In these latest studies from Stanford, there are interesting insights about children diagnosed with bipolar disease, and possible associations with creativity. Take a look at the first figure below. It shows that when children diagnosed with bipolar disease were shown photographs, their brains became much more active in prefrontal areas (top).
These children also had lower(in blue) brain activations in the cerebellar vermis, an area we've previously talked about here and implicated in emotional control. The cerebellum is commonly injured in mild birth trauma, and it may be associated with 'explosive child' or emotional lability problems. Mild cerebellar signs are often also seen among children who have the behavioral diagnosis of sensory processing or sensory integration dysfunction.
The creativity finding is here: (Higher creativity = Higher dislike score)
A lot has been written about mood disorders and other(e.g. Dabrowski's) sensitivities in creative people, but the pediatric bipolar diagnostic label is relatively new.
The study should raise some warning bells for physicians on the front lines making medical decisions. Creative children can be very challenging in conventional classrooms, and yet misbehaviors are what sends kids to doctors' offices for medication.
BTW, if you're curious about the test used for creativity in the research report, it was the Barron-Welsh Art Scale. It's funny - you have a higher creativity score if you're a bigger critic (Hmm maybe that makes sense?). Here's two figures from the BWAS we found at Texas Tech.
Apparently you're more creative if you like the figure on the left, and don't like the one on the right.
Creativity, Bipolar, ADHD
Pediatric Bipolar Affective Disorder
Creativity Conundrum (look at page 9 in pdf file)
Creativity Test Texas Tech