As the brain of the madmen, the brain of the artists opens the doors of the perception.
North American psychologists think of having detected one of the biological foundations of the creativity. As the psychotics, the most creative individuals tend to pay more attention on the commonplace events of the life. For the researchers, this relationship comes from a common cognitive peculiarity: a deficit " of the latent inhibition ", fundamental neurological process which allows the animals to make a sorting among stimuli treated by the brain.
The latent inhibition is the opposite of the conditioning: every individual learns to react only to the perceptions which have consequences for him. It allows us to concentrate normally on our vital needs and to ignore the "background noise" of our environment. The intensity of this inhibition can be modulated by certain drugs.
Several researches demonstrated that certain psychoses are associated with a deficit of the latent inhibition (DLI). The incapacity "to sort out" its own perceptions would explain the confusion and the fear felt by the big psychotics. Jordan Peterson, of the University of Toronto, wanted to verify if this deficit could not also explain the biggest sensibility of the artists.
Confusion or omniscience
With Shelley Carson and Daniel Higgins, of the University of Harvard, he was able to establish that the intensity of the latent inhibition at the tested students was conversely proportional in their implication in creative activities. In their sample of subjects of less than 21 years old, the researchers discovered that the persons devoting to an artistic practice have seven times more chance to be one degree of latent inhibition significantly lower than the normal.
For the researchers, who published these results in the review: "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology", a DLI can have a positive effect to the subjects possessing a strong Intelligence quotient. For lack of measuring the intelligence, the QI is a good indicator of the memory capacities and concentration, thus the capacity of the individual to integrate information. For the psychologists, among the persons having a DLI, those who have an important QI have more chance to take advantage of their "plus" of sensation, what allows them to have a finer consciousness of their environment.
However, this neurological predisposition in the creativity has a cost: a bigger tendency to the mental confusion and a predisposition in the psychosis. Peterson, does not hesitate to advance "not only identified one of the biological bases of the creativity, but also contributed to drill one of the big mysteries of the humanity: the relation between the genius, the madness and the doors of the perception"...