If you were to ask any reasonable person (or reasonable physicist) how quantum mechanics works, 9 out of 10 times he/she would probably give you the same answer: magic. Yes, the field of quantum physics is known far and wide across academia as being both pretty difficult (lots of math) and pretty confusing (it just seems like it makes stuff up as it goes). However, despite all the tedium and wizardry that surrounds quantum mechanics, if you look hard enough at the many applications that the science has to offer to other fields, you may quickly come to find that it is also pretty dang awesome. Indeed, even the field of neuroscience has experienced some cross over with quantum physics in an attempt to explain many of the mysteries of the mind. But, what specific oddities about the brain are so opaque that they would need something as complex as physics’ black magic to explain them?
Creative artists not only experience the world differently they also view the world differently. Picasso and Kandinsky, two of the well known creative geniuses of our time, both had disorders that forced them to perceive their world differently: could these disorders be one of the underlying factors that facilitated their genius?
Strabismus & Picasso
Stereopsis, the ability to have depth perception, is important for artists in order for them to paint the three-dimensional world realistically but new studies have shown that possibly many great artists did not have depth perception. Pablo Picasso, one of the many artists who had strabismus – abnormal alignment of the eyes – was able to create amazing pieces of art despite his inability to perceive depth. For him, this disorder made it easier for him to reproduce his two-dimensional representation of his subject matter. Margaret S. Livingstone and Bevil R. Conway state that “someone who cannot perceive depth from stereopsis may be more aware of—and therefore better able to capture—the other, monocular, cues to depth and distance, such as perspective, shading, and occlusion.” This can be seen in the painting on the left, Picasso’s The Old Guitarist where his shading skill and lack of depth perception is apparent. Picasso, is largely known for his cubist pieces, it is evident that going the route to cubism was ideal for his skill set due to his disorder.