Re: [biopoet] The Psychological Disorder Game
Re: [biopoet] The Psychological Disorder Game
on 8/5/06 1:02 PM, Mike Tintner at andarot@... wrote:
A game that literati should be good at.
Take any psychological disorder or problem as recognized by scientific psychology or psychiatry, and find a literary work that illustrates and ideally explains it - even if only intuitively and in a particular case.. I've given myself an easy example. There was the woman who suffered from severe anxiety attacks, insomnia and nightmares. Rather puzzling at first. Except that she was Lady Macbeth.
William L. Benzon, Ph. D.
708 Jersey Avenue, Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Mind-Culture Coevolution: http://asweknowit.ca/evcult/
A game that literati should be good at....
ADHD? Depression? Fits of aggression? Obsessional compulsive disorder? Anxiety attacks? Etc.?
You probably know of the brilliant novel by Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. There is no finer description of one form of autism; indeed a textbook on the subject.
Less well known, and yet to my mind one of the finest writers of all time, Gerard de Nerval. His Aurelia is a must-read for any number of reasons, but for the purposes of this post, a remarkable insight into a form schizophrenia in first person. The Three Maria's is another novel about another form of schizophrenia.
Perhaps not exactly in the category of this game, but a book that was very helpful to me in earlier researches was The Inner World of Mental Illness, edited by Bert Kaplan, subtitled, "A series of first person accounts of what it was like." My edition is from 1964.
The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski, and Fragments by Binjamin Wilkomirsky both document, among other things the effects of extreme trauma.
Hunter Thompson for various illnesses, many induced, but especially paranoia. Also Othello for paranoia/jealousy and sociopathic envy/hate.
Fits of aggression: the classic, and intended to address just this subject: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury is written from the perspective of 3 different troubled minds. Been a while since I read it, but the Quentin section for obsession and depression, for sure; the Benjy section for downs syndrome (?); and the Jason section -- meanness, maybe <smile>.
J. Huysmans, Against Nature. Awesome book. Obsessive compulsive, I think.
Eddie Poe and Johnny Swift explore lots of pretty strange states with monstrously fine talent.
Got a great laugh, from William Benzon's post: ADHD: Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, altho, honestly speaking, I would disagree. Perhaps Tom Sawyer was delusional, but I'd say Huck Finn has about the soundest mind of any character in literature!
all the best,
The trueth iz a thred, it maezlike weev
Akross the mobeyus warp ov yur Addom
And its Shaddiy Seel, wun an the same.
from Pardaes Dokkumen (work in progress)
- There's an essay on autism and Bartleby available on the Net.
--- In email@example.com, Mike Tintner <andarot@...> wrote:
> A game that literati should be good at.
> Take any psychological disorder or problem as recognized by
scientific psychology or psychiatry, and find a literary work that
illustrates and ideally explains it - even if only intuitively and in a
particular case.. I've given myself an easy example. There was the
woman who suffered from severe anxiety attacks, insomnia and
nightmares. Rather puzzling at first. Except that she was Lady Macbeth.
> ADHD? Depression? Fits of aggression? Obsessional compulsive
disorder? Anxiety attacks? Etc.?
- Thanks for all replies.
Yes, I thought of Tom Sawyer too - the fence painting scene for me,
shows that anything, even watching paint dry, can be fascinating if
framed correctly, and in that way questions ADHD.
Thanks, Stephen, for various suggestions. Huysmans doesn't strike me
as obsessive compulsive - that's repeating mundane rituals, no? But
the consequences of his solitary aesthete's lifestyle for his nerves,
(not very sketched in), perhaps relate very loosely to the example I
Thanks also for autism/ Bartleby suggestion.
Underlying the "game" is a serious idea, which is that most
psychiatric problems simply don't make much sense WITHOUT
illustrations from the dramatic/ narrative arts. Psychiatrists
themselves have a hard time agreeing about them. Think of borderline
personality disorder. Any suggestions?
Here's another interesting example that came from a lit-med group I
put the game to - a novel about temporary lobe epilepsy and visions,
which although I have no experience of such matters, seems to suggest
an obvious explanation: anyone who so cuts themself off from the world
like the nun heroine is liable to such problems.
