Das kreative Schizo-Gen

Vor einer Weile bloggte ich einen Artikel über Kreativität und Wahnsinn, hier quasi der Nachfolger dazu beim Newscientist: Kreativität liegt in einer ganz bestimmten Genmutation begründet, die auch für Schizophrenie verantwortlich ist.

We're all familiar with the stereotype of the tortured artist. Salvador Dali's various disorders and Sylvia Plath's depression spring to mind. Now new research seems to show why: a genetic mutation linked to psychosis and schizophrenia also influences creativity.

The finding could help to explain why mutations that increase a person's risk of developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar syndrome have been preserved, even preferred, during human evolution, says Szabolcs Kéri, a researcher at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, who carried out the study.

Kéri examined a gene involved in brain development called neuregulin 1, which previous studies have linked to a slightly increased risk of schizophrenia. Moreover, a single DNA letter mutation that affects how much of the neuregulin 1 protein is made in the brain has been linked to psychosis, poor memory and sensitivity to criticism.

About 50 per cent of healthy Europeans have one copy of this mutation, while 15 per cent possess two copies.

To determine how these variations affect creativity, Kéri genotyped 200 adults who responded to adverts seeking creative and accomplished volunteers. He also gave the volunteers two tests of creative thinking, and devised an objective score of their creative achievements, such as filing a patent or writing a book.

People with two copies of the neuregulin 1 mutation – about 12 per cent of the study participants – tended to score notably higher on these measures of creativity, compared with other volunteers with one or no copy of the mutation. Those with one copy were also judged to be more creative, on average, than volunteers without the mutation. All told, the mutation explained between 3 and 8 per cent of the differences in creativity, Kéri says.

Artistic tendencies linked to 'schizophrenia gene' (via /.)

Vorher auf Nerdcore:
Artikel über Kreativität und Wahnsinn