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  • Alright. So, today I'll talk about the Yin-Yang of dyslexia and creativity,

  • and the relationship between these two, from the neuroscientific perspective.

  • But I want to start with a story,

  • the story of Jack Horner, a boy who struggled in school.

  • He graduated from high school with a D-minus average

  • and he failed college seven times.

  • He had a GPA 0.06, and he never graduated.

  • He was severely dyslexic.

  • How is he like now?

  • He is one of the most influential paleontologists of all time.

  • He is a [technical] advisor of Jurassic Park movies,

  • and also he is a winner of the MacArthur Genius Award.

  • So, what does this tell us?

  • It tells us first that he is remarkably resilient and perseverant.

  • And also, it tells us that he is probably extremely creative.

  • It also teaches us three possibilities of why there might be a link

  • between dyslexia and creativity.

  • 1) it could be that it is just a sheer coincidence,

  • that he was a lucky person that happened to be creative and had dyslexia;

  • 2) it could be that his long repeated failure of having dyslexia

  • has led to this ultimate success;

  • 3) it might be that there is a direct and causal link

  • between dyslexia and creativity.

  • So, the first evidence that I want to present,

  • is a research study by Professor Julie Logan

  • from the Cass Business School in London.

  • And what she has found in her survey,

  • is that over a third of the entrepreneurs

  • had dyslexic traits.

  • And this is particularly striking given that the prevalence of dyslexia

  • is about 5-10% in the general population.

  • So, it seems like, statistically,

  • there is a relationship between dyslexia and innovators.

  • An example that we saw from Jack Horner;

  • it could be Chuck Schwab,

  • it could be Richard Branson.

  • So there are a lot of these examples.

  • And I want to call this the Yin-Yang of dyslexia.

  • The Yin-Yang because the relationship

  • between dyslexia and increased incidence in entrepreneurs

  • is not that obvious at first sight.

  • But also, at the same time,

  • the relationship between dyslexia and creativity

  • may have complementary relationships.

  • So we'll take a look at this next.

  • The second evidence that we want to address

  • is that individuals with dyslexia may have a unique brain organization.

  • When we typically look at damaged or dysfunctional brains,

  • - in this case the example here is the reading network -

  • typically what happens is that the region surrounding it,

  • or the opposite hemisphere,

  • - in this case it might be the right hemisphere -

  • will show some compensation.

  • And it might take over or rescue the function

  • that the dysfunctional brain was carrying.

  • For example, a good example is the stroke patient.

  • And also what we might see is that skills that these regions host,

  • in the orange region, the compensatory regions,

  • might actually be enhanced.

  • And we might see this case in dementia patients;

  • we often see enhanced creativity.

  • So, we might think that individuals with dyslexia,

  • also that there might be some kind of enhanced performance going on,

  • and this is exactly what we see.

  • In our study, we looked at...

  • we had individuals who looked at these impossible figures,

  • and they had to judge whether they were possible and impossible figures.

  • And while there is large individual variability,

  • we see this strong correlation

  • between reading abilities and visual-spatial abilities.

  • In other words, the poorer the performance in reading,

  • or more dyslexic you were,

  • the higher performance in visual-spatial abilities.

  • And interestingly, we saw a parallel pattern

  • in brain activation patterns as well.

  • So we see this Yin-Yang relationship

  • between reading and visual-spatial abilities,

  • in behavior as well as brain patterns.

  • This is also consistent with evolutionary advantage hypothesis of dyslexia,

  • which was proposed over 30 years ago by a neurologist called Norman Geschwind.

  • He speculated that dyslexic individuals have remarkable abilities,

  • despite difficulties in reading.

  • And it's also interesting

  • that reading is such a critical skill in the modern society,

  • but yet the dyslexics hadn't died out in human evolution.

  • So there must be some evolutionary advantage of having dyslexia.

  • So now new emerging technologies,

  • such as the one we use, will allow us to address

  • and examine the relationship between dyslexia and creativity.

  • So to conclude: is dyslexia a reading curse or a creative blessing?

  • Until more research is done, we don't have an exact answer.

  • But based on the stories of Jake Horner, and others,

  • as well as the recent neuroimaging findings,

  • we believe that the answer is "Yes" to both.

  • Thank you very much.

  • (Applause)

Alright. So, today I'll talk about the Yin-Yang of dyslexia and creativity,

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B1 dyslexia yin creativity reading relationship spatial

【TEDx】“Dyslexia, Learning Differently, and Innovation” | Fumiko Hoeft | TEDxSausalito

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    Sam Yemen posted on 2017/07/25
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