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  #31  
Old 09-27-09, 03:23 AM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

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Originally Posted by Nova
And since I don't believe in 'koinkydinks'


You don't believe that two unrelated elements could coincide?

Quote:
If you are functioning well enough to take advantage of the ideas you generate - then you may well gain some creative abilities from from the ADHD.
Or you may not. I haven't seen anyone claim that AD/HD prevents you from being creative. Why would you attribute every positive aspect of your person to AD/HD? Why can't you just be a person who has AD/HD rather than a person who is AD/HD?
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Old 09-27-09, 03:42 AM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

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Originally Posted by inattentiveprof View Post
-Eysenck (Intelligence - A New Look: highly recommended) suggests that a lack of "latent inhibition" characterizes over-inclusive thinking (the mind does not filter out "irrelevant" stimuli), creativity, and also other forms of psychoticism, a factor closely associated with creativity. "Latent inhibition prevents the formation of remote associations." "Hence creativity in the genius, word salad in the schizophrenic." A dopamine system dysfunction may be related to lack of latent inhibition and schizophrenia and is known to be causative of ADHD. Note that schizophrenics are not creative and don't have ADHD, but all these things may be connected to a high "psychoticism" measure, dopamine dysfunction, and lack of latent inhibition. (The argument is much more coherent than I've been able to present in a short paragraph.)

A possible channel for connecting ADHD and creativity is that the executive function deficit, which causes the mind to wander distractibly, may allow for unusual and original ideas to emerge.
This is interesting.

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Originally Posted by Heilman, Nadeau, and Beversdorf (2003)
This article reviews and develops some theories about the neurobiological basis of creative innovation (CI). CI is defined as the ability to understand and express novel orderly relationships. A high level of general intelligence, domainspecific knowledge and special skills are necessary components of creativity. Specialized knowledge is stored in specific portions of the temporal and parietal lobes. Some anatomic studies suggest that talented people might have alterations of specific regions of the posterior neocortical architecture, but further systematic studies are needed. Intelligence, knowledge and special skills, however, are not sufficient for CI. Developing alternative solutions or divergent thinking has been posited to be a critical element of CI, and clinical as well as functional imaging studies suggest that the frontal lobes are important for these activities. The frontal lobes have strong connections with the polymodal and supramodal regions of the temporal and parietal lobes where concepts and knowledge are stored. These connections might selectively inhibit and activate portions of posterior neocortex and thus be important for developing alternative solutions. Although extensive knowledge and divergent thinking together are critical for creativity they alone are insufficient for allowing a person to find the thread that unites. Finding this thread might require the binding of different forms of knowledge, stored in separate cortical modules that have not been previously associated. Thus, CI might require the co-activation and communication between regions of the brain that ordinarily are not strongly connected. The observations that CI often occurs during levels of low arousal and that many people with depression are creative suggests that alterations of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine might be important in CI. High levels of norepinephrine, produced by high rates of locus coeruleus firing, restrict the breadth of concept representations and increase the signal to noise ratio, but low levels of norepinephrine shift the brain toward intrinsic neuronal activation with an increase in the size of distributed concept representations and co-activation across modular networks. In addition to being important in divergent thinking, the frontal lobes are also the primary cortical region that controls the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system. Thus creative people may be endowed with brains that are capable of storing extensive specialized knowledge in their temporoparietal cortex, be capable of frontal mediated divergent thinking and have a special ability to modulate the frontal lobe-locus coeruleus (norepinephrine) system, such that during creative innovation cerebral levels of norepinephrine diminish, leading to the discovery of novel orderly relationships.
This would indicate not an executive functioning deficit, but rather a low arousal state that allows for distributed activation in an otherwise healthy and functional mind, especially one of somebody who is otherwise very intelligent. There is also the heightened capacity to store specialized information and, during these low arousal states, network that specialized knowledge together to draw new connections.

