Kim Jones wrote:
>Well, in the case of schizoid mathematician John Nash, his
>"psychotic" behaviour was also clearly linked to his maths ability.
>After imbibing anti-psychotic medication, not only did his "unreal"
>friends disappear, but his mathematical perception as well.
I don't think that's true, my understanding is that once he became
schizophrenic he no longer did any useful mathematical work, just mystical
numerology. In discussing the movie, the wikipedia entry at
"The movie also misrepresents the effect Nash's mental illness had on his
work. The movie depicts Nash as already suffering from schizophrenia when he
wrote his doctoral thesis. In reality, Nash's schizophrenia did not appear
until years later and once it did his mathematical work ceased until he was
able to bring it under control."
And the page at http://www.pnas.org/misc/classics5.shtml says that he once
again started doing useful work after his recovery:
"In 1970, Nash moved back to Princeton, where he took to shuffling through
the halls of the mathematics building, occasionally scribbling enigmatic
numerological messages on the walls. Students referred to him as the
"Phantom of Fine Hall."
Gradually, however, Nash's mental condition began to improve. Schizophrenia
rarely disappears completely, but by the 1990s Nash appeared to have made a
remarkable recovery, and he had turned once again to mathematical research."
The wikipedia article elaborates on what his recent work has been about:
"The 1990s brought a return of his genius, and Nash has taken care to manage
the symptoms of his mental illness. He is still hoping to score substantial
scientific results. His recent work involves ventures in advanced game
theory including partial agency which show that, as in his early career, he
prefers to select his own path and problems (though he continues to work in
a communal setting to assist in managing his illness)."
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