In his third novel, Lying Awake, Mark Salzman breaks the primary rule
of fiction by creating a protagonist who has virtually no external
life. Sister John of the Cross, a middle-aged nun cloistered in a
Carmelite monastery in contemporary Los Angeles, languished for years
in a spiritual drought--"her prayers empty and her soul dry"--until
she suddenly received God's grace in the form of intense mystical
visions. So vivid have her visions become that they burn a kind of
afterglow into her mind that she transcribes into crystalline (and
highly popular) verse. The only downside is that they are accompanied
by excruciating headaches that cause her to black out.
The story hinges on Sister John's discovery that her visions are in
fact the result of mild epileptic seizures. As she learns from her
neurologist, temporal-lobe epilepsy commonly brings about
"hypergraphia (voluminous writing), an intensification but also a
narrowing of emotional response, and an obsessive interest in religion
and philosophy." Dostoyevsky, the classic victim of this condition,
wrote of his raptures: "There are moments, and it is only a matter of
five or six seconds, when you feel the presence of eternal harmony....
If this state were to last more than five seconds, the soul could not
endure it and would have to disappear." An exact description of Sister
John's visions. The question she now faces is whether to go ahead with
surgery--and risk obliterating both her spiritual life and her art--or
cling to a state of grace that may actually be a delusion ignited by
an electrochemical imbalance.
Using a very limited palette, Mark Salzman creates an austere
masterpiece. The real miracle of Lying Awake is that it works
perfectly on every level: on the realistic surface, it captures the
petty squabbles and tiny bursts of radiance of life in a Los Angeles
monastery; deeper down it probes the nature of spiritual illumination
and the meaning and purpose of prayer in everyday life; and, at
bottom, there lurks a profound meditation on the mystery of artistic
inspiration. Salzman made a highly auspicious debut in 1986 with Iron
and Silk, a memoir of his years in China, and since then he has
dramatically changed key in every book--most recently from the
absurdist American suburban chronicle of Lost in Place to the
artistic-crisis-cum-courtroom-drama novel The Soloist. Lying Awake is
quieter and more sober than Salzman's previous narratives, but it is
also more accomplished, more thought-provoking, and more highly
crafted. --David Laskin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Mysticism meets modern medicine in this intriguing r?cit of a nun's
dark night of the soul. It's 1997, and Sister John of the Cross, a
Carmelite nun in a monastery just outside Los Angeles, seeks treatment
for epilepsy, although the remedy threatens to diminish her formidable
spiritual powers. The Carmelites place heavy emphasis on prayer, and
over the years this discipline has helped Sister John to develop
miraculous visionary gifts. When severe headaches precipitate a
collapse that requires medical intervention, Sister John finds the
process starkly juxtaposed against her centuries-old traditions: she
discovers it's almost impossible to discuss infused contemplation with
a neurologist. Is her continual prayer "hyperreligiosity"?; her choice
to remain celibate "hyposexuality"?; her will to control her body
"anorexia"? Although she accepts a CT scan and its diagnosis, Sister
John determines that faith offers a more substantial, meaningful
reality. Written with simple elegance, alternating narrative and
prayer, the tale is engaging yet maintains a curious emotional
elusiveness. A drama centering on the realm of mysticism is bound to
be difficult to describe and, like Ron Hansen's Mariette in Ecstasy,
this story doesn't aim to render the nun's spiritual life and psyche
in accessible terms for lay readers. What Salzman conveys with perfect
clarity is that momentary, extraordinary mental state in which
physical pain becomes pure, lucid grace poised between corporeal
reality and eternity, a state that Sister John desires to prolong for
a lifetime. Salzman's talent for calling forth the details and essence
of unfamiliar realms is well known: his memoir, Iron & Silk, was
acclaimed for its deft rendering of life in China, no less authentic
for being written by an outsider. With this third novel (after The
Soloist), the author continues to surprise with his unorthodox choices
and consistently challenging themes, story lines and characters. Eight
illus. by Stephanie Shieldhouse. (Sept.) FYI: The Soloist was a
finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction.
