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Creative genius driven by distraction

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posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 05:27 AM

New research provides the first physiological evidence that real-world creativity may be associated with a reduced ability to filter "irrelevant" sensory information.

The literary great Marcel Proust wore ear-stoppers because he was unable to filter out irrelevant noise -- and lined his bedroom with cork to attenuate sound. Now new Northwestern University research suggests why the inability to shut out competing sensory information while focusing on the creative project at hand might have been so acute for geniuses such as Proust, Franz Kafka, Charles Darwin, Anton Chekhov and many others.

Reading this article brought on a great deal of emotion for such a scholarly work. I guess it is because it so describes a number of events in my own life. When you are a child genius seems more of a curse than a blessing. An inability to communicate the vast data you are aware of to others is daunting at best. Read the article and post here how you can relate to it.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 05:53 AM
a reply to: machineintelligence

It sounds very much to me as if there are autistic traits strung throughout this story, and the lives of the people mentioned in the quote you posted. The inability to filter information along a narrow channel, when there is an abundance of sensory data to deal with, would seem indicative of that condition.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 06:04 AM
a reply to: machineintelligence

Could not r e s i s t ...

Creativity comes when Im not looking
It arrives at the door half formed
I look it up and down and invite it in
then proceed to shape it some more

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 08:09 AM
a reply to: machineintelligence

I am not trying to lay claim to any "genius" grade thinking but, I do find I am able to keep a stronger train of thought when under the greatest amount of pressure. This is also true when there is a lot of noise and activity going on around me.
I guess its got a lot to do with the environment in which you grow up.
It may also be because I am lazy and put everthing off till the last minute and don't pay much attention to my surroundings either.

Oh. And yes I know this is directly opposite of the finding sof this study.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 08:26 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Not sure man, Autism is a lot more Severe than shutting out distractions.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 09:06 AM
You have to learn to work with ADD and control it to get the benefits out of it. Now, the common thing to do nowadays is drug up the kids to kill their creativity.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 10:13 AM
a reply to: rickymouse

When I was a kid they did not have names put to what are now considered learning disorders. They tested my IQ at an early age to try and figure me out. I scored pretty high. Not quite Einstein but way past my peers. One thing that helped the most was putting in ear plugs to drown out the background noise of the school which I found down right debilitating.

If my teachers ask me a question I had to pull out the ear plugs but to answer I had to have them in or the noise of the rest of the school was just too much on top of the mental noise of so many other minds so near by. It wasn't just the audible noise, it was that on top of the mental noise I also was picking up that made it hard to focus.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 10:59 AM
a reply to: machineintelligence

From parts of your last reply, I can tell we did not go to the same school. The "mental noise" levels at my school would likely register in the negitive ranges. I took some of those, so called IQ tests when I was a kid. I recall spending most of my time waiting on the testers to call time. To me there had to be better things to do than to sit watching their watches.
Scored 165, if I rememer right. Never figured out what all the fuss was about.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 02:20 PM
a reply to: teamcommander

One of the differences between myself and others I observed back then was most of them had a non stop mental talk going on in their heads. I could observe this because my mind was quiet and as such picked up this mental cacophony from the energy fields around me produced by other children's minds. I felt like a different species due to the utter lack on others part to have this same type of mental / psychic functioning. Since that time I have by necessity developed filters to screen out this information stream. It has uses in avoiding conflict from those who would be hostile to me but I hardly use this information for anything but self defense now days.

I can sit close to someone within arms length and quiet my mind and if I chose I can plug my mind into the other person's self talk. I can use this for diagnoses of a problem they are having using my intuition. Other than this I turn it off like a channel that is always too loud and unsettling to listen to.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 02:38 PM
a reply to: machineintelligence

It would come as no suprise to me if many ATSers can relate to instances or parts of this.

Most of us here have curious minds and that alone sets us apart from the pack. Weather or not our ideas are accurate or right or agreeable is an entirely different story.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 05:32 PM
a reply to: AnuTyr
You are absolutely right, Autism does involve more serious symptomology... Sometimes.

There are many strata, such a wide spectrum of things that fall into that family of conditions, and not all of them are as obvious as the sort of cases which make headlines.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 07:14 PM
Interesting article. I kind of wish it was more comprehensive.

