Low Latent Inhibition

I have a condition known as Low Latent Inhibition. For those with a low to average IQ, LLI almost always results in mental disabilities, up to and including insanity. For those with a high IQ, insanity is still possible, but there is another possibility…true creative genius. Luckily I have a genius-level IQ, and as far as I know I’m not insane :)

Who knows, it’s possible that some of the greatest minds in history, from Albert Einstein and Mozart to Leonardo da Vinci, may well have had LLI. No way to prove that, but it’s certainly possible.

Unfortunately, Low Latent Inhibition is difficult to spot, since it seems normal to the person who has it. It could easily be diagnosed as things such as ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, OCD, APD (anti-social personality disorder) and in some cases even Tourette syndrome. If you or your children have been diagnosed with any of the above, you may just have LLI, and medication prescribed for the above could cause severe long-term harm if you don’t actually have the condition it was prescribed for.

For many of you, you probably found this page after watching an episode of Prison Break. In that show, Michael had LLI, and much of what he was able to do was because of that condition. S0…

On to the point of the article. Just what is Low Latent Inhibition? (While I’ve re-written extensively, I can’t take credit for most of this, so thank you LLI group on Facebook).

As you grow, the mind learns to label objects and filter out extraneous information. This filtering process is called ‘latent inhibition’ – and it means that the conscious mind is only aware of a fraction of the data being processed by the brain. In some rare cases, the ability to filter incoming data is decreased. People with LLI (low latent inhibition) are incapable of seeing things in terms of labels.

They notice an awful lot more. Reality becomes more vivid and alive. Everyone has different levels of latent inhibition. It can become a problem if the inhibition process is radically decreased. LLI is not a disease. You do not suffer from it. It is a dysfunction that has both positive and negative sides.

For most people, reality is experienced piecemeal, since they concentrate on one task at the exclusion of other things. While typing on the computer, hearing diminishes, smell diminishes – the awareness is narrowed.

With LLI this is not the case at all. The input is constant. Your awareness does not fluctuate. It only oscillates between hyper-awareness and extreme-awareness – with the latter being something to be concerned about. LLI puts you in touch with the raw immediacy of reality.

The overwhelming sensory input means that you experience everything simultaneously: the humming of the computer, the flickering of the monitor, the feel of the clothing you wear, your emotions, the bird in your garden, the smell of coffee… Every minuscule detail happening around you is felt in its entirety.

This does not mean that you read every word and remember every facet…but you do see it, smell it, hear it, taste it and feel it. The information is absorbed, and your mind is sponge-like in its capacity to pick things up. You learn from them, and demonstrate new insights and understanding.

There are pros and cons to having LLI, as you will soon see:

Pros:

  • You notice more, hear more, smell more and feel more through tactile contact. Without any conscious effort, your mind is in possession of a broader intake of information.
  • Upon encountering any form of stimulus (that interests you), your mind automatically dismantles and explores its components.
  • You usually see through the lies and the deceptions that people use in everyday life. If you’ve watched the show Lie to Me, they would call you a “natural”.
  • When learning, you can often make instantaneous changes. Adaptation is easy.
  • Self-correction is easy because the underlying principle is more evident. Clearer.
  • You make connections and associations between seemingly unrelated material.
  • Comprehension is typically easy. You notice the non-verbal background information and this often provides a more comprehensive picture than what is being spoken.
  • There are exponential leaps of insight taking place all the time, with the background reasoning intact. Wave-upon-wave of permutations, options, variables and choices.
  • Creativity is a given. You see alternatives.
  • You notice things that other people miss
  • Leaps of logic are common. Instead of progressing A,B,C,D and onward, you skip from A to N to Z, accurately.
  • There is no talking voice in your head. No ‘chattering monkey’. The volume and complexity of the information at times drowns out conscious thought entirely.
  • You see the world more thoroughly.
  • Learning is not limited to defined periods of academic study. The assimilation of information is constant, ongoing and never static. There are no lulls or pauses. Everything offers a lesson.
  • Within the maelstrom of information there exists a place of calm and quietude. The eye of the storm. No verbalization exists. No internal narrative. Just presence. No sense of self to intrude of interrupt.

Cons:

  • Education is awkward. Schools are not set-up to cater with this condition. The way in which things are approached by schools seems piecemeal and incomplete.
  • Listening to other people talking/thinking aloud can be infuriating. They are at point A when you have reached point N or Z already.
  • It is difficult to write/type/speak quickly enough to articulate ideas and the breadth of the permutations involved. Verbalizing what takes place in your mind is impossible. Words render only a fraction of the entirety.
  • Tact is necessary since people lie constantly.
  • LLI makes driving a car difficult. Your brain notices countless dangers and variables, and you become overwhelmed and nervous. You are either a terrible driver, or an incredibly good one.
  • Hyper-vigilance can lead to anxiety, and sometimes OCD-like tendencies.
  • Illusions are not very effective. You see through things without wanting to. Conventions and traditions have no significance.
  • You do not value what other people value, and often feel truly unique/alone.
  • Filtering out the variables and honing your options to something workable can be very difficult. Every solution potentially harbors new problems, new variables and new concerns.
  • People may find you to be a little odd, unorthodox or a little intense.
  • You have a habit of saying things that do not fit the accepted norm of behavior. You often choose to disregard conventions because they serve no constructive purpose.
  • Background noise is a major problem. Noisy neighbors can cause serious stress.

So that is that, a nice summary of what it means to have LLI. It made my childhood, especially school, absolute hell (for example, I got along with adults much better than kids, and I could read at a college graduate level in 5th grade). I saw doctors constantly, and was diagnosed with everything under the sun, since little was known of LLI at the time (heck, little is still known).

However, having LLI makes business and entrepreneurship SO much easier, so for me I think the pros outweigh the cons.

UPDATE: For those looking for more information about LLI, or to join/participate in a community for those with LLI, please visit LowLatentInhibition.org

191 thoughts on “Low Latent Inhibition

  1. Thank You soooooo much this has helped a lot. Where did you find most of this information? You said Facebook, but where else? I have been told that I would make a good crime scene investigator because I notice more than most people, and now I know why. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Everything in here is either from the Facebook group, Wikipedia, personal research/observations, or talking to Psychologists and Psychiatrists about the subject.

  3. Ok and what should I do if I sometimes have trouble coping with the constant stream of information? I’m only 12 and sometimes it scares me.

    • Robert, since I’m not a psychologist myself, I would recommend that you talk to one. First they would need to verify that you do indeed have low latent inhibition, and then if that is the case you could talk about options.

      Personally, I manage my LLI by multitasking…like listening to my iPod while I read, or having the TV going in the background while I study. If not enough is going on, I get super bored super fast. However, LLI varies in intensity. For some people the influx is just too much, and medication may be needed. But yeah, I’d recommend talking to your parents, and then a psychologist.

      Good luck!

  4. Thanks a lot. And I’ve looked on the Internet about low latent inhibition, and there doesn’t seem to be too much information about it. Do most doctors know about the condition? And also, do you ever have fears of going insane because you have LLI?

    • If you want to learn more about LLI in detail, you can try this: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Low+Latent+Inhibition&hl=en&btnG=Search&as_sdt=20000000000001&as_sdtp=on – It is a link to Google Scholar, an index of academic papers on various topics. You’ll have to sift through a lot of unrelated data to find the golden nuggets, but it’s in there.

      I would assume most psychologists have at least heard of LLI, though I couldn’t say how familiar they would be with it because it is such a relatively uncommon condition, and a fairly recent field of interest. The younger the psychologist, the more likely they are to be familiar with it.

      Testing could vary, but some sort of sensory stimulus tests combined with an EEG to see how your brain is handling the information would be most likely.

      And no, I’m personally not worried about insanity. LLI varies in intensity from person to person, and I don’t think I have an extreme case.

      From what I understand, one of the best ways to cope is to focus your energy on hobbies and learning, lots and lots of learning. Our minds are particularly suited for learning and retaining information, particularly things about which we are interested.

      Again, good luck! I’m hardly an expert, but I know what it’s like to live with LLI :)

    • Well, I’ve always been extremely smart and creative, and looking back I realized that I’ve always noticed vastly more about my surroundings than other people.

      A few years ago I came across an article about LLI that caught my attention, so I began digging further. The more I studied, the more I realized that what I had experienced my whole life was a perfect fit for LLI. That list of pros and cons in my blog post describes me almost exactly, so those were the “signs”, as you put it. I talked it over with some professionals, took some intelligence and creativity tests, and came to the conclusion that I did indeed have LLI.

  5. Having LLI, is it ever hard for you to study for a test or read a book? And if so, how do you force yourself to pay attention and focus on what you are doing? You said earlier that you listen to your iPod, but do you have any alternatives? (Because my parents will think that I am only focusing on the lyrics to the music instead of my books)

    • I almost never had to study for tests, but it’s actually easy for me to read a book. I’ve learned to focus on literally bringing the book to life in my mind, faces, smells, textures…reading is one of the few activities where I can tune everything else out, though I usually choose to read and listen to music at the same time, since it makes it easier. I can’t think of any alternatives to the iPod, though with your parents I would make a bargain…let you study your way, and let your test scores do the talking :)

  6. When I ask you if it is hard to study or read, I am asking if it is hard to block out all the other distractions such as talking, other people eating, or other noises.

    • If I don’t have music going, it is impossible to block out distractions. However, I’ve learned to multitask quite well, and I can effectively split my focus and still retain what’s going on from multiple sources (I can remember what I’m reading, what happened on the TV in the background, and what was said in a conversation nearby, all going on at the same time).

  7. Wow im very excited to read this article right now. I came across it from watching “prison break”…..the main character has lli and the little bit they described about it made me curious if i had it. I have been diagnosed with add from preteen on. I see everything and it gets very hard to put it away and not pay attention to it. But i can watch tv and hold a conversation at the same time……and know everything that goes on in both, which i get yelled at alot for doing. I have adleast 80 percent of everything you described on here. Simply put, i understand how things work and constantly want to fix them or make them better. Everything i see gives me new ideas and also brings about new flaws. Thank you for writing this article, Its brings a whole new light to how my brain works…i will research this alot more now that i have a name for it.

  8. But everyone has latent inhibition to control the constant stream of incoming information. Then there’s no way to get this neurological condition, right? You’re either born with it or you don’t have it.

    • Correct, everyone has latent inhibition, but the average person has a mid to high level. Having a low to very low level of latent inhibition is very rare, and it is having that low level of latent inhibition that is considered a neurological condition.

    • Well, there are numerous medications that can effectively stem the sensory onslaught, but there are very serious pros and cons to that route. Diminished mental function, serious medical side effects, etc…personally, I’d rather go insane than live my life in a drug induced stupor, but that’s just me.

    • Mike, whether or not I had to study for a test was entirely dependent on whether or not I had attended class. If I had been in class, then I retained most if not all of what was taught in the classroom and was able to do extremely well on the tests with no additional study time. If I had skipped the class too much, then I had no opportunity to absorb what was taught in class and thus had to study.

  9. Thank you for this article. I too just finished watching Prison Break on netflix. I think I have this too. While I was in school and work it made life simple. I could multitask and just do more faster. And like you I rarely studied beside finishing the busy work. But now I am a stay at home mother and sometimes I feel crazy. How do you do mundane tasks like washing dishes and laundry? It kills me to finish tasks like this. I see so much to do I have trouble starting anything. Was just curious how you manage the mundane tasks of life. Thanks

    • I outsource menial tasks :) Really though, if something is repetitive and boring, I usually have music or a movie or something playing in the background while I do it. I’ve learned to compartmentalize sensory input, so while I am aware of everything going on, I can focus on one over another with a bit of effort. Doing simple tasks requires very little higher brain function, so if I am focusing on an idea or music or the plot of a movie, doing dishes or laundry requires little conscious thought and thus poses no problem.

    • I wanted to leave a message for the woman who is struggling to enjoy being a SAHM. I too, loved being home for my children, but I needed desperately to give my mind something to “chew” on throughout the mundane tasks. I recommend taking online classes, I started at community college with a fun class, and wound up with a degree in Law from Penn State. I needed the intellectual stimulation, and since it was online, it fit my schedule as a housewife. I used to listen to lectures instead of Barney and wrote papers during nap time.

  10. Does anyone here with LLI have any difficulty viewing 3d movies? I have a hard time trying to “fool” my brain into seeing it because my brain rightly assumes that it is viewing a 2d image (albeit a very blurry one).

    • Absolutely! 3D movies, movies with extremely jittery camera action (Cloverfield), and even roller coasters make me ill. The brain is trying to process everything, but it absorbs so much detail that the result is too much strain on the optic nerves and it causes headaches and nausea.

      • LLI certainly fits.

        Well. There might be simpler explanation. About 5 % of population have some sort of strabismus. It makes stereo vision problematic and in more severe cases causes stereo blindness or double vision.

        My utter lack of depth perception from stereo vision (I know and sense what depth is but I don’t process it in normal way) coupled with LLI makes driving hell in crowded places.