The Vision of the Chariot: Transcendent Experience and Temporal Lobe
Temporal lobe epilepsy has been linked to divine encounters, artistic
creation and fearful visitations from other realms. Pickover examines
some of the implications of current research into this mysterious disease.
by Clifford Pickover
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1999Temporal lobe epilepsy has often been linked to
a variety of transcendent experiences: ecstatic communion with the
divine, epiphanies of artistic creation, fearful encounters with alien
beings. Clifford Pickover examines some of the implications of current
research now shedding light on the terrors and wonders of this
Treading the Labyrinth
"With TLE, I see things slightly different than before. I have visions
and images that normal people don't have. Some of my seizures are like
entering another dimension, the closest to religious or spiritual
feelings I've ever had. Epilepsy has given me a rare vision and
insight into myself, and sometimes beyond myself, and it has played to
my creative side. Without TLE, I would not have begun to sculpt."
This testimony comes from a woman who suffers from and, obviously,
often exults in temporal lobe epilepsy. This condition (TLE, for
short), is caused by unusual electrical activity in the brain's
temporal lobes A significant proportion of people with TLE report that
their seizures often bring on extraordinary experiences of
transcendent wonder, luminous insight or, at times, harrowing,
Take, for example, the numerous reported cases of "alien abduction."
TLE researcher Eve LaPlante has noted that many abductees feel mild,
epileptic-like symptoms just before they are "captured." Some
abductees feel heat on one side of their faces, hear a ringing in
their ears, and see flashes of light prior to an abduction. Others
report a cessation of sound and feeling, or an overwhelming feeling of
apprehension. All of this is typical of certain kinds of epileptic
seizures. In fact, LaPlante suggests that the most famous abductee of
our time, best-selling author Whitley Strieber, suffers from TLE.
In 1987, Strieber wrote the book Communion which described his
abduction by 3 1/2 foot aliens with two dark holes for eyes. In his
account, Strieber exhibits various symptoms of TLE: jamais vu (the
feeling of never having been in what should be a familiar place the
opposite of deja vu); formication (feeling bugs crawling under the
skin); vivid smells, hallucinations, rapid heartbeats, the sensation
of rising and falling, and partial amnesia. Magnetic resonance imaging
of Strieber's brain has revealed "occasional punctate foci of high
signal intensity" in his left temporoparietal region, which is
suggestive of scarring that could lead to TLE.
Such alien abduction stories can tell us about the workings of the
mind. Michael Persinger, a neuroscientist at Laurentian University in
Sudbury, Ontario, found that people with frequent bursts of electrical
activity in their temporal lobes report sensations of flying,
floating, or leaving the body, as well as other mystical experiences.
By applying magnetic fields to the brain, he can also induce odd
mental experiences possibly caused by bursts of neuron firing in the
temporal lobes. For example, he has made people feel as if two alien
hands grabbed their shoulders and distorted their legs when he applied
magnetic fields to their brains.
Our modern fasicnation with other such phenomena, such as ESP,
past-life regression, and out-of-the-body experiences, may also be the
result of mild, undiagnosed TLE. It's a fertile field, awaiting more
research to bring such mysteries out of the realm of the "paranormal"
and into the fascinating labyrinth of the brain.
Fear and Trembling
Has TLE changed the course of civilization? LaPlante and many other
TLE experts speculate that the mystical religious experiences of some
of the great prophets were induced by TLE because the historical
writings describe classic TLE symptoms. The religious prophets most
often thought to have had epilepsy are Mohammad, Moses, and St. Paul.
Dostoevsky, another famous epileptic whose works are filled with
ecstatic visions of universal love (and terrible nightmares of uncanny
fear and radical evil), thought it was obvious that Mohammad's visions
of God were triggered by epilepsy. "Mohammad assures us in this Koran
that he had seen Paradise," Doestevsky notes. "He did not lie. He had
indeed been in Paradise during an attack of epilepsy, from which he
suffered, as I do."
When Mohammad first had his visions of God, he felt oppressed,
smothered, as if his breath were being squeezed from his chest. Later
he heard a voice calling his name, but when he turned to find the
source of the voice, no one was there. The local Christians, Jews, and
Arabs called him insane. When he was five years old, he told his
foster parents, "Two men in white raiment came and threw me down and
opened up my belly and searched inside for I don't know what." This
description is startling similar to the alien abduction experience
described by people with TLE.