Notably, geniuses rarely, if ever, come up with innovations in fields with which they are not familiar. The great discoveries of the modern era have been by people firmly entrenched in their fields, with highly developed databases of specialized knowledge. Particularly innovative people, such as research scientists, may have multiple fields of specialized knowledge, such as individuals in the field of psycholinguistics, who have specialized knowledge of neurology as well as of linguistics, or individuals in mechanical engineering, who have specialized knowledge in a wide variety of hard sciences.

Polymaths are traditionally a source of innovation. It seems natural that it is because these individuals have vast stores of specialized knowledge in multiple fields that they are able to draw connections from different areas, thus demonstrating creative innovation. I think it would be fallacious to peg these individuals as having some kind of executive dysfunction.



Heilman, K. M., Nadeau, S. E., & Beversdorf, D. O. (2003). Creative innovation: Possible brain mechanisms. Neurocase, 9(5), 369-379. Retrieved from http://neurology.med.ohio-state.edu/...Mechanisms.pdf on September 27, 2009.
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  #33  
Old 09-27-09, 03:52 AM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

First please note the OP posted this three years ago. This thread has been revived several times over the years While some of us are still around many members have moved on.

Second KMiller is right we do have a couple of other threads already in progress that deal with the creative ADD issue. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing {IMHO}

Interesting view about the creative children having sub clinical traits of ADD. Do you mean some creative children may have some thing like a shadow syndrome ?
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  #34  
Old 09-27-09, 04:08 AM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

Defining a shadow syndrome as demonstrating symptoms, but not enough of them to meet the diagnostic criteria for any psychiatric disorder, then yeah, I'd be willing to posit that some (not all, or even most) highly creative people could have shadow syndromes mimicking ADHD.

Is my understanding of the definition correct?
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Old 09-27-09, 05:22 AM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

Yes I think you defined it perfectly
I can sort of see that as well - despite our diversity in perspectives I tend to agree that creativity would be much easier to express with sub clinical traits of ADD but I can also see where others may attribute the same traits to their own creativity.



I believe that severity of ADD traits as well as how they are expressed can enhance or impair the expression of creativity.

I also believe the amount of impairment is greatly influenced by the persons environment. Lets say a pair twins have identical ADHD traits to the same degree but one is in an environments that is more suited for that individuals expression of ADD as the other twin is in an environment for which he/she is ill suited , to me this means that even with the same degree of traits one may be impaired where as the other is not. . .

The confusing aspect of the entire ordeal is that traits that are sub clinical and creative in one environment may be impaired disorder in another.

I am by no means wishy washy At one time I was strict main stream perspective until I met and married a man who manipulated his world to suit his ADHD traits. Although the impairing aspects couldn’t be missed if I were wearing a blind fold drunk , his creativity in surviving is nothing short of creative.
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  #36  
Old 01-19-10, 06:31 PM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

I have to say even though I took my meds this morning I am having a bad concentration day today so I couldn't read all this. I will but I wanted to say I have always wanted to be creative but never could develop anything resembling skill at any of it.
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Old 02-14-10, 09:14 AM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

I've read quite a bit on this subject, and based on personal experience, I'm convinced that as much as ADD can be a liability, it can also be a great asset as well. When I was a young child, I was given several "labels" by my parents, my teachers, and other authority figures. At that age, most children inherently believe that parents and other "respected" adults such as teachers, doctors, ministers, and the like are "all knowing", and whatever they say must be true. I was labeled as "gifted", "talented", "intelligent", and "exceptional", and I was expected by everyone to live up to those expectations. Soon after, I was given other labels like "lazy", "disruptive", "troublemaker", "underachiever", "disrectful", and "antisocial", and I was more than happy to live up to those as well.

I actually was extremely creative as a kid, and I devoted most of my talents to anarchy and rebellion against all rules and authority figures. I hung out a lot with older cousins and by the time I was in 3rd grade, I had mastered the art of "cussing" and had amassed a collection of hard core porn stolen from my cousins that I "rented" to every guy in school. I drew pictures of giant penises in church hymnals and shoplifted from every store in town. I think some of this behavior was due to the fact that I was born in a large metropolitan area, and suddenly found myself living in a small rural town in the deep South when my father left the Marine Corps and moved us to his hometown when I was 7 years old. My best friend in the first grade was an African-American, and a month later I was living in Alabama where segregation was strictly enforced and Southern Baptists ran the town.

