Research has shown that neurotic people are highly creative. According to Adam M. Perkins, psychology expert from King’s College, and his colleagues this is because they over-think things and concern themselves with details that most of us overlook, miss, forget, or deliberately ignore.
Neurotic people are know for having pessimistic and negative thoughts even in clam, relaxed circumstances. They will imagine danger, insults, conflicts and threats that don’t exists, and involuntarily come up with fictional scenarios that bring those unpleasant experiences into their surrounding circumstances.
But it’s exactly this distorted view of the world and over-active imagination that allows neurotic people to generate unusual, unique, and outside the box ideas, theories and perceptions.
Brain scans have confirmed that the brains of neurotic people and the brains of average people process emotions differently. The differences were especially visible when the researcher team looked at the default mode network, a network formed by several brain regions.
This network is active when we daydream, reflect on our social relationships and think of our past. It enables us to create a sense of self and to form social templates that help us efficiently interact with other people. However, the default mode network activity can get to be intrusive and even difficult to shut down in people who are battling depression, a mental disorder that neurotic people are vulnerable to.
But several studies have shown that both neurotic people as well as creative people find it difficult to turn off daydreaming, so thoughts keep coming to them. Similar patterns of activity can be observed in the default mode network of both groups.
There are couple of theories that may explain the situation. One says that creative people and neurotic people may be simply reimagining the information in their immediate surroundings, the other says that their brains are coming up with non-existent threats and exploring ways in which to bring them into the immediate surroundings of the person.
The paper was published on August 27, 2015, in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science.
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