Do You Have to Be Crazy to Be a Genius?

Neuroscientist and literary scholar Nancy C. Andreasen tries to answer the question: If high IQ does not indicate creative genius, then where does the trait come from, and why is it so often accompanied by mental illness? Andreasen has studied the neuroscience of mental illness and has worked with many gifted subjects, including Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, and John Cheever, from the Iowa Writers' Workshop to investigate the science of genius. She’s currently working with artists and scientists including George Lucas, the mathematician William Thurston, the novelist Jane Smiley, and six Nobel laureates. Her article “Secrets of the Creative Brain” is the cover story of the July/August issue of The Atlantic