lunes, julio 19, 2010

Nutrición, creatividad y rasgos psicológicos

Este artículo se encontraba en pero desapareció.

A fines de archivo y porque es interesante lo pongo aquí. Si alguien tiene el artículo con los links, me interesa tenerlo. Creo que el autor se llama Ryan.

Creative Substances
January 18, 2009
Nutrition and Creativity
Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 11:23 am

Can nutrition and supplements enhance creativity? This is a question
I have been exploring for several years now. I have discovered a
wealth of scientific information that supports and/or suggests a
potential influence, but I have had a harder time finding feedback
from people consciously using nutrition and supplementation to
increase creativity. And so I have created this website to combine
the latest scientific discoveries with my own experimentation.

First, what are the scientific underpinnings of creativity? Recent
research into creativity has identified two important traits common
to creative individuals: schizotypy and low latent inhibition.
Schizotypy, as the name implies, refers to a set of personality
traits related to schizophrenia. An important distinction here is
that it is possible to have schizotypal traits and not actually have
schizophrenia. In short, there are four general schizotypal traits:
unusual experiences, cognitive disorganization, introverted anhedonia,
and impulsive non-conformity. The first two are considered "positive"
schizotypal traits while the latter two are called "negative."
Daniel Nettle published a study in which he analyzed the schizotypal
tendencies of artists and mathematicians, and observed that
successful poets and artists score higher in the first two categories
than the average population. Introverted anhedonia, or the inability
to experience pleasure was negatively correlated with success in all
artistic domains. His study can be found here.

Cognitive disorganization is strongly related to the second major
recent discovery about creative individuals – low latent inhibition.
Latent inhibition (LI) refers to the ability to screen out irrelevant
stimuli from conscious awareness. Historically, low LI has been
associated with psychosis, since people with schizophrenia and
bipolar disorder usually display low latent inhibition on common
tests of attention. Shelley H. Carson headed a study of Harvard
undergraduates which added an interesting twist to the old assumption.
Her study found that high lifetime creative achievement is strongly
correlated with low latent inhibition and high IQ. The idea is that
low latent inhibition can predispose individuals to either psychosis
or exceptional creativity, depending on the moderating influence of
intelligence. Of course, low latent inhibition could predispose
someone to both creativity and psychosis, which may help explain the
longstanding link between genius and insanity. As the poet Dryden
wrote in 17th century England, "great wits are sure to madness near
allied, and thin partitions do their bounds divide."

So there appears to be a link between schizotypal tendencies, low
latent inhibition and creative achievement. Dr. Keith Simonton noted
another important trend among highly creative individuals: they tend
to produce a lot and the quality of their work remains fairly constant.
Beethoven's greatest works, for example, were all produced during his
most prolific periods when he also created a lot of now largely
ignored pieces. Over the course of his life, Beethoven's probability-
of-success remained constant. For the rest of us this means that the
more we produce the better our chances of creating our finest work,
even if we have to sift through a lot of dirt to reach the gold. Go
here for a great summary of Dr. Simonton's work.

Having discussed the major recent discoveries about creativity, let's
return to the original question: can nutrition enhance creativity?
We now have some specific goals in mind through which to analyze the
influence of nutrition and supplements. We are looking to lower
latent inhibition (subjectively comparable to a rush of ideas). We
are looking to increase productivity. Shared among these is the
influence of dopamine, particularly in the mesolimbic pathway of the
brain. Increasing dopamine is therefore one target of our
nutritional approach to enhancing creativity.