        About intellectuality, LLI and mental illness (my theory):

        Insanely high LLI + quite high IQ -> mental illness + creativity

        insanely high LLI + insanely high IQ -> very creative genius

        quite high LLI + quite high IQ -> quite capable and creative dude

        and so on

        It is hardly ON/OFF condition between those variables.

    • Well, I’ve never put serious effort into learning a language, but I remember most everything I learned in school for the 3 languages I took (1 year each), Spanish, German and Latin. I’ve also picked up a smattering of Russian, French, and Mandarin over the years from listening to foreign movies while reading sub-titles. Thanks to Latin I understand much more than I speak. I’ve got a goal to become fluent in like 6 languages, when I have time to actually work at that, so I’ll let y’all know how that goes :)

  11. When you read is it hard for you to concentrate on the text line you are reading since there are so many other words around it and the brain is trying to process every word on the page?

    • Nope, reading is actually an easy one for me, since I can channel the extra processing power into visualizing the sights, smells, emotions and sounds that I am reading about.

  12. Do you have an aversion to places/events where there are large crowds? Do those kind of settings overwhelm you, or are you able to filter through everything just as usually might?

  13. Do you feel that when you are creating something there are a thousand ways you can do it in and therefore you cannot decide how you want it?

      • 1,000 ways of doing something 1,000 reasons for why each is the best reason 1,000 ways in your head of how to tell someone else why you chose that reason 1,000 ways the situation could go if you made a mistake 1,000 ways to fix that mistake and 1,000 ways to tell someone you’ve never done that before yet you didn’t need the instructions for longer than a couple seconds and you could pull it off easily, only problem i have is when i don’t have my headphones in, gets a bit manic, growing up i always blamed my awareness to sound on the fact i came from a rough family and did martial arts… just loads of different reasons for loads of different behaviors i’d shown compared to other people in my life, been told i was suffering with depression from the age of 14 till now the age of 19, i personally never thought i was depressed but i always complained about everything getting to me, not being able to cope with the noise and other reasons, i also got into trouble at school once for pointing out to a teacher that he shouldn’t be intimidated by some of the students because they were too afraid of him to actually do anything, he took it as me telling him to stop being a wimp we’re only kids, i just saw that he was worried whenever he would tell one of the lads they had detention or to go somewhere or do something, he always looked so worried even when he was angry, i could see through it and i could see why, i made up a 1,000 different stories about how and why his life could have lead him to being that way.

  14. Hello Sam!

    I’ve been researching LLI for a few years now, and there is very little to tell me that I don’t have it. Someone can say a word to me, just one word, and I’ll say the first thing that comes to my mind, then, whatever that is, I’ll say the next thing, and the next, and so on. Someone could say “cat” and I’ll end up, about 6 words later, talking about pylons! I find the way my mind works to be kind of normal, except when others pick up on it. I find it difficult to switch off at night, unless I’m utterly exhausted, I’m constantly thinking of things, stories, making up scenarios and alternate lives for myself, in my head. Also, if I travel anywhere on a bus or train, I find myself feeling totally drained afterwards, and usually pass out on the couch for an hour or so. If someone has a practical problem, I can almost always find a way to sort it out, and quickly too. I can make a tool out of virtually anything, using scissors as a screwdriver, or a key as a crude knife. I cannot focus on reading anything if there’s noise around me. Music is different, if I know it well. If it’s new to me, I become soaked into it, listening to every minute detail of the track. I have some problems remembering important things, but I remember the smallest, silliest little things, from years and years ago! I’m a very musical individual. If I’m in a pub, with background music, and someone is talking to me, I’ll find myself staring at their mouth, lip reading as well as listening to them, really focussing on what they’re saying. If I don’t do this, I literally cannot make sense of anything they’re saying, and look like a blithering idiot. I also have this obsession with taking things apart… I love seeing under the shells and covers of appliances and things. I’m very into agriculture, and love seeing pictures of combines and forage harvesters, with cut away views. I also really love animations of these too, seeing how everything works. When playing on a computer game, like motor racing, I love it if the damage physics are good, so I can watch all the component parts explode. I dunno, there are just so many things!

    I’m concerned though, as I’m in the UK. I’ve been to a couple of psychologists, and mentioned LLI, but neither of them even knew what it was. I do want to get tested, but I don’t know who to speak to, because everyone here just seems so oblivious to it.

    Also, just to add, I get nasty headaches with 3D movies too, which upsets me, because I’d love to watch stuff in 3D! :’(

    Thanks for your reading, I’m sorry it’s a novel, but I know you love to read! :p

    All the best!

    • Glen, from what you are saying it sure sounds like you have LLI.

      But here is the issue…LLI is not a psychological condition. It can be the cause of various psychological conditions, but technically LLI isn’t considered a “condition” at all. It is simply a neurological aberration. There is no “official” diagnosis process. There are a few tests that can tell you if your brain filters more or less information, but since levels of latent inhibition differ from persons to person, sometimes widely, there isn’t really a baseline “normal” from which to craft a diagnostic profile. The best you can get is a “yes, it looks like you do have what seems to be a low level of latent inhibition”.

      As such, there isn’t an official treatment for having low latent inhibition. There are medications that can help to stem the flow of information, basically turning your brain down a notch or three as needed, but there are almost always unwanted and sometimes dangerous side effects to that sort of medication. You would likely be trading one problem for a different problem.

      If you feel that your LLI is severely detracting from your quality of life, then medication might be worth the trade off to you. You’ll want to talk to your doctor about medication options, though whatever you do don’t let them treat you with ADHD stimulants! The last thing an LLI brain needs is stimulation! (though I’ve heard good things about non-stimulant ADHD meds: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-nonstimulant-drugs-therapy).

      Best of luck to you!

      • First of all, thanks a lot Sam. I can absolutely relate to almost all of experience you had on LLI. Especially the example on the tendency of finding the principal.
        And to Glen, try meditation if medication don’t work.
        I often have racing thoughts on the bed at the past.
        but right after I learn proper meditation, everything change gradually.
        To cut it short,
        The enormous influx of information and idea that attacks my brain could finally be stopped at will.
        and also, I could slow motion and filters all my ideas, so I can pick up those which is constructive and throw away those I considered a distraction.
        LLI can be irritating sometimes, but when properly understood, it could be the most powerful ability one could possibly have.

  15. I have LLI and ADHD. If I continue to treat ADHD
    I having low latent inhibition but did not saturate. I keep getting dizzy when
    I see a shelf of books (too much information to process) or sites
    noisy.

    Do I have ADHD? Or just LLI? both? LLI is unknown in Spain. :(

    • Santi, you likely have one or the other…almost certainly not both. If it is LLI, and you are taking ADHD stimulant medication such as Adderall or Ritalin, then that medication is almost certainly making things worse for you.

      I would ask your doctor about treatment via non-stimulant ADHD medication such as Strattera or Intuniv. Whether you have ADHD or LLI, non-stimulant medication should help.

  16. Thankyou very much for your help and information, Sam!

    I don’t think I’d like to go down the meds route, if I can help it though. I think it’d be much better for me to learn how to live with it easily. Maybe, if it was recognized here a little more, someone might feel inclined to give me something challenging to do, or accept me onto a course, for which I don’t have the necessary academic qualifications. I think, that way, I’d at least feel like I was putting all this hyper brain activity to good use.

    But ho hum, I’ll keep trying, lol!

    N.B. Would you recommend a herbal sleeping remedy, for the lack of sleep I’m experiencing? I have found that, if I have a couple of drinks in the evening, just to get me mellowed out, I do tend to sleep better, but I don’t want to go relying on alcohol, for obvious reasons, lol!

    All the best, Sam!

    Glen.

  17. ‘From what I’ve been able to find, there are statistically just over 6,900 people on earth in a similar situation (genius-level IQ, LLI, no insanity)…or roughly 1 in 1,000,000′

    sources?

    • John, unfortunately that number largely an estimate, thus the “from what I could find” clause. For genius level IQ, it is generally accepted to be an IQ of 146 on the Stanford-Binet, which correlates to the 99.9th percentile. Thus 1 in 1000 have a genius level IQ.

      For the rest, I asked a Psychology professor to give me an estimate. Since it was a purely hypothetical estimate, I was asked not to attribute his name to the numbers. He estimated that out of all people with a genius level IQ, roughly 1 in 100 of those would have measurable LLI, and roughly 1 in 10 of those would be clinically insane.

      So, 6.9 billion people, divided by 1,000, then 100, then 10 = 6,900

      Again, a rough estimate, but about as accurate as we’re likely to see due to the small sample size available.

  18. Sam,
    I am 20 years old and I feel like I may have LLI but I’m not sure. I experience a lot of the same “symptoms” as you and some of the others who have commented on this article, but I feel like I might be experiencing some of the down sides and I just wanted to see if you experience the same things. I don’t have a genius level iq but it is higher than average. Like you, I don’t label things, I visualize all the parts involved even if I’ve never seen it. With cars I don’t just see a car I see the engine, radiator, fan belt, pistons, air conditioning, radio, odometer, speedometer and even things that I have no idea what they do or their names I can still visualize it. I recently started a new job and after being shown what to do I was able see a different, quicker, and more efficient way of doing it. As I was writing this I was driving down the interstate doing 90 weaving through traffic and singing along with the music on the radio. As you said there are different types of LLI and some of things I’m experiencing annoy and frustrate me greatly. Certain accents and pronunciations of words annoy me. Ignorant people talking about things that they have no clue about make me absolutely infurriated. Even people with speech impediments anger me. Brown nosers and people who ask a lot questions make me angry. I can hardly concentrate when the air conditioning unit outside one my classes turns on. I read one article where a guy was anti social to the point that many people thought he was suicidalbut I find myself not having that problem except when I’m at a party I can’t stay in one place for very long. I find myself going around the party loooking at all the small details and then trying to recall them in the morning (usually with great success). I’m having trouble writing this because I can’t convey in words everything that I want to share but if you just read this and let me know if you have experienced some these things and possibly give some advice on what to do that would be great. Knowing my parents, they won’t take me serious about something like this (they don’t think ADD and ADHD are real conditions, just poor parenting) especially since it’s relatively unheard of by doctors/ psychologists. Please just let me know what you think.
    Thanks,
    Nathan

    • Nathan, what you are describing certainly has many of the elements of LLI. However, I would agree with you that you are experiencing the negatives. For a mind without a genius level IQ, it is believed to be more difficult to cope with the onslaught of additional information from LLI, which can result in a variety of psychoses, from schizophrenia and bipolar to APD (antisocial personality disorder) and beyond.

      In your case, medication may well be a wise option, but that is a conversation for someone with a medical degree and the legal ability to diagnose things :)

      But yes, I’ve personally experienced many of the same things.

  19. Sam, thanks for explaining your estimate. I’m certainly not here to argue. As a guy in his 40′s with a lifetime of social failures behind him, I’m just coming to grips with a diagnosis of Schizotypal personality disorder or ‘mild schizophrenia’. It’s been well documented by now that LLI is directly linked to the schizophrenia spectrum, and my research brought me to your site.
    Fortunately I posses above avg. intelligence and high creativity, which I believe has helped me tremendously to cope with my LLI. Thankfully, I do not experience auditory or visual hallucinations, but my everyday perceptions have always been at odds with those of my peers. I’ve learned by now to keep my mouth shut.
    I do like your presentation here, especially the pros and cons list, it’s not easy for people like us to find explanations and/or justifications for our condition. I’ve always caught a lot of shit for starting at point A, skipping over the next dozen points that most people insist on wasting their time on, and jumping to point X. So reading about that on your list gave me a chuckle. :) Thanks

    • Jon, so sorry to hear about the diagnosis! I’m glad though that you’ve had assets to help you cope with a difficult situation.

      I know exactly what you mean, as I’ve gotten in plenty of trouble over the years from not keeping my mouth shut and solving things in a non-linear fashion :)

      I hope things work out well for you!