I had ADD back then "before it was invented", and symptoms of depression although I didn't know it at the time. Being suddenly trust into a totally different culture and changing schools 3 times in the same grade was a traumatic experience at the time, and being the "new kid" meant having to fight some kid on the playground almost every day. I had come from a better school system, and being the "smartest kid in class" made it even more difficult to fit in. I once failed a test on purpose, and my old man gave me a beating and told me more were coming if I didn't make all A's. I told my shrink about all this stuff in therapy, and she said that although it was a factor in my mental problems, it also helped instill a survival instinct. She may be right, but it also turned a bright, fairly happy kid into a sociopathic anarchist. I eventually adjusted to the culture and actually learned to embrace it.

Getting back to the subject of ADD/depression and creativity, I absolutely believe there is a relationship between the two. I was blessed with the gift of understanding music and the natural ability to pick up any musical instrument and play a song on it within five minutes. When I was a toddler, I lived with my grandparents and uncles most of the time, and I would spend hours listening to all their records. I could hum every song on every record before I learned to talk, and they would always drag me out in front of company and show me off like an organ grinder's monkey, but I liked all the attention.

Like most parents, mine pushed me into formal music training in pre-school, and like a typical kid with ADD, I hated it. I learned to read music for several instruments, and while it helped me communicate with other musicians later on, I really never used it much because it is counter-productive to creativity. I played in an orchestra when I was a teenager, and was constantly chastized by the conductor because I only took my horn home on weekends and memorized the music. He said it wasn't "proper form", and I would never become a professional musician if I didn't do it the "right way".

I later became a proficient guitarist and bass player and spent a couple of years as a studio session player, and I always played by ear. This was in the early '80s, and I dropped by to see him one day. He was making about $300 a week, and I showed him a check for $1,000 that I got for a 4 hour session by playing the "wrong way".

I probably could have made a decent living as a studio hack, but like a typical ADDer, I got bored with it and joined a hard core rock band. It was a blast until I fell into the lifestyle of heavy drug and alcohol abuse which almost killed me. After I got straightened up, I got married, had kids, got a "real" job, bought a house, and even built a home recording studio. You can probably guess what happened next. I hated the job and eventually got fired for showing up late and going through the motions. I got a different job, same story every couple of years. Amazingly, I stayed married for 20 years and raised two wonderful kids, but my wife was intolerant, un-sympathetic, and totally non-supportive of my depression and ADD issues, and constantly accused me of being irresponsible and faking mental illness as an excuse. She also did everything she could to keep me away from my music.

We divorced 8 years ago, and I'm currently unemployed, can't get a decent job, behind on my child support, and about to get kicked out on the street because I had to spend my rent money on meds. The stress has started to take a toll on my mental and physical health, but you know what? I started playing music again a few months ago, and my skill level and song writing are light years ahead of what they were when I stopped. I had dropped out of the whole scene for over 10 years and hadn't played live until a couple of weeks ago when I sat in with some local musicians. It was like I was on automatic pilot, and they said I was "crazy" to not be out there playing with some hot band. Little did they know how much weight that flippant remark held.

I'm no psychological researcher, and this is based on my own subjective experience, but every single truly creative person I have ever known is somewhere outside of what our society defines as "normal".

"Sane" and "normal" are actually terms for people whose brains are wired to conform and stay within mental boundaries, unaware that anything even exists outside of them. Creativity is inate, primal, and emotional. It can't be taught or learned. I don't know if creativity is specifically linked to ADD. For me its a combination of extremely heightened emotional sensitivity related to depression, and the constant bombardment of random thoughts which sprout like tree branches when seen through time lapse photography.
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  #38  
Old 08-18-13, 06:13 PM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

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Originally Posted by KDLMaj View Post
I love that post because I find some of the QEEG studies done on ADHD brainwaves really interesting. It's true- people with ADHD have resting states that are VERY high on the theta activity (which, roughly, indicates underarousal, lack of focus...it's the daydreaming state) and low on the beta activity (the aroused state, focused, task-motivated). What's even more interesting is that when a "normal" person engages in a difficult task, their beta activity increases, and yet when someone with ADHD engages in the same task their theta activity actually increases. So while other people are focusing harder, we're mentally checking out.

