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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.


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

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Sam Yemen 2017 年 7 月 25 日 に公開
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