I'm curious how unusual my creative process is..I have to create a "unique space" completely designed for the task at hand. It can span anything from rearranging a room with only task-related ornaments and books present to having to go to a special cafe or nature spot where I feel all dynamic elements are present for helping to channel that particular creative pursuit.

If all those external variables are not in balance or present in the right configuration, I can't write for diddly-squat.

It's slightly maddening at times.

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 07:28 PM
a reply to: machineintelligence

Wonder if there is a link with the theory that left side of the brain is sort of a logical automaton dedicated at controlling the body and the right hemisphere is where all the thinking is suposed to happen, where intuition come from, but as education have progressed, are being teached to ignore.

Bicameralism (psychology)

posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 08:52 PM
i run a fan in my bedroom and one in the livingroom with the sole purpose of blocking external stimulus....

.... or as i prefer to say: to help me define the boundary of the space i occupy.

i wear earplugs and an eyemask to sleep, and always carry a set of earplugs with me in my day-bag. i could not survive a trip to the WalMart without them.

but most importantly, the majority of my insightful work is performed during the first two or three hours upon waking, during which i am wearing eyemask and earplugs and am relaxed and immobile.... or, as quoted from the study:

"I need solitude for my writing; not 'like a hermit' -- that wouldn't be enough -- but like a dead man."

((i have been labeled many times with the term "genius". apologetics aside, i am not afraid to self-identify with the same.))

posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 08:08 PM
a reply to: tgidkp

I really hope you never get Tinnitus. Then earplugs and silence become your greatest enemy.
...My greatest enemy. The thing is, i used to love silence.

posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 12:37 AM
a reply to: Heruactic

I really hope you are able to overcome Tinnitus. I dealt with it for a while as a kid and for sometime as an adult. I became able with training to increase or decrease my awareness or focus on my body processes like blood flow through the area of my Eustachian tubes, opening my Eustachian tubes, control of my blood pressure. These helped me with this issue but if untreated long enough it is hard to reverse the symptoms.

posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 01:00 AM
It's a little different for me. I'm consciously aware of the the conscious and unconscious aspects of your brains. Without instruction or intention, the human brain will constantly think "thoughts". Without meditation I cannot control this. However..

The key is in not controlling it at all.

Sometimes you have to stop trying to control your thoughts. You don't have to " try " to think, your brain does it anyways. I like to listen to my thoughts. I know it sounds weird but I listen to what my brain thinks about so I'm technically always distracted but, I'm often referred to as a creative individual. The more sensory stimuli the better.

Idk.. Maybe I'm not making any sense.

posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 11:27 AM
This is probably why I'm asocial other than the internet, crowds and areas with a lot of chatter tend to be a bit overwhelming. Things either have to be quiet or some environment I have a bit of control over. Also I can be a bit scatter-brained at times unless something really peaks my interest. Problem is it makes staying focused for things like finding a better job hard (would love to be doing graphic design work somewhere), so I'm still stuck in a transportation job driving for mere peanuts. At least it sorta works for that job too, as most idiot drivers out there don't escape my attention enough for me to see and avoid them. But making use of this awareness of things moving around can be a bit more stressful than what I'd rather be doing, I really do like messing around with visually orientated stuff on computers doing illustrations and 3D stuff.

posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 06:15 PM
a reply to: machineintelligence

It is something i have grown accustomed to. Car engine noise or Rain noise when i go to sleep, takes my mind off it. During the day it just depends on what i am doing. Mostly its just that thing in the background that i never focus on.

Hardest part is when you go to sleep. One ear is always on a pillow and hears the "sounds". Have to just ignore it and go to your happy place as you fall asleep.

Some people say "just sleep on your back", issue resolved, easier said than done when its driven by a habit to sleep in most comfortable position. Problem only gets worse when you have a girlfriend or wife who does not have tinnitus and she does not like that sound or ambiance you keep playing when you go to sleep.

Tinnitus is one of those things that is likely to fade in the anal of history in 50-100 years of tech development. But for now, for those with it, its annoying... Very annoying. Oh how i miss silence...

P.S. imagine if you will, a convict with tinnitus in a solitary cell. That is how you drive someone insane.

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