Note that the overriding emotion experienced by Mohammed, Moses and
St. Paul during their religious visions was not one of rapture and joy
but rather of fear. When Moses heard the voice of God from a burning
bush, he hid his face and was frightened. Luke and Paul both agreed
that Paul suffered from an unknown "illness" or "bodily weakness"
which he called his "thorn in the flesh." Many biblical commentators
have attributed this to either migraine headaches or epilepsy. Paul
did once have malaria, which involves a high fever that can damage the
brain. Other psychologists have noted that likely TLE sufferers such
as Moses, Flaubert, Saint Paul, and Dostevesky were also famous for
However, psychologist William James has argued that religious states
are not less profound simply because they can be induced by mental
"Even more perhaps than other kinds of genius, religious leaders have
been subject to abnormal psychical visitations. Invariably they have
been creatures of exalted emotional sensitivity liable to obsessions
and fixed ideas; and frequently they have fallen into trances, heard
voices, seen visions, and presented all sorts of peculiarities which
are ordinarily classed as pathological. Often, moreover, these
pathological features have helped to give them their religious
authority and influence. To plead the organic causation of a religious
state of mind in refutation of its claim to possess superior spiritual
value is quite illogical and arbitrary. [Because if that were the
case], none of our thoughts and feelings, not even our scientific
doctrines, not even our dis-beliefs, could retain any value as
revelations of the truth, for every one of them without exception
flows from the state of the possessor's body at the time. Saint Paul
certainly once had an epileptoid, if not an epileptic, seizure, but
there is not a single one of our states of mind, high or low, healthy
or morbid, that has not some organic processes as its condition."
More recently, several TLE nuns have provided further evidence for an
epileptic root of many mystical religious experiences. For example,
one former nun "apprehended" God in TLE seizures and described the
"Suddenly everything comes together in a moment everything adds up,
and you're flooded with a sense of joy, and you're just about to grasp
it, and then you lose it and you crawl into an attack. It's easy to
see how, in a prescientific age, an epileptic or any temporal lobe
fringe experience like that could be thought to be God Himself."
Even the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel had a TLE-like vision
reminiscent of modern UFO reports the famous, fearsome Ma'aseh
Merkabah, the Vision of the Chariot:
"And I looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great
cloud, and a fire enfolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and
out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of
the fire.... Also out of the midst thereof, came the likeness of four
living creatures. And this was their appearance, they had the likeness
of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like
the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like the color of
The Light of the Storm
LaPlante is just one of a growing number of writers and researchers
delving into TLE-induced religious experiences. For example, Professor
Michael Persinger from Ontario does research on the neurophysiology of
religious feelings, and believes that spiritual experiences come from
altered electrical activity in the brain. David Bear from Harvard
Medical School believes that "a temporal lobe focus in superior
individuals (like van Gogh, Dostoevsky, Mohammad, Saint Paul and
Moses) may spark an extraordinary search for the entity we
alternatively call truth or beauty." Religion, then, is sometimes our
interpretation of altered temporolimbic electrical activity. This is
not to demean the mystical experience, because TLE personalities have
obviously accomplished great things, whose depth and meaning have
radiated far beyond the electric storms of a single cranium.
LaPlante, in her book Seized, aptly sums up the growing evidence
linking TLE and creativity:
"Hidden or diagnosed, admitted or unknown, the mental states that
occur in TLE seizures are more than simply neurological symptoms. In
people like Tennyson, Saint Paul, and van Gogh these states may have
provided material for religion and art. People with TLE, whether or
not they know the physiological cause of their seizures, often
incorporate their symptoms into poems, stories and myths. And the
disorder does more than provide the stuff of religious experience and
creative work. TLE is associated with personality change even when
seizures are not occurring; it amplifies the very traits that draw
people to religion and art."
Clifford Pickover received his Ph.D. from Yale University's Department
of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. His most recent book is
Strange Brains and Genius: The Secret Lives of Eccentric Scientists
and Madmen. His web site covering these and many other scientific
topics can be found at: www.pickover.com.
Jamison, K. (1995) Manic-depressive illness and creativity. Scientific
American, February. 272(2): 62-67.
LaPlante, E. (1993) Seized. HarperCollins: New York.
Mack, J. (1995) Abduction. (Revised Edition). Ballantine: New York.
Pickover, C. (1999) Strange Brains and Genius: The Secret Lives of
Eccentric Scientists and Madmen. Quill: New York.
