17 December 2014

The Genetics of Creativity, Mental Illness and Intelligence

For the week of December 21st, 2014

Creative minds are often associated with both eccentricity and brilliance. But with genius sometimes comes madness; take for example, the famous image of Van Gogh, the brilliant yet self-destructive painter. Recently, however, have scientists started to uncover what connects and differentiates mental illness and genius, and the role our environment plays in shaping our personality. On this week’s Access Minnesota, we talk with University of Minnesota Psycholoy PhD Candidate Rachael Grazioplene about the intersection of genetics, creativity, and intelligence.

  • Part 1

    Part 1
    (1:27) The Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavioral Genetics program at the University of Minnesota; (2:25) Grazioplene’s research; (3:43) The difficulty with research in this field; (5:30) The complications involved in isolating traits in genes; (6:38) How genes associated with illness can, in low doses , be valuable; (7:45) Environmental effects on genes; (9:19) A person’s openness to experience is a big predictor of creativity

  • Part 2

    Part 2
    (:39) When a trait is beneficial and when it is problematic; (2:11) The link between genius and schizophrenia; (3:58) The different cultural perspectives of schizophrenia; (7:27) The argument of nature versus nurture; (9:00) The possibility of testing for genetic risk factors; (11:07) Environmental factors have bigger impacts earlier in life