Creativity and the Brain

"I feel that by writing I am doing what is far more necessary than anything else." *

Woolf could be daring in her fiction. She experimented with language and narrative form, finding new ways to bring the reader within the interior life of her characters. By definition her writing was creative; the work was original and valued.

Is there a relationship between Woolf’s literary prowess and her mood disorder? We can never be sure without the ability to question Woolf directly, but a broad spectrum of research points to a link between creativity and mental illness.



Depression and Creativity Symposium

Madness & Literature Network-Research Seminar Podcasts

Professor Susan Greenfield-Neuroscience of Creativity Part 1 of 7 Videos

University of Southern California Brain and Creativity Institute



Goodwin, K.F. & Jamison, K. R. (2007). Manic Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter: Creativity, p. 379-407

Research Papers

Flaherty, H.W. (2005). Frontotemporal and dopaminergic control of idea generation and creative drive. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 146-153. Doi: 10.1002/cne.20768



___References for this Section____

* Woolf, V. (1985). Moments of Being. 2d ed. (J. Schulkind, Ed.) New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.