Pickover, C. (1997) The Loom of God. Plenum: New York.
Strieber, W. (1987) Communion. Avon: New York.
- Dear Mike,
>Thanks, Stephen, for various suggestions. Huysmans doesn't strike meThanx for the correction; most likely, other corrections on my "diagnoses"
>as obsessive compulsive - that's repeating mundane rituals, no? But
>the consequences of his solitary aesthete's lifestyle for his nerves,
>(not very sketched in), perhaps relate very loosely to the example I
are in order, too. <smile>
Haven't read Huysmans in ages...
- I'm just finishing this book now and am a bit underwhelmed, but
there's some hints for substantial future research if anybody's
looking for ideas, and it's a quick read. (Although, this is the
second positive review I've read, so maybe it's just me.)
The Creating Brain by Nancy C. Andreasen
The Creating Brain
The Neuroscience of Genius
by Nancy C. Andreasen
Dana Press, 2005
Review by Nigel Leary on Jul 18th 2006
Volume: 10, Number: 29
Nancy C. Andreasen's book, The Creating Brain, is an interesting and
insightful hypothesis about the nature of creativity. Her style is
fluid and engaging, and she presents both her hypothesis and her
research in equally effective and accessible ways. Andreasen is, to
be sure, an interesting character: she started her career as a
professor of Renaissance literature before going on to study as a
neuroscientist, and she is now the Andrew H. Woods Chair of
Psychiatry and Director of Mental Health Clinical Research Centre at
the University of Iowa. This rare mixing of disciplines has left
Andreasen in the somewhat extraordinary position to approach the
notion of creativity from both a scientific perceptive (as a
neuroscientist) and from an inherently creative background (as a
literary professor). This meld not only gives Andreasen's book an
engaging and readable style, but motivates her project, and provides
her with a strong insight into both a) the creative process and b)
the creative psyche.
Andreasen's research is multifaceted, but the main goal of the
project is to 'drill down to the deepest level possible and attempt
to find the neural basis of creativity' (p. 50). However, what is
especially significant is Andreasen's presentation of introspective
accounts of the creative process prior to the introduction of her own
project. What this does is ground the reader firmly in the topic,
and gives an insight into the creative process from the perspective
of the deeply creative mind, examples of which include Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart, Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky, Henri Poincare, Fredrich
Kekule and Stephen Spender. Once the topic is grounded, and the
reader engaged, Andreasen is careful to inform the intelligent lay
reader of all the relevant terminology. The journey starts with a
short excursion into How Does the Brain Think?, followed by A Primer
for Brain Anatomy, The Complexity of Brain Networks, The Human Brain
as a Self-organizing System and What is Human Thought?, before we
reach what becomes a key section on Unconscious Thought: The Edge of
the Mind's Precipice. It is important to stress that as engaging and
interesting as Andreasen's work is she is a pioneer of the field, and
as such much of her research is, in fact, the only research on the
market. What this means is that as intuitive and encouraging as any
of the results may be they are, at this stage, inconclusive, but as
long as we, the readers, bear this in mind Andreasen's research and
hypotheses remain highly informative. That being said, the author is
clear that this is new, uncharted territory, and as an 'adventurer'
she has decided 'to take the plunge over the precipice and to study
the neural basis of free association using neuroimaging technology to
obtain measurements of cerebral blood flow to determine which regions
of the brain became activated' (p. 70). But what is the relevance of
free association to creativity?
