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Before long we’ll have a body of learning to rival the British Library.
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The outcome -- creativity, mental illness or both -- ultimately depends on other factors, like high IQ or strong memory.

Recent research from Austria builds upon this idea.

D., medical director of the New York State Office of Mental Health. When you have geniuses who have such prominence, like Philip Seymour Hoffman or Robin Williams or John Nash, they make you think that this is more common than it is," said Sederer. Genius is much more rare." The cognitive-neuroscience community is divided on whether a scientific link between creativity and mental illness actually exists.

"One in four people annually in this country has a mental illness that impairs their function. The earliest cited investigation into the issue came from the Italian clinician Cesare Lombroso, who argued in 1888 that "genius and madness were closely connected manifestations of an underlying degenerative neurological disorder," according to the Psychiatric Times.

"When you have all of those traits, it makes you more vulnerable to rejection ...

There's an underlying fundamental way of approaching life and the world that leads to both creativity and vulnerability to mental illness.

He wonders if perhaps researchers are still searching for a link so they'll be able to provide a patient with at least a bit of good news.

POPULAR PERCEPTION In Sawyer's mind, the case is closed: There is no link between creativity and mental illness, and researchers should stop looking for one.Researchers once thought that each of us had one dominant hemisphere of the brain, and that right-brained individuals were more creative while left-brained thinkers were more analytical.But while certain functions take place in particular regions of the brain, research now shows that one side is never entirely dominant.But the problem with defining creativity in this way, argues Keith Sawyer, Ph.D., professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of need to be defined -- meaning researchers often have to use other measures to determine who or what is creative.Measuring creativity is "a necessarily controversial task," she wrote, "given that it requires settling on what creativity actually is." The general consensus in the field is that a creative idea or product is new or original and useful or adaptive, Carson told The Huffington Post, and that a creative person is able to take pieces of information and "recombine them in novel or original ways that are somehow useful or adaptive." Carson's research explores what she calls the middle ground between the researchers who believe a link exists between creativity and mental illness, and the researchers who don't.