  20. hello,
    well i read a few sites about LLI and i am quite interested in it.
    What i experience is the following and i hope the journal of my life will not seem far fetched cause it is only true.
    i learned to read at 4 years old and i could not explain how i did it i don’t know how i did it…. this brought me a lot of problems in school cause i was a ADHD syndrome diagnosed child and bored in class and did a lot of mischief that in the 2nd grade my teacher asked my father to moove me cause she could not stand me anymore.
    i got good grades always decent ones but skipped school because i found some of my teachers plain STUPID… started riots against my college master in high school but also was the v.p. of the student-council of my county and also the founder of the : philosophy, theater and modern poetry societies and was the main critic ( always first opinion) in the literature formal society of our college .
    After finishing literature profile i decide to go to medical school and learned in 6 month all the chemistry required and anatomy for the admission exam ( got into 2 medical school one of which was the best in the country) but stayed home and followed medical school here since my dad got ill of cancer.
    I have always been the volunteer in everything that has a nobel or good purpose but also in some mischief.
    well things i know is that i hate ticking clocks, dripping water and also i hate summers and the bugs buzzing all through the night sometimes i hate my upstairs neighbours walking and i feel like there is someone in the house.
    Other things i write … i love to write poetry novels but i never finish them … but i am terrible in painting and singing.
    My English teacher used to say about my assays that they are very good, amasing ideas but i should write down all my ideas first and write it after cause i tend to leap from one idea to another to fast. Everything i write is concentrated that’s what my frinds say that i could make 6 novels out of it ( do you see what i mean by jumping verry fast from one idea to another).
    I can repeat what someone is saying to me without even understanding what that person is saying identically if i am asked 2 but only while repeating i get what they were saying.
    I love mysteries and untie them pretty well. I have a thing for puzzels and predictions and make them pretty acurate by piecing bits of info together.
    I do not, an am verry bad at, explaining things for others. Even at exams i fail in explaining … for example take my last pedeatrics exams: i had 2 clinical caseses to ask for lab tests and put a final diagnostic and treatment…. i asked for 3-4 and said that they are enough and they started laughing at me … no taht;s not enough … and i said yes it is and put the right diagnostic in both cases but i still got a B instead of an A fir failing to ask for a blood test that for me makes no sence in asking even though everything i said was right and i left that exam crying my eyes out for a grade i did not deserve ….( but that’s another chapter i live in Romania … you have to be a doctors son or an ass kisser to get A’s and I’m non of the above.
    I have sometimes big depression periods when i feel like i have no one to talk to anymore since my dad died ( he was a genious- well an aknoledged one ).
    i always fear smt bad is going to happen and always try to pice info together and try to find out in time to avoid it so i am a conspiracy fan :) but not as other ppl it’s hard to explain what happens : i hear something, something happens and it triggers in me a cahing of reaction ( this is like a few seconds in my subconscious ) and get a general idea about what is really going on…
    i fear sometimes i’m a bit mad but well aren’t we all in some measure.
    ohhh another thing…. the further the time passes the better i remember what i learned … if i study smt today the next day i would not remember it as well as i will 1 week after…. 1 year after… my colleges are sometimes amazed how i can remember things and also my close ones are freaked out about my memories since i was 2 years old like even the color of my dad’s/mom’s cloths and everything pops out.
    My boyfriend gets freaked out cause i never forget anything and always use things he said against him :(.
    And he is also freaked out about my distributive attention how i manage to do 4-5 things at the same time or how i manage to understand some things that i haven’t studied like fixing my own computer and parallel skiing and stopping the first time i ever skied or how did i get season 9 of stargate sg-1 if i saw only one or 2 episodes a long time ago on sci-fi . Or how can someone so loggical be so illogical sometimes ( that one freaks me out 2).
    pls help me, i do not know how to feel curse or blessed that it takes me 15 days to learn 3000 cardilogy pages and comprehend them…

    • Hudrea, LLI is indeed a curse and a blessing. At the end of the day, despite all the pros and cons, it is critical to ask yourself if you are happy. Answer honestly. If you’re unhappy, then for you LLI is more of a curse than a blessing, and you may want to seek treatment or medication to help. If, on the other hand, you feel that you are happy despite the cons, then that would make LLI a blessing.

      Those with a high IQ and LLI have abilities that most people will never understand, and using those abilities to make the world a better place can bring quite a bit of happiness :) I’d recommend focusing on the positive aspects, and if other people take issue with you, ignore them. Nobody can accurately judge you or appreciate what you can do except you, since nobody else truly knows what it’s like to be you.

  21. Hi Sam, and hi Jon!

    I’ve found myself in awkward situations too, especially at school or work! I’m wondering whether it’s best to force myself to work the same way as all those who are blatantly doing it wrong, just to avoid the predictable friction that will come from trying to work in the way that I see is best. I mean, I’m constantly seeing better ways around things, and a lot of the time, people think I’m some kind of loon, that it’ll never work the way I say it will, that I’m just being an ass and trying to stuff things up. The thing is, it’s nigh on impossible for me not to get riled up, when I’m being made to do something ridiculously flawed and stupid, but maybe that’s my own self control issue… Who knows?

    I do have a very important question to ask here actually. IQ aside (I have a high average IQ) do you think that excessive stress levels, lots of unrelated things going wrong at once, everyone on your back all the time and so on, would affect someone with low levels of latent inhibition very badly? The thing is, I have many stresses right now, and I can’t seem to cope. Lots of people are telling me to put things out of my mind, telling me I’m dwelling on things, in self destruct mode, saying I need to do something to take my mind off things. The thing is, I simply cannot get this stuff off my mind, and doing other things will never take my mind off anything, doing that will just give my mind more to deal with. It’s as if I need the total opposite… To do nothing! It’s basically like having a dozen death metal drummers in my head, hammering hell out of their sets, all at once, giving me a headache. Then, someone comes to me and says “Hey! You ought to listen to some soothing Enya, to take the edge off that noise!” It makes no sense! All I’d be doing is adding to the noise, like adding water to a fire in an oil fryer!

    GAH! Can anyone suggest something for me please?

    Many thanks to all for your reading, sorry it’s a rather long one again… :p

    All the best!

    Glen.

    • Glen,

      Don’t give in! If people are idiots and refuse to see a better way of doing things, don’t just try to blend in to avoid the criticism! Pretending to be a sheep would make you miserable indeed. Be yourself, and if other people don’t like it, prove them wrong.

      As for stress, it’s not related to IQ. Having LLI is always stressful, because you simply don’t experience the world the same way the vast majority of people do. That’s stressful. As for coping, I highly recommend finding a passion and/or a form of escapism.

      Personally, when I am way overstressed, I try to start a new complicated project, and when I get bored with that I crank my favorite music and read an engrossing book. The music helps to cover up extraneous noises, while I focus all my mental abilities on putting myself into the world of the book. For me, it works wonders.

      If none of that works for you, you may want to look into medication, at least something to take from time to time to allow you a mental break, so to speak. Still, my personal opinion is that medication should always be a last resort.

  22. Glen,

    I agree with Sam, everyone needs an outlet in life to maintain some sort of balance. It’s important for you to find something or somethings that gives you solace and make it a regular part of your life. We are all still here only because we’ve learned to adapt to our surroundings somewhere down the line.
    Too funny you mentioned drumming, because I’ve been a drummer my whole life. I believe that bashing away on my drums was most definitely my outlet for many years, channeling my frustrations into a physical and primitive activity kept me from acting out and getting into trouble.
    Maintain and gl.

  23. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always felt different. I can clearly remember seeing classmates learning, but I can’t recall a single time that I paid attention in class. I’ve never been able to pay attention to one thing at a time. Worried, I talked to my doctor, and he thought I probably had adult ADHD. Since then, I’ve been taking medication for ADHD, about five years now. After taking the medication, I feel like I can focus on one thing at a time. After taking the medication, I also feel like I don’t want to just focus on one thing at a time. I feel like like I’m being held back. Since taking the medication, I’ve had to start on anti-depressants. If you had known me before, you would think that it was totally not me to need anti-depressants. I also found out about LLI from the show Prison Break. As soon as I heard about it, I thought it sounded very familiar. I was immediately compelled to study into it. Somehow I made it through school, though I can not explain how. I have never studied for a test, yet I’ve always received A’s and B’s throughout my schooling. I had a college reading level at the age of 10. My freshman year of high school, I was tutoring 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in things that I had not taken yet. I can’t explain how I’ve gotten to where I am today. I just want to be able to understand myself.

  24. Thankyou, Sam!

    Yes, music is a massive passion of mine, as is creating 3D models and stuff. It’s funny, I have massive problems sleeping, pretty much every single night, but, if I put on some calm music, I zap straight out! It’s as if there are loads of noises and things going on, which I can’t actually hear!?! Very strange indeed! Whatever it is, the music blocks it out and I sleep well. I also write and create much better when there’s music playing. Even if I’m writing a lyric to a totally different style of track to what I’m listening to, I find it much easier than sitting in silence!

    I have problems reading books in artificial light, as I get headaches really quick. It gets to a point where the pages are almost in high contrast, and like the words are popping out of the page at me, and it sends me doolally lol!

    Anyhow, yet again, thankyou very much for your advice! ;)

    • Glen, you’re welcome! Happy to help :)

      Jonathan, though I’m no physician, if it were me I would ditch the meds. Getting off ADHD and anti-depressant medication in your circumstance sounds like it might make life much better for you (my personal opinion, talk to a doctor before you actually do this). Then again, the full impact of LLI with no medication as a buffer brings a whole different set of problems, so weigh the pros and cons and determine what you think you can live with.

      As a kid my parents and teachers had no clue how to handle someone like me, so they had doctors put me on everything under the sun for all kinds of crap diagnoses, making my childhood far more miserable than it should have been. The moment I turned 18 I took myself off of everything and I’ve enjoyed life infinitely more ever since.

  25. Jon,
    Thankyou for your words there too, your post didn’t show up for me until I got an email just now, lol!

    It’s a shame, I don’t have a drum kit anymore, but I’m really hoping someone employs me for something other than mopping floors and stocking shelves, (that would drive me insane!) Then I’ll definitely get myself another set!

    • Rose, I’ve actually answered this one already in the comments. Here it is:

      “Those numbers were largely an estimate, thus the “from what I could find” clause. For genius level IQ, it is generally accepted to be an IQ of 146 on the Stanford-Binet, which correlates to the 99.9th percentile. Thus 1 in 1000 have a genius level IQ.

      For the rest, I asked a Psychology professor I’ve known for many years to give me an estimate. Since it was a purely hypothetical estimate, I was asked not to attribute his name to the numbers. He estimated that out of all people with a genius level IQ, roughly 1 in 100 of those would have measurable LLI, and roughly 1 in 10 of those would be clinically insane.

      So, 6.9 billion people, divided by 1,000, then 100, then 10 = 6,900

      Again, a rough estimate, but about as accurate as we’re likely to see due to the small sample size available.”

      However, on the subject of LLI, some studies I’ve read recently seem to indicate that dopamine inhibits latent inhibition, which seems to indicate that anyone who participates in activities that cause significant dopamine secretion (as well as possibly serotonin and norepinephrine)(video games, for example, or porn), could actually have measurable LLI.

      As far as I know no data exists yet for whether long-term exposure to increased dopamine levels can trigger permanent LLI, but I can only assume it is possible.

      So, with that in mind, those numbers may be WAY off :)

  26. I have two questions.
    The feeling of having LLI is almost like feeling self-conscious?

    Is it possible to be day-dreaming when having LLI?

    Really, you should write a book about LLI. ;)

    • If by self conscious you mean more self aware, then possibly, though one isn’t necessary for the other. As for day dreaming, sure, why not? When you brain can process so much at once, it’s entirely possible that you could daydream, and still be processing other things.

  27. For what it is worth- I learnt TM (Transcendental Meditation) at a young age and it helps to cope with LLI when things start to get overwhelming. I can put my mind into a null state which really calms out the external influences.

  28. hey sam.
    i like ur article. recently i hv been left by my gf bcos, according to her, i hv a terrible behavior, which includes:
    1. Oversensitive attention even to small things.
    2. Questioning thoroughly when i sensed lies (i often did)
    3. Always ‘review’ n ‘reopen’ previous issues n brought in newly found POV, like “if it was A, then why is it contradicts with C which confirms D? Pls dont give me simply a FACT, i am asking u the REASON, FACT n REASON are not the same bla bla bla” (i hope u get me)
    4. hv some sort of OCD traits, like asking the same question again n again even tho i heard the answer clearly. sometimes when she answered simply NO, then i told her to answer “you did” or “you didnt” (the question was Did u call ur ex boyfriend?”

    Apart from that, i also:
    1. Experienced mood swings like bipolar disorder when i was 16, only managed to get out when i was 23.

    2. Can memorize phone number more than 20 at one time (the list had nt finished yet; i had to stop listing down the number i memorized bcos i had other things to do. n the numbers excluded families’ n close friends’, they r from 2 years before til that particular time)

    3. strong episodic memory, or hyperthymesia, i m not sure.

    4. when i was a kid, i HAVE to repeat what my mum was saying, every single words, otherwise i will feel detached from her. i love my mum very much, so i repeated her words until she noticed. tourette syndrome?

    5. low self esteem.

    6. very little care of our own well being when it comes to love; cant even defend own pride or dignity. (does this particular #6 has anything to do with LLI?

    i am sorry for this long comment. but i do hope u can write something bout it, u are very good at explaining i reckon. there are much more i would like to list down here but i think this is very long already, lol. thank you sam.

    • Joe, sorry for the slow response. So, I hate to break it to you, but very little of what you mentioned is directly related to LLI. It actually sounds more like some form of Asperger’s, which can often include OCD tendencies, bi-polar like mood swings, low self-esteem, etc. Again, I always emphasize the point that I am no doctor, but from what I’ve read and observed, what you described is far closer to Asperger’s than it is just LLI. Not to say your latent inhibition isn’t on the low-end, as it can be with Asperger’s, but in that instance a lowered level of latent inhibition is a side-effect, not a cause. Sorry.

