JoM-EMIT New Paper: Creativity, Evolution and Mental Illnesses

Bruce Edmonds (
Fri, 21 Nov 1997 14:30:52 +0000

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 14:30:52 +0000
From: Bruce Edmonds <>
Subject: JoM-EMIT New Paper: Creativity, Evolution and Mental Illnesses

Creativity, Evolution and Mental Illnesses.

Antonio Preti and Paola Miotto


Mental representations, or memes, transform the space in
which they evolve. Their survival is dependent on the
survival of the individuals and the groups hosting them.
Creativity - the production of new and useful ideas - is
closely linked to the social dynamics of the individuals
expressing creative ideas: without social confrontation
new memes cannot become diffuse. Creative individuals
tend to be emotionally unstable, and many are affected by
mental disorders. Studies on the link between creativity
and mental illnesses show that it is exactly the
characteristics of the mental disorder which also confer
some advantage on afflicted individuals. These
advantages extend to the groups to which the creative,
mentally ill individuals belong. The group comprising the
most creative personalities will therefore acquire an
adaptive advantage which maintains the integrity of the
group as a whole, in spite of the vulnerability of the

Key words: creativity, evolution, meme, mental
representation, mental disorders, bipolar disorders,
schizophrenia, natural selection, information processing

Accessible at URL:

Bruce Edmonds,
Centre for Policy Modelling,
Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Bldg.,
Aytoun St., Manchester, M1 3GH. UK.
Tel: +44 161 247 6479 Fax: +44 161 247 6802