Is your brain missing the art appreciation chip? It could be your genes. In this fascinating New York Times Magazine piece, the author explores a recent study in the Journal of Personality and highlighted in New Scientist that demonstrates how artists and creative people really do see the world differently.
In the study, volunteers took a personality test measuring their levels of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to Experience, as well as a vision test called the “binoculary rivalry” in which each eye takes in a different color and/or image. While most participants reported seeing one color at a time, others saw something else–the two dots merged together into a single, two-colored image. This handful of people also tested very highly on the “openness to new Experience” trait which is closely linked to creativity. The researchers argued that “openness is linked to differences in low-level visual perceptual Experience.” Lead author and psychologist Anna Antinori wrote, “Their brains are able to flexibly engage with less conventional solutions … We believe this is the first empirical evidence that they have different visual Experiences to the average individual.” We may in fact be hard-wired to Notice things differently.