  29. The majority of what you wrote fit me to a T, except I question the need for such a label as “LLI”. What purpose does this serve? It’s almost like the discussion I had yesterday about the difference between the term “mental retardation” and “mentally deficient” . The issue isn’t with the words we use to describe our selves, but the negative connotations that have been associated with them over time. Same here. Instead of latching onto various disorder labels which stigmatize the individual, something neutral like LLI is accepted into one’s psyche.

    Anyways, I scored all over the charts on IQ tests, ranging from high gifted, so sub par depending on the subsection. I’m a funky lefty, who’s always had bizarre intuitive abilities, and high levels of creativity outside of the arts/fashion, and more in line with philosophical thought, or scientific discoveries.

    I test as ENTP on the MBTI, and am an EXCELLENT driver who processes EVERYTHING all at once. As you say, the possibilities turn into probability tables on the fly.

    I go to the same bar often, and play touch screen games with either hand on the screen, and the remaining chugging a beer, or playing “chess with friends” in between rounds, while listening to the IPOD, and STILL processing my surroundings in full, and claiming state/national high scores. People think I’m nuts. I like that :D

    Was diagnosed at age 13 with PDD-NOS, which now a days would lump me into the “autistic spectrum”, but I think something more along the lines of LLI would be more apt, although I still think we’re all just individuals with slightly variant genetic propensities, interacting with different points of spacetime.

    I am as I am =p

    • LLI isn’t a label, but a description. Everyone has latent inhibition, and exactly how much varies from person to person. However, there is a “normal” range. LLI just means your level of latent inhibition is low. I don’t really care how I’m labeled, but saying “I have LLI” makes explaining my eccentricities that much easier :)

  30. Also, I don’t think you’re all that special, sorry, LOL!

    What I mean to say is, well, first off, what do you consider a “genius level IQ”. That doesn’t make any sense, LOL!

    Also, many people seem to hit the above X IQ mark. Much more than should be statistically possible.

    I personally know of several people, online and in person, who have sky high IQ’s and are incredibly creative/intuitive. They likely would be classified as “LLI”.

    I read a book online not too long ago that said there was NO correlation between “genius” and an IQ over ~120.

    So…

    • Genius has two definitions. It can refer to someone who is incredibly gifted in a narrow way, such as a musical genius or artistic genius. It can also refer to an IQ testing related label, which I’ve heard defined as an IQ between 140 and 180 (though I’ve also heard it defined specifically as an IQ >=146 on the Stanford-Binet).

      I’ve been tested numerous times, from very early childhood on, and I qualify as a genius on both fronts. I have an IQ in the 140-160 range (varies based on the type of test and rating scale) and I am a genius when it comes to patten recognition, non-linear problem solving and rapid cognition.

      A prominent child psychologist and author told me recently that I was the smartest person he knew, and that is saying something.

      But yes, genius in the “narrow spectrum of highly gifted talent” definition and IQ are not necessarily correlated. Autistic children often fall into that category, low IQ but absolute genius in some specific area.

  31. Again, I thank you for the reply. Interesting you mention 146 for the SB, I thought the cutoff was 141, with anything over (142, ex) being at that level.

    I’ve had the same things happen over and over again in my life. I met this guy with an adult 168IQ sd16 (must specify the SD for proper interpretation!!) , and he is in elite tech industry circles. He met the founders of Google and several other tech companies. This guy said I was the second smartest person he’d ever encountered :o

    Anyways, I just see a blurring between a lot of these labels, and question the point of it all. It seems to cause more suffering than good. People stop at the label, and don’t look too deeply for root causes….but that’s just my view.

    Very nice to meet you, Sam :) Hope I didn’t come off as too much of an asshole.

    Take Care!

    • You’re welcome, happy to respond. You’re probably right about the SB cutoff, I could quite easily be misremembering.

      I agree though, the label has no real value (beyond bragging rights/vanity).

      It’s nice to be incredibly intelligent, but at the same time I imagine many aspects of life would be far easier if I was much less intelligent. Intelligence has pros and cons, just like everything else.

      And no worries, you didn’t come off as an asshole…just a smart person :) Sometimes we blur the line ;)

  32. Cool.

    I’d like to say one last thing, not trying to be a dick!!

    It seems that –>in your mind<— there are but two accepted definitions of the term "genius", but we must have context for this to be true. Such as, in modern times or all throughout history?! The original interpretation of genius was much like dameon, I think. It was the spirit within an individual, or society as a whole, that guided them to the best path.

    Also, in keeping with the "no correlation between genius and IQ over ~120" bit, I think this is basically showing that creativity (and character, imo, in most circumstances) is much more important than IQ 140-180. I've known many people who are in mensa that are bloody idiotic in my assessment. I seriously laugh at these self-righteous fools, sometimes, because they have no clue how boxed their perspectives are.

    It seems one needs a certain degree of analytical ability to bring out genius level insights/innovations/creations , but having just incredibly high analytics doesn't cut it, from my point of view.

    • No no, not at all! I wasn’t saying there are just 2 accepted definitions of genius (I should have phrased my response differently), just that those are the most common uses. You’re spot on, the root of the word genius goes right back to genii, as in magic lamps :)

      If pretty much anyone in this day and age says genius, they almost certainly mean it in the context of the two things I defined.

      And you are absolutely correct. IQ is really just a measure of processing and problem solving ability, not of whether or not you actually put that ability to use.

      I’ve met plenty of stupid smart people, and it’s quote common for an IQ genius to be a social or functional moron.

      As it relates to LLI though, studies have shown a sharp correlation between high IQ and LLI and creativity, which is why I mention it in my blog post. It is in direct correlation with whether or not a mind can handle the strain of very low latent inhibition without severely adverse side-effects.

      I agree with you. Having a high IQ without the ability to use it creatively is of little to no value.

    • Wow, the Mensa group I went to just had big parties all the time…lol…every now and then someone would suggest that we do something “useful for society” and we just basically ignored him… we just enjoyed acting stupid together…it was fun…

  33. Oh awesome, wait WOW, wait… yaYa!!

    That totally makes sense now. I can see that if one has very LLI, then they MUST have the analytical potential to match it, else will basically go insane.

    I’ve always had a pretty low LLI, but about 5 years back I did a bit of meditative practices, and the LLI became extremely low. At first, I went bonkers. It took my mind about a year or so to be able to adapt and handle the influx of information.

    It’s as if my mind went from going 140mph to about 250mph, and it was, at first, quite difficult. I note that before this sudden change, I often saw a few different points of view only…say 3 or 4 in a given situation. After this change, it was….pretty much an endless stream of perspective shifts.

    Fully agreed, having a high IQ without the ability to creatively use it is such a tragedy :(

    I spend my time researching various global issues, and promoting awareness of what seems to be REALLY going on. Besides that, it’s just projects, like aquaponics, and recently …cloud computing protocols for wireless devices.

    Decentralization is the future. It must be ;)

    Peace!

    • Now that is very interesting. Increases in dopamine levels have been linked to a decrease in latent inhibition, and meditation has been shown to increase dopamine production. I’ve never heard of any instances though of a permanent increase or LLI trigger from temporary dopamine increasing activities…do you continue that meditation today?

      And yes, decentralization is definitely the future. Cloud computing is going to change so many industries. I hope it helps to do away with the antiquated “working 40-hour weeks in a physical office” concept.

  34. hmmm, well it depends on how one qualifies, “meditation”. At one point I did specific things daily, but after I went berserk I stopped, but it continued on. Now, it’s as if my whole life is a meditative experience of some sort.

    It’s difficult to explain, but I’m pretty sure that I can vary the degree of LL by will alone. I can choose to focus in on something that interests me (sometimes) , but I can also focus in on something to some degree, while still having full awareness of my surroundings. It depends on how much intellectual faculties must be used for whatever is of interest.

    Guess I’m just permanently “enlightened” LOL
    :D

  35. Do you clench your jaw often, and grind your teeth at night by chance?

    Also, are you left handed?

    Many Thanks!!

    • Permanently enlightened, I like that :) I do clench my jaw fairly often, I don’t grind my teeth when I sleep (that I am aware of), and I’m very much right handed.

  36. “Mike, whether or not I had to study for a test was entirely dependent on whether or not I had attended class. If I had been in class, then I retained most if not all of what was taught in the classroom and was able to do extremely well on the tests with no additional study time. If I had skipped the class too much, then I had no opportunity to absorb what was taught in class and thus had to study.”

    You know what was crazy about me ??

    I skipped more days than anyone I knew, and still never studied. They’d throw me in the ISS box after missing several days, and I’d plow through all the missed work and then skip out to go smoke a doobie and get a real education on the streets :D

    The faculty would have meetings at the end of the year, and each time concluded that my absences must be excused, because I was too damned smart and still aced most of the material, so doing this would be much more of a detriment than benefit.

    I got super lucky there!

  37. I think the best thing is first knowing you have it, that makes you a lot more of a patient person with yourself. I know I would become frustrated will taking my regents test (NYC & CA schools) because everything that happens a small portion of my thought would go to it. I would complete my test nonetheless and pass it but I would be annoyed that had I been able to put all my thought into my test and not share it with the chirping bird and the loose screw on my desk I would turn my 75 into a 90 or better. I always excelled in English or any subject that allows for creativity but felt bored in subjects like math that allows for minimal creativity. I wish I knew of LLI in the past that way I’d get my mother to stop nagging me to study (studying for me was never easy because with so much going on and the fact I pass my tests without studying I just could sit to do it). It’s also funny to think of all the work my parents had keeping me in my crib or from opening the front door as a toddler because I could adapt to whatever childproof crap they bought and make my escape from my crib. I hope more study is put into researching LLI to help people with learn more about it. 

  38. It gives me a great pleasure to extend my gratitude upon your article.

    Despiting, what I learn from here is no surprising (The characteristics, Pros and Cons) as I was having LLI for sure, so to speak. ;)

    But it is really overwhelming to learn about people who like me really exists, at least 1: 1 000 000. And gave me an exact short CIVILIZED explanation for what I am having, which I could use to explain to other people about me in much more factual manner.

    Thank you very much.

  39. hey sam,
    this article was extremely helpful to me so thank u very much, for a long time i noticed that i think or see things a lot differently then my family or friends, ill sit and i will think about something or a situation for a long time but i will be thinking of ways to go about the situation or different things about the situation it is very difficult to explain what i am trying to say the only way i can put it in words for other people is that” if people see the a color for ex blue they just think it is the color blue but when i see blue i look at what makes the color blue or how light hitting this color makes blue” i am just curious as to if what i have u think is lli, also those pros and cons with the cons they explain me 100% to a tee and the pros i can relate to about 90% of those. if u can answer me back i would really appreciate it thanks so much in advance

    • Well Steve, as I’ve said before, I’m not a doctor, and so I can’t really tell you if you have LLI or not. However, if the things mentioned in the post and the comments an the links to other LLI info describe you perfectly, then chances are good that you do.

  40. Hi Sam.
    I must say I’m really glad i came across this article. It was really interesting to get to know more about LLI. I know Prison Break brought this “condition” to my attention, but I’m not sure why i dug deeper into understanding the condition and found this article. I really don’t know why I’m interested in this. I do in no way suspect that i have a serious case of LLI or any other similar conditions, nor do i view myself as a genius in any way (sure I believe I’m a bit more intellectual than your average 16-year-old, but i still know people who are smarter than me). Now that i know more about LLI, I’m curious to learn more. Like ways to increase and decrease LI, and if high IQ leads to lower inhibitions or if there is no such link. How will LLI affect your performance in sports like football (soccer) and basketball etc.

    Your article was great and reading the comments was very enjoyable too. Especially the chitterychatt between you and Brandon. Interesting to read indeed.

    Just wondering: Do you think people with high temper, high IQ and LLI struggle with anger management while communicating with less intellectual people? I find myself a bit agitated in certain cases while talking to people who are down right stupid, and i imagine it must be much worse for people with your blessing and curse.

    thanks, it’d be wonderful if you could answer my question or just reply in any way you want :)

    Please understand English is not my mother tongue, so my English migth be faulty in many ways, I’m sorry about that. Plus im tired as fuck

    • Hi, I also found out about LLI from prison break and found it fascinating. While my latent inhibition is lower than normal it is still not LLI. I tried to find a way to lower my LI and found it. Start paying attention to everything around you, no exceptions. If you’re reading a book, turn on the tv and try to listen and read at the same time. Be warned though this will cause major headaches, your brain is not used to so much information.

