Mood Disorders and Creativity

Natalia Jaworska, Georg Northoff

研究成果: 書貢獻/報告類型章節


In a broader cultural sense, mood disorders, particularly major depressive disorders (MDD) and bipolar disorders (BD), have been linked with greater creativity. However, empirical evidence for this relation is relatively scant. Nevertheless, existing data do suggest that highly creative individuals appear to display a higher incidence of mood disorders than their less creative counterparts. Creativity may also be somewhat higher in individuals with certain types of BD features. Current theories indicate that BD, which is comprised of manic or hypomanic and depressive episodes, may be more likely to be associated with creative thought and expression than depression. This may be because certain personality traits (e.g., novelty seeking) and psychological features (e.g., motivation and ambition), which are over-represented in BD, might be more conducive towards creative endeavours. On the other hand, depressed states may be favourable for introspection, which could, indirectly, lead to greater creativity when depression symptoms abate. From a neural perspective, a complex phenomenon such as creativity is likely subserved by interacting brain regional activity and networks. The same is true of mood disorders, which are largely characterized by a disturbed balance in activity within and between specific regions, and the networks that subserve them. Most consistently, the default mode network (DMN), has been implicated in mood disorders, and its activity has been linked with creativity. However, while the DMN may play an important link between creativity and mood disorders, it is unlikely to be the sole (or even key) element from a brain substrate perspective. Rather, creativity and mood disorders (i.e., highly complex phenomena) are likely underscored by modulations across the brain’s networks/activity (i.e., ‘whole brain phenomenon’), which are, in turn, driven by altered neurotransmitter activity (particularly, monoamine system function). In this chapter, we will explore the link between mood disorders and creativity by highlighting personality features, psychological phenomena and motivational aspects which could account for this link; we conclude by discussing some of the proposed underlying neuronal aspects linking creativity with mood disorders.

主出版物標題Current Clinical Neurology
發行者Humana Press Inc.
出版狀態已發佈 - 2023


名字Current Clinical Neurology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 神經病學(臨床)


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