The next time you find yourself sighing in annoyance at your colleagues’ inability to munch their crisps quietly, take solace in the fact that this could mean you are a genius.

A new study from Northwestern University suggests that the inability to filter out competing sensory information is a common occurence in the creatively talented.

The study cites creative geniuses such as Charles Darwin, Anton Chekhov and novelist Marcel Proust, who notoriously wore ear-stoppers and lined his bedroom with cork to block out noise whilst he worked.

Lead author of the study Darya Zabelina said: “The propensity to filter out ‘irrelevant’ sensory information….happens early and involuntarily in brain processing and may help people integrate ideas that are outside the focus of attention, leading to creativity in the real world.”

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