  41. HI…i’ve been searching for someone to ask long time ago plz help me …i know i will not give u all information but i hope this helps…well since i was a child i remember not being able 2 sleep because of a sound or even a breath sound of someone sleeping in the same room even if it is not loud at all..also when people eat beside me imean my parents and others always tell me that they can’t hear it or don’t notice..i have problem with noise actually ..also when we visit any friends 4 the first time and leave I always start to talk about noticing things that other members of my familly didn’t see and they keep saying that is a bad habit and i should not watch every thing …well the big problem here which i despaidly want u 2 help me with please…that i can remember every single thing that have been spoken and every thing that the other did and in any day you want but after a very long while i start 2 forget them or i start to shut them cuz they annoy me as a film of the whole day can be reapeted any time i want ..even my brothers and sis.some times want to make sure of some thing so they ask me and i can remember it,,,well but about what i said earlier i dont think it is LLI what do u think??if u can just help me a bit and if it is good or bad and if there is any one have the same condition????thanx for listining

  42. This information is pure glory, i was diagnosed as ADHD, or as it was back in the 60′s Hyperactive. It was so bad I was constantly at research Hospitals and on Ritalin for many many years. being involved in a research program until I turned 40 years old about ADHD never led me to this conclusion or even hint towards this info at all. The people in the program never seemed open to discuss any other opinion as to what or why, nor have I ever been able to view the results of the research, I plan to keep on trying though. But, the description of LLI is so on point its almost scary . In one way its quite relieving at the same time….

    The descriptions given here are like looking in a mirror …. ty for posting this up!

  43. Your write-up completely mirrored my personality. I did not even notice it until somebody told me I have an analytical mind. I am not well educated and a hail from a village in Nigerian we proper english is hardly spoken. When I talk I am conscious about my tenses making me a poor speaker. Give me an essay of let’s asay 1000 words; without reading it my eyes will pick out the wrong spellings. This thing has really slowed me down and alienated from my society. I see things other people don’t.

  44. I had comments on this post closed for some time due to a particularly annoying comment troll. I’ve opened it back up, but seriously folks, keep it civil, watch your language, and don’t be a prick.

  45. The “no ‘chattering monkey’” thing is great. I’ve oft wondered why I INSIST on talking out loud to myself to help process my thoughts.

    I’ll keep this post short because I know I got the LLI (learned about it from Prison Break as well) and I’m going to tell my mom that it’s probably not ADHD, probably not bipolar, and hopefully not schizoaffective disorder.

    Also, this explains why I’ve quit 13 excellent jobs in 10 years (leaving all of my former department with much more efficient workflow procedures) and have decided to embrace my drawing and writing and spend the rest of my life working on a comic book auteur career.

    Sam, you have made my day. This is the best single breakdown of LLI — of ME — I’ve ever read!

  46. I have been diagnosed with biopolar and have had two manic episodes. like you, i haven’t had to study much in high school, and i feel like i have excelled in college, despite doing the bare minimum (maybe because I always attend class). I do not believe it is possible for me to have an IQ that would result in insanity, though I did go manic. I believe my IQ to be at least around 120… but that is pretty hard to prove…

    I’ve been drugged up, especially after my second episode. I’m currently on a cocktail of drugs, one being adderall. I can’t tell whether or not adderall helps or not.

    Also, I have had chronic headaches starting november 17th of my senior year of high school…any idea what that is about? I had a head ache literally since that day until today. Klonipin has been the only relief I have had….apparently I clench my teeth or something… despite these headaches I was able to win state in doubles tennis using mostly mental tactics, though I am physically gifted in virtually anything I try.

    I also find myself having a very obscure memory…often remembering random days very distinctively…all of the elementary school classrooms I have been in… random days that are significant to me but I feel others would find insignificant…

    What do you think doc? I self-diagnosed myself with LLI, and my mother agrees, though she is just a family practitioner; no psychologist or psychiatrist I have seen has even heard of LLI.

    I constantly bring up plot holes and random stuff while watching movies…duno if that drives my friends crazy….

    I’ve always been popular…though I often find myself alone and depressed, even though it is virtually my own choice to act the way I do….

    I have a huge problem with women, which is pretty much the only thing that bothers me to the point where I cannot get it out of my mind…I hate to sound like such a douche, as I have throughout this post, but I believe myself to be attractive…I can generate conversation with attractive people…but cannot bring myself to approach some people and if I find myself in a situation with someone where I feel things have gone wrong, I virtually end my relationship with that person….

    I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore. Since my headaches started I’ve just been intoxicating myself and I wrote this on a few beers and about 6 mg of klonipin so I apologize for the incoherence. I hope you still reply to this thread…I could use some input…

    Sorry for not proof reading this or anything, but I have been contemplating trying to go nearly drug free…stop the adderall…maybe klonipin…even though that is my only relief to my headaches…i’ve had an MRI, been to so many doctors, tried chiropractic and nothing has helped, except klonipin.

    BUT I could just be a crazy fkup that needs to find something to blame about hating my llfe…i’m hoping once I finish college I’ll be in a better place…living in a fraternity…drinking 2,3,4 times a week and blacking out consistently…smoking weed and being high for almost two years straight…and yet I pull decent grades double majoring at a pretty solid university.

    WELL theres my life in a nutshell. Maybe I should just turn to god. I’m so drugged up all the time I don’t think my brain even functions anymore…if I could pinpoint my problem then maybe I could focus my attention and try to get rid of my anxiety and stress and live up to my potential…

    wahgkalwrbghlauehrgauker i said i was done like 10 paragraphs ago so I’ll see if you even respond to this, since this has been like two years old…then i looked up and you reopened this two weeks ago…

    sorry about this gibberish, its late and I’m a moron.

    I JUST DON’T GET WHY I GET THESE HEADACHES. PRIOR TO THAT ONE DAY, I NEVER, EVER GOT HEADACHES…but now my life has been defined by them…drugs have overwhelmed me because of them…accidental interactions of drugs and alcohol have really done a number on my life….

    I’m too ashamed to even read what I just typed, so ignore this if you will. But if you do, I hope you may throw me an email…I need someone to talk to about this and get my life straightened out before I destroy what may be a great gift….

    ok, i’m finally done QQing

    • Oh, my dear, you are right, mixing alcohol with the drugs/medications can cause problems. I can understand it because of the headache, but there must be some alternative way to deal with the headache. Medical attention specifically to the headache might help – could be migraine or cluster headaches…don’t be ashamed, you needed to say all that, we all have things we don’t like to reveal but it helps other people, too. Do you remember exactly what happened the day the headache started?

  47. I was reading what you posted, and I think my son has this but I am not sure. He is 13, since he was a baby he did not like a lot of noise, if I had the fan on and the air-conditioning turned on he would complain. If trucks went by our car, he had the same reaction. This happened with a lot of other noises all trough his live. He is said to be very smart since he began school. I haven’t had him take an IQ test yet, but I have never had to help him study and he is an A student. He is not understood by his classmates because he is so different. He usually ends up talking to adults in stead of others his age. Sometimes I find it a little frustrating and don’t know how to handle he’s questions, or conversations. He goes in to so much detail while trying to explain things to me. When he was 7 he made me a boomerang with paper and tape and it worked, but he said it needed more weight on one of the tips and made it to work even better, when he was 5-6 years old he had a train set and the train did’t work and he figured out that the contacts where not touching and we fixed it, and he has done different thing trough out his childhood similar to this. His teachers often tell me that he is very gifted. He is constantly building things or drawing. We speak Spanish as our native language, he spent 3 weeks with his father in Pensilvania and he came back speaking English, very fluently. When I take him to the doctor with a sore throat he explains it to the doctor so different that it makes it difficult for us to understand. Sometimes he get’s very bad headaches, and I’ve taken him to see if he needs glasses, but no. And I have taken him to get he’s ears checked because I thought he was sensitive to noises, but they said he had normal hearing. I was thinking to take him to see if he had ADD or ADHD, but I have been reluctant to do so because I did not want him on meds. He is also hyper, but that is just me and he’s teachers that have said this, I have not taken him to any specialist. He doesn’t like to be with a large group of people. I don’t know, it is so many things that he does, I can’t explain it all, but their is not much on LLI and less on children with LLI, and I wanted to know your opinion. Where should I take him to know more, phsycologist?
    Thanks

  48. Hey Sam I’m 12 and I watched prison break and I can relate to a lot of things on it…after I heard about LLI I started to researching it but I get really annoyed by ticking and dripping tapping ect. And I absolutely hat school because I feel it’s pointless because I learn really fast like my math teacher usually takes a whole hour to explain one thing and I don’t even pay attention then I’ll look at the paper and know what to do, I can also watch tv while typing and listen to a conversation and my mom yells at me a lot for it but I don’t ever study for test and I’ve always done good on them when I was in second grade my teacher found it amazing that I could read in a 7th grade level but I don’t really see the insides of things like i don’t know like I can imagine the insides I’ve always had an easy time taking things apart and putting them back together but I always get questions on how I did this or did that I always thought it was just easy I’ve always kinda labels things in my mind but I was just wondering if I have LLI (sorry for a long comment)i almost always win debated and I always have good arguments and good points , I usually jump subject to subject because I have so much to talk about and alot going through my mind sometimes I’ll just doze off and go into deep thinking but once again I was just wondering if I have LLI because I can relate to alot

    • Hey folks, sorry I don’t get on here more often, but I don’t really have much time for my blog these days, too many other things going on. That said, while elements of everything you’ve described certainly sound like LLI, I’m not a doctor, so I can’t really give you any sort of definitive answer.

      That said, keep in mind that LLI isn’t a “condition” in the traditional sense of the word. Everyone has latent inhibition, some higher, some lower, with levels varying from individual to individual. For that reason it’s something that isn’t super easy to diagnose. At best it’s 50% testing and 50% guessing. I’d recommend talking to either a Psychologist or Neurologist about it. They might be able to do some fMRI testing to measure brain activity with different types and levels of stimuli, but that testing isn’t cheap, even with insurance coverage.

      I know that probably isn’t a ton of help, but there you have it. The vast majority of what I know about LLI is either in this article or linked to from this article, so you have the same resources at your disposal that I do.

      Good luck!

      And on that note, I’m not going to be able to respond to future comments on this post. Sorry folks! I’ve been crazy busy with my work, a number of side projects and being an adviser to two startups :) I’m just too busy to give this post any more attention, but I appreciate all the interest and you’re welcome to reach out to others who have posted on here if you have questions.

      • In support of this blog and the work that Sam put into it, i am happy to speak to anyone who wants to know more about LLI further. This blog has changed many lives and provided many people with a great sense of relief that there are others like them. I know sam is extremely busy with projects and other things in his life so please feel free to contact myself and some others either at the website Sam has linked in at the top, or in the facebook LLI awareness group (for those of you who pay enough attention to detail to realise that Sam has said he’s too busy to reply from now on anyway).

  49. I don’t have LLI but am very intrigued and really enjoyed reading the article. I almost wish I did have it in order to take advantage of all of that learning potential… Wow! However, I know there are pros and cons with everything. I’m actually researching for a screenplay that I’m writing and this artical helped a bunch! Thanks and good luck!

  50. Thank you so much for this article, I spent so many years wondering why I was so different from the people around me. Why i could learn so much and so many things at once. Sometimes people think that I have so much training for what I do and the truth is that i learn so fast that it looks like I had prior knowledge. What took most to learn one trade in 3-4 years I was able to learn 6 trades in a year and understand each one better than people who concentrate on just one. When I went to college I went from being computer illiterate to showing my teachers in a short time how to do things. Sometimes I fear of sensory overload because learning is almost a hunger and I feel strange when I’m not. I tend to switch careers a lot because once I’ve consumed the knowledge it has to offer I become board and want to move onto the next thing. I’ve always been able to muscle mimic things as well if I see then I know it. I’ve always felt alone except with my wife because I think she has it as well she was the only one that ever understood me and is probably the reason we’ve always been so close.

  51. I was reasonatily diagnosed with LLI after this filled in all the blanks. But I’m gonna try and help. Sense a few years ago I started to realized that I worked differently and it angered a lot of people to the point were I had to fight every urge to correct a conversation going on around me or not get frustrated with people lagging behind me. I felt like a bad person inside. But I found that my family started to forgive me more after saying something seemingly random during a conversation.

    So what I’m trying to say is finding this out is far to important to be the third result in a google search. ( also I have a bit rarer form of LLI because my low sense of self worth do to my numbered days from a condition known as Cystic Fibrosis. Which is why I “randomly” changed my career choice from engineer to paramedic at the age of 9. I’m only saying this because I want to make sure people have all the extra detail from a different patient. Not to say Sam did more then anybody else could thank you.

    I re-read this and realized the jumping around I tend to do once in a while, sorry.

  52. Hi Sam / All

    Firstly apologies for the length of this post!

    Fascinating article and a real eye opener.

    I never had given this much thought until I came across LLI and read this and other articles and it suddenly hit me. I tick a lot of the LLI boxes. I thought it was just the way I was as I didn’t know any different but hearing everyone’s experiences has started to put things into perspective.

    Do I have LLI (confirmed)?. Well no, I don’t and to be totally honest even though I feel I tick many of the boxes I can’t say for sure.

    Here are just some of the things I have experienced may be you guys can help me decide.

