Has Science Proven That All Artists Are Crazy?

Okay, of course not; even "crazy" is a particularly prejorative word to use. But European scientists are claiming that artistic tendencies may be linked to the same genetic mutation that causes schizophrenia and paranoia.

Szabolcs Kéri of the Hungarian Semmelweis University genotyped 200 volunteers who responded to an ad asking for creative and accomplished volunteers, along with scoring and classifying their accomplishments and providing one of two tests of creative thinking to each volunteer. His study showed that those volunteers who had two copies of a particular genetic mutation called neuregulin 1 scored higher on creativity testing than those with one, although those volunteers in turn scored higher than those with zero.

Previous studies have linked neuregulin 1 mutations with increased risks of schizophrenia; Kéri theorizes that this - and the link to increased creativity - may come from the mutation dampening the region of the brain that can control mood and behavior.

Artistic tendencies linked to 'schizophrenia gene' [New Scientist]