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When reading the biography of renowned personalities (recognized as "geniuses" ), such as great mathematicians, painter or poets, we are surprised by the fact that great portion of this "population" have developed Schizophrenia disorder (for instance the well-know mathematician John NASH).

Is there a proven correlation between schizophrenia(or other mental disorders) and genius, and did this disorder push the cognitive abilities of these personalities to higher limits?

You may say that these personalities have developed this disorder as a consequence of being addicted to drugs or any other not healthy style of life,but what i mean is that schizophrenia was first then they were genius (and this can be generalized to other disorders such as epilepsy).

"Nietzsche","Van Gogh" and "Guy de Maupassant" were paradoxically as creative and productive as they were developing some type of mental disorder !

yes ,i know this is weird but let me reframe my question as :

is it possible that a mental affection modify the way our brain works to make it better even with some side effects ?

[so,can we see some day this disorders as some type of "misunderstood brain expressions",a brain that tries to be better... ]

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There is a correlation between schizophrenia and some type of drug addiction, whether this is more noticeable amongst geniuses because of the public attention some may get, or there is a larger proportion of drug taking geniuses, would be interesting to know –  user3543 Nov 1 '13 at 4:31
Kurt Gödel and Georg Cantor were also "geniuses" with some kind of mental "disorder" (loosely speaking) but that doesn't prove any myth about crazy genius. –  Niklas in Stockholm Nov 1 '13 at 13:58
Sounds like you're more interested in mental disorders and intelligence (not just schizophrenia). One factor is that aspects of mental disorders can contribute to creative intelligence. For example, a disordered brain may produce more lateral pattern matching (connecting disparate phenomena), which can in certain circumstances be considered as increased creativity. Or another example, consider latent inhibition (how capable is the brain of ignoring already-processed stimuli). So there are certainly aspects that can contribute to both mental disorder and "measures of intelligence". –  BenCole Nov 4 '13 at 14:18
Also, there are also correlations between increased intelligence and drug use (to counter-set the point of drug use and schizophrenia being correlated). –  BenCole Nov 4 '13 at 14:20
There has been a lot of research on the topic of the correlation between creativity and the schizophrenia. Cf. the special issue of the Creativity Research Journal edited by Louis A. Sass (author of the relevant Madness and Modernism, Harvard University Press, 1992): tandfonline.com/toc/hcrj20/13/1#.U_2makiUTBJ –  José Porcher Aug 27 '14 at 9:37

2 Answers 2

It is to be noted that if you have a very complex piece of abstract art, and you view this art on a computer monitor, but the screen resolution has been reduced to a mere 640x480, then you most likely will not be able to make heads or tails of the picture itself. Thus, if complex events occur in our reality, they may be too complex for average people to see as a whole, as a singularity, all this due to the limited resolution of the human mind itself.

Thus the average person will only see a display of bizarre fragmented pieces.

Meanwhile, the more advanced mind will see this holistically, rather than just see mere pieces of it. Thus to the more advanced mind, who sees it as a whole, it seems incredibly simple and obvious. Despite this, there is no way to then describe it holistically to the average person.

In turn, in such a case, what the advanced see, is what can not be seen by the average person. In turn, the average folk will classify what the advanced claim to see, or grasp, as being nothing but the outcome of a delusion or hallucination.

This kind of an event being present at a time when true hallucinations are also existing, puts the topic of hallucinations on shaky grounds.

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This is more of a critical note on human perception. –  AliceD Feb 6 at 20:35

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At the beginning, if one's intellect was above the " G1" level, and one believed that the world was not flat but that the world was round, then clearly this person is INSANE according to the masses, because he has surpassed the fine line at the Genius level. However, for some bizarre reason he is considered to be sane at a later period, after his claims were proven to be correct.

Later on, several men who are INSANE according to the masses, men who's intellect was above the " G2" level, claimed that man could create machines that can move at speeds that surpass the speed of sound. However, for some bizarre reason they were considered to be sane at a later period, after this claim became true.

Later on, several men who are INSANE according to the masses, men who's intellect was above the " G3" level, claimed that man could create machines that could put man on the moon. However, for some bizarre reason they were considered to be sane at a later period, after this claim became true.

What is today's " G4" level ?
Are those above the current definition of a GENIUS to be classified as being INSANE?

The point being made here, is that currently there is no difference being noticed between those whom are well advanced beyond the norm, and those whom are detached from reality.

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Welcome to Cognitive Sciences and Stack Exchange in general Sean! I deleted your comment since it did not have anything to do with this question. Please consult the help section to get a better understanding of how this Q&A site works. We only accept posts/comments which are on-topic. A side-comment linking to your YouTube account is totally irrelevant which I considered self-promotion, hence it got removed. –  Steven Jeuris Feb 6 at 15:13
Yes I understand. When one is confined to the boundaries of specific topics, it becomes absolutely impossible to answer the question in the absolute measure, since "absolute" sits beyond the reach of "confinement". However, this banning of absolute understanding and absolute knowing is still ongoing at this time and thus we are currently stuck with it. –  Sean Feb 6 at 15:19

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