Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Psychology Today - Creativity and Sensory Gating

Creative People’s Brains Are Not Good at Filtering out Sensory Information
Post published by Darya L. Zabelina M. S. on Jan 23, 2015 in Finding Butterfly

In our everyday life we are constantly bombarded by sensory information, but some people seem to be more affected by this sensory input than others, or you may say some people have “leakier” sensory filters than other people. There are numerous anecdotal accounts of eminent creative people being especially sensitive to noise. Marcel Proust, for example, wore ear-stoppers because he was unable to filter out irrelevant noise, and lined his bedroom with cork to attenuate sound. Richard Wagner noted “a master needs quiet; calm and quiet are his most imperative needs.” And Franz Kafka asserted “I need solitude for my writing; not ‘like a hermit’ – that wouldn’t be enough – but like a dead man.” Others, such as Charles Darwin, Anton Chekhov, and Johan Goethe also strongly lamented the distracting nature of noise.