    1. I tend to be very aware of my surroundings for example in a restaurant I’ll hear almost everything at once. The conversation on my table and all other tables, sounds of cutlery, smells etc its not hugely overwhelming but it does amaze me how much I sense and it can be very hard to concentrate on conversation I am engaged in. Also I’ll be typing up a document at work and as others might be engrossed on the task while blocking things out, my mind is constantly taking in actions, sounds and smells of events around me. I’ll know who just sat down/left, listening to a conversation in earshot etc even the smell of someones lunch it’s a kind of constant stream.

    2. If I’m speaking with someone I’m constantly analysing not just what they are saying but their facial expressions / body language and will try to understand what they’re actually thinking or feeling so I can better understand their needs. I do this at work all the time especially when I and running meetings. I use this to my advantage to get the best out of people – I really find this aspect useful. 

    3. I have this (what I call bad) habit of taking something that especially interests or concerns me to the nth degree of possibility. By that I mean I consider all possible outcomes of a scenario and my mind won’t rest until I have covered every scenario and played it out mentally. This isn’t easy but I manage to form some reasoning together and put the issue to bed… That is until I get another variable appear (usually some time later) that means I have to rebalance the equation so to speak. 

    4. I often find it difficult to articulate what I am thinking. My mind knows what to say but often I become unstuck and can’t quite get things out.

    5. My attention span can leave alot to be desired. I context switch often and find I am jumping to different subjects. This can be especially difficult in meetings where often one subject is being discussed and I’ve already moved on in my mind. Or I’m again noticing small things about colleagues that then leads me to often silly conclusions about them for example noticing someone is wearing a new slightly different item of clothing and working out possibilities of when and where it was bought and so it goes until I break the cycle and get back to the meeting (usually when someone re-engages me into the meeting). 

    6. One of the things I have realised since reading about LLI is why I don’t usually last long in large noisy places such as shopping centres etc.  After about an hour I get agitated and can’t quite think straight.

    These are just some of the things I find I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. Now I believe I’m fairly intelligent but don’t really know my IQ level. But as a guess I would say its above average. Well I can only assume if I am LLI and of average to below average intelligence things could beverly different for me)!

    I am creative and very musical (no genius) but can pick up musical instruments fairly quickly and my childhood was spent learning to play the guitar (self taught) as well as taking the guitar apart and putting it back together to make it a better instrument for me ( I can remember spending hours a day doing this). 

    I’ve never had issues as a child, fairly well rounded and well behaved. I often felt however I never did as well as I could do academically. Again as if my mind was unable to articulate what I wanted to say. Generally found I had to work that extra bit harder to get the higher grades. 

    To sum up the above points don’t occur constantly but more in waves from what I can remember. Now that I know much more about LLI I guess I will be observing my behaviours. 

    Apart from this article and comments I really haven’t found anywhere else I can discuss this.

    Apologies for the long post and thank you again SamAntics for raising this topic.

    Can someone have mild LLI?

    Your thoughts and comments please?

    Thank you!

  53. Hi Sam,

    I must say this is what I have been searching for, for years on end now. Like many here, Prison Break sparked my interest on the issue, however it was long before it that I suspected there was something ‘different’ about me.

    From a very young age, around 5, I began playing video games, was a way of spending energy and keeping myself busy, (as I too was believed to have ADD), even quite advanced games, and pre-10 I found myself so involved that I did not want to be that 10 year old playing with the adults in the big games, and so I pretended to be an adult. And I have no memory of a single person ever believing that I was not an adult, simply from the way I acted, and spoke, and my capabilities in such advanced games.

    Through school I could hardly pay attention as I was always analyzing everything in the room, everyone’s facial expressions, body language, things on the walls, even out the window, and found myself constantly, and involuntarily, reading people. Whenever I have a conversation with someone I am constantly reading their facial expressions/body language, and mainly their eyes, I find I can read emotions and feelings down to a T, and even without the slightest hint can figure out what they are feeling. (Some girlfriends have found this appealing, and others a little creepy). All the while paying attention to what they are saying, as well as everything else going on around me.

    Even during all this, all of a sudden if a teacher asked me a question or the classic “What did I just say”, to the person who clearly wasn’t listening, I always recited their words exactly, or knew the answer to the question even though I wasn’t paying attention in the slightest. Like others here I also missed school far more often than I should, and felt it didn’t impact my performance in the slightest, Not once did I hand work in late or incomplete, and rarely did I receive a mark reflective of my clear lack of commitment, I always landed in the 70′s+ (A – B’s), and teachers always had comments about their surprise in regards to it.

    A particular area where my teachers became more interested in me was Maths, I could be given a formula that clearly made no sense to me, however then be given a question and even though the formula made no sense, I could remember it and work out the question faster than any other.

    I’ve always been naturally good at puzzles and codes, I find myself deciphering things just for the fun of it, and playing puzzle games while studying / working just to keep myself interested / entertained.

    I often see things or hear things that others do not, often saying “Did you hear / see that” just to reassure myself that I’m not crazy. And I find myself paying more attention to what is going on around me than what I am actually trying to do. And normally, to keep myself sharp I often make games out of them. I live on Campus at a University currently, and the laundry room door, approximately 60-70meters from my kitchen, makes a very distinct crackling sound, although not overly loudly, when it is opened / closed, I have often tested others asking them if they hear it, and most either say they weren’t paying attention or didn’t hear it. However I always find myself counting in the back of my mind how many times the door is opened / closed while I am in the kitchen.

    I hear the lightest footsteps on grass, a crack in the floorboards on the other side of the house. When in a test / exam I can’t block out everyone’s pencil noises, or the trees rustling outside, or the ceiling fans rattling, I find it difficult to focus on something like a test with so many little noises going on around me. Even while typing this I cannot block out my computer fans, my housemates in the kitchen or cars outside.

    The strangest part that peaked my curiosity, was that despite my often lack of interest, commitment, and general performance (I never did badly but could hardly be regarded as a top student), I was placed in all the top classes from high school onwards, even though most would agree that I shouldn’t have been. Although there were no obvious placings, it is common knowledge that schools sneak in basic IQ tests and such in order to determine class placements and rankings. Despite my personal opinion and interest I was always in top classes and could never understand why, and why all my teachers tried to push me to get more interested and involved. Even specifically, I was often singled out by the teachers / kept aside to be pushed harder. Had this been in lower settings or classes I would have just assumed it was because I was a low performer and they were just trying to help me, but being in the top of the top classes, it made me curious to there real purpose, and it sooner became clear to me they knew something that I did not, and that was the results of the subtle IQ tests.

    I have taken dozens of official and internet tests, and results have bounced between 145-155, although this in itself is no real indication, the correlation between the effects of LLI and a high IQ made me realize just how much I analyzed and took in everything going on around me.

    I also find myself looking at the simplest things in great detail, when I see someone, I see the color / fabric of each piece of clothing, I straight away notice any stains or marks, I can easily spot gaps in make-up or hair styles. And also a sort of imaginary x-ray vision, when I look at a car, I see the car and everything on it, as well as picturing where the engine is under the hood, and every component.

    One of your posts brought a great smile to my face, the driving post where you said LLI either makes you so aware that it makes you an awkward nervous, or a great driver. While learning to drive my mother always commented saying I wasn’t paying enough attention to what was going on, not checking mirrors / blind spots enough, and not paying attention to other cars on the road, and it always annoyed me because I was always paying 110% to absolutely everything, whether I was trying to or not. I was watching every single car in sight, paying attention to all my mirrors simultaneously, and to every little detail, if a bird landed on the ground 200m ahead, I was already checking in every direction and devising a plan to stop or swap lanes and every other alternative.

    Your original post also had a point that related to me 100%, that those with LLI hear every sound individually and clearly. I often drive with music louder than most would deem pleasant, and can still hear my engine and know when to shift. I play games such as Counter Strike (If you are familiar with it) with my music rather loud and can still hear footsteps (Which are rather faint in the game). To try and focus whenever I’m playing games I purchased an expensive pair of noise cancelling headphones, however even with them on, I can hear the faintest sounds from around me, and even if the sound is so minute there could be a million possibilities, I immediately deduce what it is and what it came from and in my head it becomes plain as day. I’ve found there is no way at all to shut out the constant stream.

    I could go on with hundreds of stories, and do apologize for the length of this post, however with the natural desire to know what things are and how they work, I’ve been searching for some form of proof or semi-professional opinion as to what these ‘symptoms’ are related to, and every single thing you have said in your posts has described me 100%.

    Sorry again for the length of the post and I hope you get a chance to reply.

  54. Marijuana is great for coping with LLI. Although large doses may be required to achieve the desired effect and I’m sure it doesn’t work for everyone the same way.

  55. Sam do I have, this LLI thing of yours, I always manage to get the truth since I was born, 5 out of 10 of my ex girl friends get caught by myself through processing some unusual behavior within 3days time of cheating..I don’t watch horror movies but I’m a 29years old, I got scared..I was always the best in class since std 1 to my matric..I grew up in poor family but I never bother my parents, when my friends get new things to play, something like toys, I just make my own toys at my own..I rember I once made shoes at my own and I thaught they are going to laugh at me but instead they envy them.am I a creative genius?

  56. hi my name is Sam and im pretty sure i might have LLI, i can see through lies and fake personnalities, background noises piss me off, people reading out loud piss me off, i dont just see what in front of me i see what around it whats in it whats it constructed by etc…… i dont know what to do any advice?

  57. I can’t be thankful enough for Sam’s article and all your comments. I actually broke down and started crying like a baby, because this summed up all my skills and flaws. And all my life… I could never understand why my smart friends don’t see, notice or understand things that I do, even though some of them are clearly smarter than me.

    This explained pretty much my whole life, why I was so good in school although I never tried and had very bad simptoms of what they called ADHD, and making my teachers go insane because no matter what I was doing or who I was talking to I could always repeat what they said and was three steps ahead of them. Oh how many times I got an F on my math exam because I would just write the result instead of the whole procedure how I got to it. School system was just not made for me, now I see it. And I understand why I switch interests and jobs very often – just devouring everything there is to know about a topic in such a short time. My driving skills, knowing everything around me and calculating their every move. Noticing details on people, physical and emotional. Picking up their thoughts and feelings easily, and their lies. There’s much more but many people before me explained it very well, here in comments.

    Something else is bothering me here, since my IQ is about 130, I do see a lot of bad to this, too. Bipolar disorder; or to say, its bad simptoms. Depression, comimg mostly out of feeling so alone and like nobody understands me. Rushing through life, sometimes like I am trying to escape from all that’s overwhelming my mind. What feeds my mind very soon might start feeling like it’s destroying it. People liking me more than I would like them to, sometimes. Having patience to deal with liars and leeches, everywhere. Also, because I have this need to analyze everything, very rarely something can actually suprise me, make me laugh, cry, etc. I feel like I’m missing out on all the fun normal people have. At the same time, when I do feel an emotion, it usually devours me. When something makes me extremly happy, I can feel like my whole body is changing, and since I notice the changes it only makes the feeling stronger. The same thing happens with being sad.

    I am just wondering if you guys noticed the emotional part to it too, do you analyze your emotions too, does that make them stronger, are you hard to impress like I am. Or does all this have to do with the fact I am not in the 140+ IQ range (seeing so many bad parts of LLI)

    Big thank you to my smart friend who pointed me in the right direction.

    • I think we’re very alike. I don’t really smile much or show many emotions but when I do I go all out, like you’ve pointed out. It’s nice to know that others feel like I do and it’s a shame this is not more recognised and people have to live for 18+ years sometimes before we stumble across this web page. I came across this in September and I am 27. 27 years of feeling different and singled out but I feel ,much better that I know I have LLI and have somewhere (here) where I can go to talk.

  58. I have LLI and I would say Sam does. I am sure there are others here that also have LLI but I am also sure others here are posting similarities to what Sam has already posted to ensure they get the green light from “Sam” – This all knowing being of LLI (all due respect mate).

    This should be for reading and you should know whether you have Low Latent Inhibition or not and shouldn’t be posting questions about whether you have it when you’re (possibly) copying the symptoms that have already been laid out in front of you. It’s like copying the answers to a test and asking the teacher “Did I get it right?”.

  59. Hi, recently my unusual experiences were identified by an expert as Shaktipat – that I am a natural (untaught) sender. It was always surprising because there were no conscious intentions to do this. It has most often occurred with creative geniuses and that may be because they have LLI.

  60. Thank you Sam. Thank y’all.
    Everyone has said it all. Only that as for me, I don’t finish anything. Everything I’ve started are all in fragments, at most 43%. But they’re all completed in my head, I just can’t express them. I managed to finish college with a first class division, averaging 93.2%. IQ is 167 and I’m 30 in March. I’m an autodidact, I hate light, water, noise, crowd, onion, and some very basic things. It’s crazy to list them here. When I saw Prison Break, I knew Michael and I had something. In fact, my friends said they had made a show about me.
    Once again, thank you Sam, and thank y’all for making me have a thorough understanding of me.

