abstract Peter Brugger

Peter Brugger (University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland)

Borderlands of creativity: the paranormal brain

This talk describes a cognitive (neuro)science approach to paranormal belief as pursued over the past 20 years at the Neuropsychology Unit of Uni-versity Hospital Zurich. Belief in extrasensory perception (ESP) rests on a causal attribution to everyday coincidences. The inclination to "see" connections between randomly paired stimuli is not only key to creative thinking, but also a hallmark of psychosis. Experiments on associative processing and spatial behavior provide convergent evidence for a right hemisphere mediation of belief in ESP and paranoid ideas of reference, but also of the divergent component of creative thought.