3 doctors weighed in:

Does the neurotransmitter dopamine have something to do with creativity?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry
2 doctors agree

In brief: Not specifically

Creativity is not from a single neurotransmitter, but is a complicated process involving a whole person and his/her entire brain.
For instance, when we're very anxious, our creativity suffers because our alarm system amygdala is in charge -- we're just trying to survive. When we can relax, we see more possibilities, & find creative solutions. Our prefrontal cortex -- & more -- activate!

In brief: Not specifically

Creativity is not from a single neurotransmitter, but is a complicated process involving a whole person and his/her entire brain.
For instance, when we're very anxious, our creativity suffers because our alarm system amygdala is in charge -- we're just trying to survive. When we can relax, we see more possibilities, & find creative solutions. Our prefrontal cortex -- & more -- activate!
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Thank
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Some research

http://www.sciencedaily.
com/releases/2010/05/100518064610.htm some connection between d2 system in highly creative people and in schizophrenia--surprising, as the relation between bipolar and creativity is known. But "studies have shown that Dopamine receptor genes are linked to ability for divergent thought" facility with metaphors perhaps in common--but in schiz. The metaphors are idiosyncratic.

In brief: Some research

http://www.sciencedaily.
com/releases/2010/05/100518064610.htm some connection between d2 system in highly creative people and in schizophrenia--surprising, as the relation between bipolar and creativity is known. But "studies have shown that Dopamine receptor genes are linked to ability for divergent thought" facility with metaphors perhaps in common--but in schiz. The metaphors are idiosyncratic.
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Interesting study here, Dr. Satinover -- thanks for posting. The so-called "dopamine hypothesis" of schizophrenia suggests that a too-high level of dopamine in the brain is related to psychotic symptoms, but here there is less density of D2 receptors in a thalamic gating area of schizophrenic and creative people. Underscores that it's not a particular neurotransmitter responsible for creativity, but perhaps more a working together of many factors. "Idiosyncratic" people may also be creative, no? How this shades into illness is an important and puzzling question.
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Agree fully. No way a single NT could be responsible for so encompassing a phenomenon. "Idiosyncratic" here meaning so pvt, self-referent
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