First, let's consider supplements that may enhance creativity. I
have limited my research for the most part to naturally occurring
substances that the reader can easily obtain. Of course, you could
just take 5 mg. of d-amphetamine, which has been repeatedly shown to
reduce latent inhibition. However, I would like to focus on more
sustainable ways of enhancing creativity. The most effective "natural
" supplements I have found are SAM-e and NADH. Both are naturally
occurring in the human body and indirectly influence dopamine levels.
I have also experimented with deprenyl (selegiline). Although not a
naturally occurring substance, deprenyl does influence dopamine
levels and has been used to increase lifespan in laboratory animals.
My own experiments with deprenyl have been less than stellar, so I
only mention it as a hypothetical creativity enhancer which hasn't
really worked for me personally. I have also used amino acids like l-
tyrosine and l-phenylalanine (both precursors of dopamine) but with
likewise inconsistent effects. As an interesting alternative I would
mention the combination of maca and horny goat weed (epimedium).
Although usually combined to make a well-studied herbal aphrodisiac,
I believe the hormonal effects of these two herbs can influence
creativity. Maybe they just make you so horny that your drive to
create intensifies as well — but if it works, it works.

Lest we dwell too much on the healthy creativity enhancers, let's not
forget the old standby alcohol. Can dozens of famously alcoholic
writers and poets be wrong? There has been some scientific research
into the role of alcohol in the creative process, with one Finnish
study suggesting that it can definitely be useful in the incubation
phase. Assuming that alcohol can play a productive role in creativity,
you might want to make red wine your alcohol of choice.

Secondly, let's consider dietary approaches. When we eat, what we eat,
and how much we eat all have an influence on mood and attention. So
why shouldn't diet also influence creativity? I once spent a period
of about six months attempting to replicate the Ancient Greek diet.
I ate lots of fish and barley. Why on earth would I do such a thing?
Well, the culture of ancient Athens in particular produced more
geniuses per capita than any other culture before or since. What
they actually ate may not have had anything to do with it, but I felt
it was a worthwhile experiment nonetheless. Most recently diets that
imitate hunter-gatherer diets have attracted a lot of attention.
These diets usually exclude grains and as a result are relatively low
on carbohydrates. In my own experiments I have found hunter-gatherer
or Paleolithic-type diets to have an energizing effect. When
sticking to them I never felt the need for a nap in the middle of the
day, and I regularly experienced intensely euphoric moments. What
about the more mundane substances we daily choose to ingest? Coffee,
cocoa, and green tea all have a place in creative work.

Thirdly, let's consider daily habits. What about the influence of
exercise, sleep, sex, and light exposure on creativity? Can we learn
anything from the daily habits of eminent creators?

I started this website in order to share my own experiences with
nutrition and creativity, and I'd like to invite others to post their
own experiences below and in the other pages of this site.



[...] creativity? Levels of SAM-e appear to be elevated in
children and in euphoric and manic people. As I've mentioned before,
creative individuals display many similarities to schizophrenics and
manic depressives. Dopamine [...]

Pingback by SAM-e – Does it Boost Creativity? « — January 21, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

[...] does make me think almost immediately of low latent
inhibition. As I've mentioned before, low latent inhibition appears
to be a quality common to creative individuals. Because they do not
filter stimuli as [...]

Pingback by The Insomniac's Muse: Sleep, Sleeplessness, and
Creativity « Creative Substances — January 22, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

[...] adenine dinucleotide) increases dopamine via the enzyme
tyrosine hydroxylase. The influence of dopamine has been linked to
creative thinking in countless studies, and I have found NADH
especially useful for late night creative [...]

Pingback by Six Natural Ways to Enhance Creativity « Creative
Substances — January 28, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

[...] few studies which suggest that it may be able to enhance
dopamine neurotransmission in the brain. Dopamine has been linked to
creative drive and idea generation in many studies, and enhancing
dopamine appears to be a significant approach to boosting [...]

Pingback by Arachidonic Acid Increases Dopamine « Creative
Substances — February 10, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

[...] than in larger doses. It tends to simultaneously relax
the body while disinhibiting the mind (and lowering latent inhibition).
A single drink is probably best, and possible a second if a snack is
involved to help slow down [...]

Pingback by How Does Alcohol Affect Creativity? « Creative
Substances — February 18, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

[...] selection favoring creativity. That is, creative people
tend to attract more partners, and the same genes that confer
heightened creativity can also lead to affective diseases. One
highly publicized study found that professional artists [...]

Pingback by Sex and Creativity « Creative Substances — February
20, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

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