  61. Everything in the pros and cons as listed by Sam is what clearly describes me. And an addition of never being able to finish anything. Girls say they JUST can’t date me because of some of the bullet points in the cons list. I wondered for many years but now I have a very good understanding of my nature.
    This is awesome!!!

  62. Hey, if you were to have LLI, can it’s intensity fluctuate ? I’m starting to believe I have it after doing some research but it seems like some times it’s way worse than other times. Some times I notice how bad it is during it’s occurrence and my mind gets so busy I think about just relaxing and letting my mind rest although I never actually can fight it too well, but other times it seems to lessen or disappear, at least until I think about it that is. but once I begin letting my thoughts start it just seems like rapid fire .. vicious circle.. knocking down so many different topics in so little time … also do you ever imagine carrying out conversations with people that you know, but only in your head, just because it’s a conversation that you wish to have or maybe just some things wish to say to them in person? I dont know, also here lately it feels as if my mind is getting worse like i used to be very confident with spelling and very rarely misspell words but its seems like here lately i’ve been second guessing myself and it just feels like my mind is getting duller and I DO NOT like it at all could it just be stress ? please reply ! i feel like im going to write too much haha sorry

    • P.S. I’m also worried that maybe as much as I’d HATE to say this, but maybe it’s possible that my IQ is too low to handle LLI adequately ?

  63. Im startin to think that this is what i have, tell me do you hear sounds in complete silence, i dont know if its electricity or what, i also see as if im viewing my surroundings through a fuzzy tv, and i day dream uncontrollablly, i often dont even realize im doing it

    • I hear sounds in “complete silence.” The air blowing through the heating and cooling ducts can keep me awake or distract me from what I am doing. Hearing people walk in the apartment above me hurts my ears and I want to shout “Take off your shoes!!!” but I would be considered unreasonable. I hear the electricity from the refrigerator. The noise of water running through the pipes, or the dishwasher, disturbs me. I sometimes hear electricity and have to turn the lights off. That said, I sleep a lot, but wake up when the sprinklers go on outside. Oddly enough, I like the sound of the washing machine. I have no idea why. Maybe it masks other sounds. I love to multitask, but the one that REALLY got me was about the driving. I used to be a good driver, but a truck hit my car – the guy wanted insurance money, but I ended up with a bad back – now I am terrified to drive and have sold my car. But it is all worth it somehow when I read history and can trace the threads of the present from the things that happened in the past. That just brings me great joy. (Not that I am thrilled about what is going on now, it’s just that being able to understand how it got this way is so fascinating.) I believe we are all here for a reason, and that this “condition” has its purpose.

  64. Hey Sam. I’ve known that I’m different to most people for a long time and that I see everyday things differently to everyone else. I’m 21 and I’m somewhat the opposite from you when it comes to the IQ, not saying I’m stupid, but I’m far from being a genius. To me, nothing is simple, my brain never turns off and I find it close to impossible to focus on one thing without getting distracted. I also have ‘chronic insomnia’ do you think LLI is th reason behind that?

  65. When i 10 years old, i was clever. I’m a dilligent student. But now, i just a lazy boy with stuck cleverity. I feel i lost my cleverity. What about my reason? Have i a LLI?

  66. Hello there Sam,
    A “friend” of mine mentioned having LLI, so I started doing some research on it. But the more research I do, the more I feel like I have it as well. I have a lot of the “symptoms” in your post, but am also missing a few. I have a higher than average IQ, but I can no longer breeze through technical subjects such as math and physics, although I understand the content perfectly well. I get distracted really easily, and depend on my ipod to keep me focused. I’m trying to figure out if I’m bipolar, just depressed, or if it’s something more, like LLI. I’m quite creative and dabble in visual arts and music. Often, I find myself with no time to do anything, but so much to do. But when I do have time, I can’t focus on anything, and have no will to do anything. Is that possibly related to LLI?

  67. Also, I find myself really good at multitasking, but sometimes I catch myself staring off into space for quite a while, without thinking of anything. I often find it difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying, because of all the other conversations going on around me. I also jump from topic to topic without really noticing until someone points it out. But I the stream of stumili varies for me. SOmetimes I can concentrate without any problems whatsoever, but at other times I just can’t focus at all.

    • So when you in that situation, is that normal? For someimes i think like a genius, but somtimes i think like an idiot with no activities in our mind. So what the solution? Can you give it to me?

  68. I am currently in my 20′s and have been on ADD medication since 4th grade. The medication I take is Concerta. While I have a very high IQ, I have noticed I have most if not all the negative effects of LLI. Is it possible that I could have LLI instead of ADD and the medication is stifling the positive effects of the condition?

  69. Hey there. It was a long time ago since I’ve taken an IQ test, and back then I was younger and didn’t care that much. As far as I could remember, the result was that I didn’t have a very high one or I had an average to say the least. Now, I’m not sure of the real value of my IQ. I do feel though that my mind has improved in its way of thinking ever since, but I don’t think that’s a significant matter since everyone’s cognitive aptitudes develop over time in the first place. I’m a bit confused now since most of the pros, as far as I know and understand, you have aforementioned apply to me. I don’t really like to assume because I don’t like to be disappointed. And yes, it’s because I find it something to be proud of if ever I did have this. But by saying that, it would probably imply to you that I am not experiencing its cons (which is unlikely), or that I’m not aware that I’m experiencing them, or that I’m oblivious to them, or maybe that they rest within my threshold. By saying all these, I’m actually assuming that I have LLI which apparently contradicts my, “I don’t really like to assume,” line. You see now? The propensity to think of so many things at once is one of the factors that urges me to presume that I do have LLI, but I don’t know to what extent. Look at the statements I just wrote; those are actually overflowing info. I didn’t mean those, and I do apologize for running around the bush. Anyway, my real intention for writing here is that (and finally the real confusion) do you really have to have a high IQ to experience LLI? I mean yes, you mentioned that if you have low IQ, you are likely to be experiencing insanity. But I mean, the good side of it, the intelligence that comes along with it. As far as my previous IQ result is concerned [which I'm actually still not sure of. I prolly got it wrong even. I'm really sorry for the massive obscurity of the the information I'm giving you. I must be a pain in the posterior. I'm sorry again, but given your high IQ, I bet and I hope it would be less discomforting to analyze me] should I be less assuming of the probable fact that I may have LLI? Also, I’m not really good at math which is basically why I’m writing here because I have the tendency to think I’m dumb when I’m not good at something which some people are great at. I can answer problems but it takes tremendous effort and a longer time to do so, probably influenced by my math anxiety as well. In short, I’m not dumb at it, but surely not one of my best trait. I have a knack for English and words, and English is not my native tongue. I trust my intuition most of the time and it proves to be really helpful especially when it comes to me dealing with people. Sometimes, I do think of myself as a little intense as I can feel that the people whom I talk to don’t comment back on what I say. I think about the future, a lot of possible consequences and solutions as well which brings me to my next question which is what context of creativity is being described here? Does it have to do with art per se? Or problem-solving? Or innovation? Social creativeness? Because by golly, if it has something to do with art, I’m out of the list. Haha. I do appreciate paintings, especially abstract, and their details, though.

    To sum up, my questions are just basically:
    1. Do you need to have high IQ to have the benefits of LLI? I mean, can’t you be intelligent in ways other than being able to solve the problems given in an IQ test? Like maybe you are a medical genius, or a computer genius but not genius in its classic sense – basing on intelligence quotient.

    2. What context of creativity is being described here?

    I really enjoyed writing in your blog because somehow I feel secure that the you would understand me. It’s hard to explain things to some people sometimes because I think I don’t get to speak words they may be able to relate to more. Thank you very much for your time, Sam!

    • Hi Belle,

      1. Latent Inhibition is just a fancy name for the filter between your subconscious and your conscious. IQ is a measure of your ability to process complex data and solve problems quickly and accurately, and also to some degree a measure of accurate recall ability. If you have lower than normal latent inhibition, more data makes it to the conscious mind. If you have a high IQ, you’re better equipped to handle the additional data.

      It’s certainly possible to have some of the positives of LLI without a high IQ, you’re just more likely to have more of the negatives.

      2. Creativity isn’t about pulling things out of thin air, but about taking many different data points (things you’ve seen or heard, consciously or unconsciously) and bringing them together in a new way. Because LLI gives you access to more sensory input, you have more to work with, and if you have a high IQ, you’re better able to process it instead of having it to overwhelm your mind.

      There are of course many different types of intelligence, and while IQ tests measure a few, they miss some (emotional intelligence for one).

      Hope that answers your questions! I rarely have time to answer questions on here, but wanted to jump on and answer yours.

      • Hey, Sam. Thank you very, very much! You have no idea how this simplifies things for me. Very brief yet incredibly accurate and informative! You really are a genius. Somehow it also gave me a boost in self-esteem too. Strange, but true. Thanks again! I’m really delighted you took time to read my novel and answered it. More power! :)

  70. Hey, Sam
    I am an international student in the U.S. For the past 23 years, those information and strange feeling of unconscious memory make me crazy. I have a strong gift of drawing complex structures on paper, and never lost my direction in any places. I could build a flow chart for any logical information in books or articles as long as I finish reading them. However, those thinking are not making me feel better. I suck in exams because my mind was changing too fast, and I tend to write something not related with exam questions during the half of the exam. In order to exhaust my extra thinking ability, I choose 3 majors and 3 minors in a four year college. However, it still could not prevent me thinking of those detailed stimuli in my life. I watched Prison Break but not realize I may have the same problem as Scofield. After reading your posts, I realize it might be the thing I have. I just want to know if some expertises could help me diagnose it and gave me some treatment advice.

  71. Have you ever experience that when you hear jokes you can already identify that it’s a joke and have you ever experienced that you see everything that goes in front of you

  72. I will start this letter in the same manner I am so used to prefacing much of my communication—with apologetics and qualifying statements: I realize that what I am going to say might very well cause you to perceive me as arrogant, pretentious, or delusively grandiose. This is not my intention. I implore you to hear me out with an open mind. I have explored my personality, situation, and difficulties intensely and critically thought about my situation very carefully. I know how very flawed I am; I do not believe I am rationalizing my personal schemas for the purpose of self-interest. I strive to objectively analyze myself in order to grow.
    I am writing this letter because it is difficult for me to verbally express myself thoroughly to people. I express myself best through writing (although even this is often misunderstood). I have done many hours of research, talked to other people who have this condition, and tried to objectively evaluate myself (understanding the concept of selective perception), to find out whether I truly am characterized by a neurological disorder called low latent inhibition. Basically: “As you may be aware, LLI doesn’t enhance a person’s senses or cognitive prowess; it is simply the decreased function of the inhibition mechanism of the brain (that is, the function that removes unnecessary and irrelevant sensory information, streams of thought and connected memories/dreams from our conscious thought.) In simpler terms: the inability or reduced ability to ignore.” I feel I fit this criteria. I ask for your unbiased interpretation and assessment.
    Please understand that I do not see this disorder as something to be proud of or happy about; it is a huge hindrance and a powerfully destructive force. It affects every moment of my life and causes extreme amounts of stress, anxiety, depression, disappointment, discouragement, hopelessness, loss of focus, memory problems, exhaustion, the inability or diminished capacity to take action and react efficiently, diminished self-esteem, resentment, poor time-management, asocial thoughts and attitudes, lack of intimacy, unrealistic goals, lack of identity, poor job performance, and I believe it even causes physical pain produced by stress.
    I did not come to this conclusion lightly. Since I was nine years old I knew I wasn’t like everyone else and thought much differently. I vividly remember one instance as a child when I wasn’t thinking about anything and I literally perceived my environment as occurring in slow motion and lost all sense of hearing. Surprised and feeling strange, I immediately told my closest friend. This only happened once and probably lasted less than a couple minutes, but this event has stayed with me as one of the most powerful memories I have ever formed—I can still vividly remember the exact scene in motion.
    When I was fifteen, I realized I had a problem. I was examined by innumerable family doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists. I have been misdiagnosed more times than I can remember. At the age of nineteen, I became very reclusive, believing that I possessed a character flaw that prevented people from liking me. A couple years later, I dedicated my thirst for knowledge to the endeavor of learning how to best respond purposefully in any situation in order to gain control over my life and my environment. This new quest afforded me many new passions such as philosophy, psychology, sociology, communication, martial arts, general self-defense, meditation and many subcategories such as body language and organizational skills, Now, I am twenty six and have many models at my disposal to utilize in nearly any given situation. By the way of meditation, introspection, and critical thinking, I have gathered much clearer insight into my relationship with the world, but am still no less conflicted! Because I have learned so much, people simply conclude that I became much smarter and I am asocial because ‘I am too smart for my own good’—this is not the case.
    By mere happenstance, someone close to me told me that they had heard of this disorder and thought of me. I carefully compared and contrasted signs (I will only attempt to list a couple here—I could, and, in fact, already have discursively written hundreds of pages on this purportedly unique problem of mine). For the first time in my life I feel comfortable labeling my condition (with the information I have discovered thus far). It also feels empowering and encouraging to think that there are people I can relate to and learn from.
    • I am excessively aware and continually cogitating acutely on incoming stimuli. While I do have keen sensitivity to physical stimuli, what I recognize as markedly strange is my unique response to information.
    o I unknowingly, but consistently, correlate a plethora of information to seemingly unrelated concepts or experiences.
    o I analyze my response to information to such a degree that it would seem ridiculous to most people. I explore every factor of every outcome of my decisions so thoroughly that I find negative scenarios arising from all or nearly all possible choices. This often results in my inaction or inability to authentically express or defend myself because of my fear of potential consequences. The problem with this is that what I gain in security from my extreme caution I lose in self-respect; I preclude my ability to retaliate against someone who has a disproportionate amount of leverage over me, whether they actually know it or not. This makes me appear weak. In many regards, I am often unable to command respect in situations where a normal person with similar resources would demand it because their reaction is derived from instincts and snap judgments devoid of intense critical thinking and advanced logical assessment.
    • The entirety of my life experience so far has shown me that I do not relate with ANYONE I have met.
    o This is not caused by lack of effort. I am very outgoing and approach people all the time. I research, study, apply and practice numerous models and concepts relating to communication and human interaction (I started listing all of the areas and realized the list is too long for this reading) almost to the point of obsession. By way of intense critical thinking, introspection, and evaluating how I present myself, I find that many models do not work for me because of the very nature of my thought processes.
    o I attempt to identify with every type of person in certain explicit respects, but specifically look for people to meet who are curious, intelligent, or even socially awkward to build rapport and ultimately identify with—all to no avail. I have even tried assimilation with no success.
    o I feel I am adequately confident, thoughtful, cheerful, funny, loyal, honest, and caring enough to communicate effectively. However, my immense curiosity and complexity of thought overpowers the interaction and people generally see me as someone who is challenging them. I have attracted many people by hiding this part of myself in many interactions and relationships only to find myself feeling unfulfilled, dissatisfied, terribly bored, and surreptitiously judgmental.
    o This feeling of being completely alone and not identifying with people, despite incredible effort to do so, is very vexing. I often times feel the endeavor is futile. Humans’ desire to belong is undeniably strong and I feel very discouraged because I am unable to meet this desire. This is why I have focused this writing to this aspect of my personality. Additionally, I have unique challenges and circumstances that arise from this condition such as: anxiety, depression, energy, motivation, memory, education, career, decision-making, fear, resentment, anger, and physical health etc…

