The Wright brothers maybe imagined being able to fly around in a plane before there were things to actually fly. If they never got off the ground, it would still be an hallucination in your terms.

Their brain ran a simulation -- not a hallucinatio]



You are comparing apples to oranges. Being in a simulator
Is in no way a hallucination.

You are glamorizing a devastating mental illness. There are no hidden messages, or supernatural powers that allow one to peer into the future.

There is disorganized thinking, obtrusive thoughts, thought disorder,
There are delusions of grandeur, paranoia, fear, tying together of several different ideas all with one common theme, voices constantly calling your name, animal sounds, phones ringing. All symptoms causing the person to doubt their reality that much more.

Often their is aggression along with violence.

How am I positive this is caused by a chemical imbalance?

My son has Schizo-affective Disorder. The best of both a severe mood disorder along with the positive signs of schizophrenia. Positive meaning present.

On his meds he is manageable off them his life becomes a living nightmare!

Yes, he is very bright but harboring the secrets to the universe? NO, I don't think so.

Pax


[edit on 19-5-2010 by paxnatus]



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