The article suggests these genomic variants can be associated either to psychiatric illness or to creativity. One of the interesting points made in this both very technical and very specialized study is that it enables us to recognize not only that a genetic architecture that predisposes patients to psychiatric illness also makes them susceptible to creativity, but also that this combination was beneficial to humanity, as shown by its maintenance during evolution.
But where does creativity come from? Does it really stem from a genetic constellation? Or could it be an indirect product of the out-of-touch quality that madness entails? After all, creativity and psychiatric illness are classically presented as closely linked, even coincident or deriving one from the other.
The major question in the study is thus that of causality; is creativity linked to genetic factors, or, conversely, does it stem from the illness these factors produce, an illness that affects the subject’s relationship with reality in such a way he/she is capable of inventing another?
But beyond the study’s findings and the questions that derive from it, shouldn’t we explore a third course and consider creativity as the result of a singular, contingent, unpredictable and undetermined surge? One that neither genetics nor psychiatric illness can explain.
1 Joaquin Salvador Lavado Tejon, QUINO, argentinian cartoonist , creator of “Mafalda”. “Mafalda”, Quino, Ed. Lumen.