Well, free association is an instance of episodic memory -- a type of
autobiographical memory which recollects the information linked to a
person's experience – but, in this particular case, it is, according
to Andreasen, 'more mysterious' because it 'is clearly less
sequential and time-linked [and]…may be the repository of information
that is stored deeply and is therefore sometimes less consciously
accessible' (p. 71). What Andreasen's experiment reveals is that the
area of the brain which registers activity during free association is
the association cortex. This cortex is what gathers and links
information from various other areas in the brain, and here is the
interesting part, 'in potentially novel ways' (p. 71). So, the claim
is that the genesis of new ideas and concepts is attributable to this
neural process, which links information in the subject’s brain in
novel ways. However, what makes these discoveries fascinating in the
study of creativity is that i) much of this linking process occurs in
what we refer to as 'the unconscious mind' and ii) this capacity uses
the parts of the brain which are it’s 'most human and complex
parts' (p. 71). According to Andreasen, there is a distinction to be
made between ordinary creativity (creating sentences in conversation)
and extraordinary creativity (composing symphonies), and she connects
the empirical evidence back to the introspective accounts presented
to the reader earlier. What this link, successfully, demonstrates is
that the creative process in the instances of people like Mozart and
Tchaikovsky is extraordinary and characterized by a unique thought
process, which in turn must (although Andreasen is careful to say
presumably) be caused by a unique neural process. In essence, the
claim is that the type of creativity we are interested in, the type
which produces paintings like the Mona Lisa, is a distinct type of
neural activity which can be distinguished from other types of brain
activity. Furthermore, it appears to be something which occurs in
the unconscious mind, via a process of free association. As
Andreasen herself puts it:
'I would hypothesize that during the creative process the brain
begins by disorganizing, making links between shadowy forms of
objects or symbols or words or remembered experiences that have not
previously been linked. Out of this disorganization, self-
organization eventually emerges and takes over in the brain. The
result is a completely new and original thing: a mathematical
function, a symphony, or a poem…[P]ossessors of extraordinary
creativity are…gifted with unusual brains.' (p. 77/8).
Andreasen goes on to explore the apparent links between creativity
and some malady of the mind. Chapter four, Genius and Insanity,
opens with some particularly well chosen quotes, including one from
John Dryden in Absalom and Achitophel: Great Wits are sure to Madness
near ally'd: And thin Partitions do their Bounds divide (p. 79). The
point of the chapter is to explore whether there are actually any
links between mental illness and creativity. Once again Andreasen
draws the reader's attention to a list of names including John Nash,
Friedrich Nietzsche, Leo Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway and Ludwig von
Beethoven. The question is are these instances of a direct link
between creativity and mental illness, or is the link simply
coincidental? Andreasen's own study reveals some solid correlative
evidence between artistic creativity and mood disorder, but also that
there is no apparent link between creativity and schizophrenia. She
goes to some length to discuss, rationally, why high levels of
creativity can lead to some sorts of mental disorder, and also points
out that although there is no direct correlation between the
occurrence of mental illness and schizophrenia, the mental or neural
processes where the brain becomes 'momentarily disorganized' in
creativity, such as free association, are remarkably similar to those
in 'psychotic states of mania, depression, or schizophrenia' (p. 102).
The fifth chapter What Creates the Creative Brain is, I think, the
best chapter of the book. Its use of Leonardo da Vinci and
Michelangelo Buonarroti as examples is masterful; as is Andreasen’s
account of the climate of creativity in which both artists developed
and nurtured their talents. This chapter also contains what is
perhaps the clearest exposition of Andreasen's position:
'Somehow an innate gift, intrinsically coded in their brains by
genetic influences that we do not as yet understand, was present. It
is manifested by cognitive and personality traits such as curiosity,
openness to experience, and self-confidence. These traits can be
further enhanced by environmental influences…because the human brain
is ''plastic.'' That is, it is intensively shaped throughout life by
interaction with the world around it.' (p. 135)
Although Andreasen admits that her study has only a limited
application to any significant nature vs. nurture debate her evidence
is compelling. This chapter also sees the formulation of a series
five necessary cultural conditions for creativity, although I must
admit some level of personal scepticism as to their application.
That being said they are certainly logical, even intuitive, but I
find it hard to believe that the conditions for creativity are so
Chapter six is dominated by various pieces of advice and numerous
activities to promote creativity, and includes sections titled Mental
Exercises for Adults and Tips for Teaching Tots. Again, the advice
appears sound, and, given the framework of Andreasen's studies and
findings, makes perfect sense. As compelling and convincing as
Andreasen's hypotheses and findings are they must be taken with a
pinch of salt, not because they aren’t logical or rational, but
simply because their empirical verification is, at present,
immature. The studies themselves appear valid, and offer credible
results, but there simply have not been enough of them to demonstrate
the veridical nature of the claims. That being said Andreasen
deserves full credit for an engaging, interesting, insightful and
intuitive book which is not only informative, but leaves everyone in
a position to nurture their own creative talents. I sincerely hope
to see more research in this area to fortify Andreasen's position,
and to verify her claims.