Video: Nervous Because Creative - Research
Each of us has such a friend, acquaintance or relative - he is constantly nervous, worried and upset about and without, and literally invents problems out of the blue. Scientists believe that it is precisely in this - the ability to invent - that matters.
Indeed, a rare genius did without depression and neuroses. These sad statistics inspired the authors of a new hypothesis published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science: they assume that the same brain area is responsible for generating ideas and neurotic states.
The most popular explanation of why some of us are prone to neuroses has come from British psychologist Jeffrey Gray. In his opinion, anxious people have a heightened sense of danger. He came to this conclusion when the results of a study showed how anti-anxiety drugs reduce the sensitivity of rodents to painful stimuli and help calm patients with mental illness.
However, according to the lead author of a recent publication, Adam Perkins, who studies personality at King's College London, this theory does not fully understand the problem - at least, it is difficult to apply, for example, to those cases when a person experiences negative emotions without objective reasons. and the danger as such is not even foreseen. In addition, there are many examples where neuroticism is closely related to creativity - so why does a heightened perception of threat help to come up with original ideas?
One of the co-authors of the scientific work, neuropsychologist Jonathan Smallwood, shared the results of his research, which in many ways contributed to the emergence of a new hypothesis. Those participants in his experiment who at rest experienced spontaneous negative emotions (which is a key marker of neuroticism), there was an increased activity of the brain areas responsible for the conscious perception of danger.
Perkins found that those who suffer from an abundance of negative experiences caused by high levels of spontaneous activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and tend to panic much earlier than the average person. The reason for this, according to Perkins, is the especially high rate of processes in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. In other words, it is these processes that influence the fact that negative emotions can arise even in those cases when there are no real prerequisites for them. This means that neurotic individuals have a very rich imagination, which actually acts as a built-in generator of possible threats.
Another co-author Danilo Arnon is convinced that the new cognitive model can help in understanding the mental patterns of depression. In addition, the innovative hypothesis shows the positive aspects of the neurotic nature - after all, it turns out that creative ideas may be a consequence of the fact that the “happy owner” of this personality make it spend much more time on experiences than others.