I think there's an argument that can be made for consequences of our routinely high theta waves being viewed as creativity. I've often heard remarks, even in otherwise quite academic articles, about how people with ADHD seem to approach things from different sides. It's possible that this is a reflection of our "off-task" thinking. Since we meander around mentally, we often arrive at odd connections between things....
I currently have my 22 year-old nephew living with me, and he has a classic case of ADHD, (PI). In spite of almost failing to graduate from high school, and flunking out of college twice, he is now enrolled in Art School, and making straight A's. He is really seems to have more talent than the rest of his fellow students combined. He is getting straight A's and works on his art homework projects day and night.

Of course, this does not mean everyone with ADHD is creative, but it certainly applies to him.

By the way, two people with bad ADHD living as roommates? Less than ideal in many ways.
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Old 08-18-13, 08:07 PM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

This would tie in well with the neoteny theory behind adhd (put forward in the philosophical thread about choices).

Creativity being a more youthful characteristic.
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Old 08-18-13, 10:56 PM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

When I've told people about my diagnosis's they write them off as just being creative. I'm glad I can be creative and artistic but I'm also very impaired. I have a slower yet haphazard short burst of creativity when I'm not on medication.
Before I was on medication at all it would last longer but be very rare.
On medication it's organised and controlled, although sometimes it can be even more impulsive than if I wasn't on medication.
I'm too aware now that they are manic ideas. Doesn't mean I don't try them out.

I do know a lot of non-ADHD creative people and I do see some similarities. The only difference is impairment. Self-confidence is often crushed by reoccurring failure to follow through or finish a project.

However, finding out that those great artists and inventors in history put things off does give me some confidence.
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Old 08-18-13, 11:21 PM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

im not creative at all. i have trouble thinking of what to do if it's on my own. like i need some semblance of guidance of what i should be doing, like even a general statement/idea. something to work with before i draw stuff.
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Old 08-18-13, 11:24 PM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

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im not creative at all. i have trouble thinking of what to do if it's on my own. like i need some semblance of guidance of what i should be doing, like even a general statement/idea. something to work with before i draw stuff.
Yeah. I require 'sample images' before I can start drawing some things.
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Old 03-20-14, 05:48 PM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

One thing I have noticed is if I am annoyed or something has happened to make me angry, I can suddenly hyperfocus and put everything into perspective, almost in an "I'll show you" kind of way. The problem with that though is after a while it's the hurt or anger which is driving it, which then eventually fades meaning the identity of the idea is gone.
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Old 03-20-14, 10:57 PM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...22103109001115

That paper talks about creativity in the region of divergent thinking(associated with new, novel ideas, a flash of insight rather that collaboration on things we already know) which is heavily associated with ADHD being prompted in people who are social outcasts. Thus, effectively, being outcast your brain adapts to become more creative to find solutions to that problem; and it can hinder collaboration. But, as always we need both.

As divergent thinking is associated more with creativity, as many people with ADHD could deem themselves as 'outcasts', their creativity will be higher. Not directly because of their ADHD, but because their ADHD has potentially resulted in something, that causes this.

Thus, if they didnt have ADHD; they wouldn't be more creative in the divergent thinking region. But once again, environment has played a huge factor in this.

When I've done school training, interestingly quite often we ask teachers "What are the positives of these ADHD children?". Creativity comes up nearly every time.

But perhaps it is not "creativity" as such. It is "difference in thinking", but because it's different to them and they havn't thought of it, it looks like creativity. Who knows. But, there is a lot of research going on in the moment looking at ADHD and creativity, and I don't think it will take long before we can finally have factual information.
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Old 10-25-16, 01:55 AM
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Re: Coincidence of ADHD and Creativity

Wow that was long I did not get through it all #concerta is werring off. However the part I got to were very interesting.
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