How do you respond to sensory input?
According to research, some of us are more likely to be augmenters, or have nervous systems that amplify or increase sensory stimulation (which may help explain the trait of high sensitivity), and other people are reducers, who dampen or decrease sensory input, and find a need to pursue stronger and more intense forms of stimulation to “wake up” their nervous systems.
They are probably sensation seekers.
The photo is one sort of fictional sensation-seeker, in the movie Crank (2006): hit-man Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) who gets poisoned with a drug that will kill him unless he keeps pumping up his adrenaline to stay alive.
In her article High Sensation-Seeking and Creative Living, psychotherapist Susan Meindl writes about the connections with creative expression.
“Flexibility of performance, generation of performance variety, novelty, complexity, and so on are important attributes of creative performance,” she writes.
“Dr. Cramond identifies several studies which describe creative people as having unusually high energy levels… as do individuals diagnosed with ADHD. High energy also characterizes sensation-seeking individuals.
“Research concludes that Sensation-seeking is implicated in the symptoms of the childhood disorder of hyperactivity (ADHD).”
One of the potential “disorder” aspects of both unusually high energy levels and the trait of high sensitivity may be anxiety – see my post Highly sensitive but anxious, for example.
Related page: ADD / ADHD quotes / articles / sites / books.