Study in Royal Society journal on link between creativity and mating success

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Schizotypy, creativity and mating success in humans by Dr D Nettle and Ms HT Keenoo (rspb.2005.3349) Biologists have puzzled over how the genetic variants that predispose people to schizophrenia persist in the human gene pool, given that the effects of the disorder are so serious. A possible solution is the idea that these same variants can also enhance artistic creativity. Artistic creativity in turn has been hypothesized to increase sexual attractiveness. We investigated these ideas in 425 poets, artists and members of the public. We found that poets and artists share some (but not all) personality characteristics with schizophrenia patients, and, moreover, that they have more sexual partners than average. Thus, some of the personality traits predisposing to schizophrenia can actually be evolutionarily advantageous by increasing mating success. Contact: Dr D Nettle, Psychology, Brain and Behaviour, University of Newcastle, Henry Wellcome Building, NEWCASTLE, NE2 4HH

Proceedings B list continues below.

Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Evolution of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and cognitive diversity by Dr JOH Williams and Prof E Taylor The evolutionary status of ADHD is central to assessments of whether modern society created it, and is important in understanding its neurobiology and treatment. ADHD's association with a positively selected gene raises the possibility that ADHD itself is selected for. But previous suggestions of evolutionary benefits of ADHD have either been factually incorrect, or have not explained why, if it is useful, it remains confined to a minority. We present simulations showing that unpredictability, a key feature of ADHD, impairs individuals, but optimises foraging by the group. This is because risks are borne mainly by the individual, but the entire group benefits from behavioural and genetic experimentation. This '


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