    I have trouble communicating because my mind always is looking to advance as far as possible in logic and reasoning. The degree of evaluation and the sequence of logic, conclusions and questions far surpasses most people’s expectations of logical development with regard to the amount of, and time given to, the information presented. This is a problem because the person I am communicating with is still talking about point A while I want to move on to point Q with justifiably-valid logic. Being very polite and thoughtful, I listen genuinely to people, give them plenty of time to speak, and limit my interruptions, but I already understand the point they are trying to make and simply want to move on to further thoughts for collaboration. I wind up attempting to retain and progress my thoughts while simultaneously listening intently to the other party—this eventually leads to me losing my train of thought. This is one way which hinders my ability to express myself adequately. The other party is generally not very interested in critically thinking about or logically succeeding the conversation in order to find meaning. Or they simply spend an unnecessarily large amount of time expounding on basic premises. My head swims with ideas that I cannot express because most of the time people cannot follow the expression of my train of thought. I become bored, impatient, frustrated, and sometimes resentful in conversations because I cannot express myself. I often frustrate my teachers by asking questions (based on their current teaching) that they were not planning to address for some time.
    I am very intuitive and generally able to read people very well. People often say I am a little intense. They admit to having dissimilar values and interests. Professors and people who know me call me smart, but that isn’t the root of my quandaries. I took an IQ test when I was in high school, and while I did score fairly high (in 140’s), my score wasn’t off the charts. I have met many very intelligent people and am still unable to relate to them because we do not share the same level of desire with regard to developing the best schemas; instead of communicating openly and creatively with passionate curiosity and an ability to question their own beliefs for truth’s sake, they aggressively assert their own preconceived and limited schemas and/or passively listen to or accept my reasoning with no interest in collaborating for the purpose of reaching a goal of deeper understanding—they want to show what they know rather than critically think to grow.
    People obviously get frustrated or impatient with me because they feel I ‘over-analyze’. These people also often openly admit to not caring about learning anything that will challenge them to surpass what others’ expectations of them are. My concept of the generalized other is one of ignorance and arrogance. I have tried, but do not know how to change this.
    The tools I have learned and developed to cope with my issue(s) are: meditation; mindfulness techniques; organization; personal philosophy and rules to live by; intense and very long studying; escape through entertainment; consciously altering my physiology in order to alter my mood, outlook on life, and self-talk; exercise; and martial arts.
    I need a tangible role model and people to surround myself with that will challenge me, people that have the same intense desire for collaboration as I do. Despite taking the correct academic steps, I still struggle with a career choice and expressing myself authentically. I could really use some guidance or help—I am unsure where my own devices will lead me.

    • “Your dream job doesn’t exist – you have to create it.” If you lived here I would know exactly which group would be of help to you…it is a group of people who own their own small businesses, and they get together to discuss what people need and to exchange business cards, and they get online to promote everyone’s business… I do not perceive you as arrogant or delusional, but then all I have seen of you is this one post. Think of what you can offer the world, or the area in which you live…think of what you love doing…then go within and you will find your answer.

  73. I understand you I’ve also felt the same way a lot of people know us most of them think that they are our friends but only a chosen few are our real friends we keep our self away from people thinking they will someday turn their back on us and trusting only those who those we can and strengthening our bonds with them and depending on them when all else fails

  74. i think i might have LLI but idk. mabe u can help. i felt relief when i found out wat LLI was. i always felt different, but i always feel like im smarter than the people around me. i like pattern. i see pattern. i always feels the need to be 1 step ahead of people. during my childhood, i never really pay attention to anything. i was always “lost” in my mind. looking back at my childhood, i felt dumb. i didnt get bad grades, but i didnt feel smart until i hit my freshman years. i had a enghish teacher who taught me to “see more”. and from that point on, everything just start to open up. i feel like if i was a detective, i would be so good. i dont see every details or notice everything but i do notice changes. everything has a pattern and i can figure it out. my family relationship is good but i dont feel connected to them. in fact, i dont get attatched to people if i dont like them.. im socially akward,which sucks alot. if would help me alot if u reply.

  75. Hey Sam! I noticed you posted a reply not long ago, just thought I’d say i hope all your projects etc are all going well! Whenever you get any free time (as rare as that might be) it’d be great to chat to you via e-mail etc.

    • Thanks! I try to reply periodically, but don’t have the time as often as I would like. Projects are going well, busy busy :) If you have questions or thoughts you’re free to email them, I just can’t promise to respond quickly ;)

  76. Hi y’all, I think I have this condition but that’s beside the point of my post. I wish to provide a literary reference. In Edgar Allan Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” the protagonist (Roderick Usher) is afflicted with a “morbid acuity of the senses”. This tale and others may be the best way for us to understand our condition. Poe was certainly a recipient of this “gift” as are many of our writers, artists and yes, even scientists. Since studies of LLI are in its infancy it may be best to probe great works to see reflections of ourselves…

    • Excellent thought! I watched “Fall of the House of Usher” many times, and i think I might watch it again. The first time I saw it, I was quite young and it scared me but I wouldn’t admit it because I was watching it with my cousins…lol…I wish it could have ended differently, but of course, it couldn’t…. the way it ended was absolutely right. I love Poe because he can take scary things and get into the psyche behind it. Ah, the lost Lenore!!!!! Truly.

  77. It’s interesting to note that night owls have a higher IQ on average those up with dawn, also those who are born in the winter time (climate wise, not calendar wise) also have a higher average IQ.

    Where am I getting with this?

    The casuality goes both ways here.
    If born in the winter time, there might be more time spent in, there are som many dark hours. Instead of experiencing a thousand beaches and cafés in you first months of CNS-development, you spend a lot of time finding new details in more of the same environment, there are less stimulation from the outside at all (if you have snow, it dampens reflections and makes for a soft acoustic environment), next to no birds and insects. My reasoning is that this fosters a lower latent inhibition.

    On the other hand, night owls: I’m pretty sure this is a rhythm automatically sought out, when the mind by time realizes that this is the quietest time, with the least amount of social interactions – thereby allowing the mind some rest from the enormous amounts of data that has to be processed. If the same person had practised yoga to learn to control the inhibition, or had a higher cognitive processing speed (some what akin to IQ) the information levels would be more in range with the processing ability, and would perhaps be a daylight person. So there’s a range of latent inhibition, and there’s a range of processing speed (and of course both of these differing in different sensory and cognitive areas).

    This became somewhat of a long rant, just wanted to share my thoughts I’ve been studying the subjects for a long time. I’m born in the swedish all night december, been a night owl most of my life (since in the womb, mom says). I have a pretty low LI, and a fairly high CC (cognitive capacity).

    However – I’ve experienced being at the threshold.

    See, in hard times, stressful situations and family tragedies, IQ/CC goes down (it’s not fixed you know!) and at those times the level of input can go over the limit of what you’re capable of processing. When these parameters diff to much, your CPU tries to overclock it self, and burns out – beyond the point of return. That’s schizofrenia, etc. Often this happens in the end of the twenties, since social ecology changes so much at that time.

    What happens most of the time though is that self medication takes place. Alcohol is a great sensory inhibitor. All (?) other drugs decrease latent inhibition, which is also the reason why some people freak out from cannabis or psychedelic drugs, while these are wonder tools to others.

    No sources quoted here I’m afraid, would take me too long time, and I’m supposed to work on a system for a client right now, so better get back to it.

    If you’ve gotten all the way here, I guess the rant was worth it ;), just couldn’t stop.

  78. Do people with LLI generally have what is considered a high working IQ? When younger I was given a test and I scored eseptionally high for what was considered a working IQ. but I get bored with everything easy. :/

    • I assume you mean working memory. It’s certainly possible that they’re connected, since working memory and LLI are both associated with dopamine levels. No idea for sure though.

  79. hey sam i’ve been reading your blog and it has helped me in many ways i could figure out exactly what my problem is i could fill in all the gaps. now all the piece of the puzzle is falling i places now but i still doubt that if i have lli cause there are some symptoms like the one with the 3D movie im okay with dat it dosnt affect me and the one with the smell i do smell more and see more but i think its normal like my friend changed his specs frame and i was the only one who noticed it but i think it is normal and i do jumble up with words like ‘simple’ and ‘single’ i dont know how. I tend to feel very attached to people who are less fortune like handicapped or the people who are in need of anything i do anything and every thing i have in my power to help them.
    can u help me or figure out a form to help us find symptoms…..??
    your thankfully,
    Jijo
    from INDIA

    • and to add to it I have a way of knowing a car or a motor bike just by the sound of it. and i can write on topics endlessly though i tend to drift far away from topic eventually from time to time. i dont value money like other people do and i dont know why, and i know the value of money as i am not from a great family background,i like to keep the gifts or something else given to me by some1 as my treasure. i have a great deal of memory as i can recall each and every detail of everything that happened to me when i was at the age of five.

  80. I’m no psychiatrist but I feel like many mental illnesses cannot be attributed to a specific cause even though modern medicine would say so. I’m not sure if I have LLI to some degree but I do have heightened awareness and I’d say my iq is top 5-10%. However I have a variety of problems, both mental and physical, like anxiety and fatigue.

    I don’t know if one could say that they HAVE LLI, only that they display these qualities/symptoms. People who show signs do not all have the same reasons. I suspect environmental factors contribute, like those which cause anxiety (and heightened awareness), as well as genetic causes.

    Overall I think mental illness is really misunderstood, especially in how it’s treated. Cognitive behavioral therapy is too easily overlooked in favor of medication, and I personally don’t believe in altering the brain with foreign chemicals.

    • You can certainly say that you have LLI :) But that doesn’t mean it’s the source of your troubles. In terms of medication, it depends entirely on the root of your mental problems, whatever they may be. For many people with mental illnesses, their brains don’t produce the right chemicals, or produce them in incorrect amounts and at the wrong time, so medication can certainly help to solve problems for said individuals.

      The real challenge in the arena of mental illness lies with attempts at self-diagnosis. I mean, I’m all for self examination, and I think we should all do more of that, but if you’re trying to identify your own issues, and you just aren’t making headway, then seeking outside help is probably a wise choice…just get a 2nd and maybe a 3rd opinion for any diagnosis before you go the medication route.

    • I agree that mental health/illness is not yet being treated in an optimal way. Part of the reason is dysfunctional families, part of the reason is poor education and nasty teachers (they’re out there!), and I think that because of neuroplasticity these experiences make physical changes in our brains. And of course there is the anxiety and fear fostered by our culture. But there must also be ways to repair the damage. I also agree with you that cognitive behavioral therapy can be very effective. I needed medication, but it has been reduced, and I think it is because I also have the talk therapy…but with LLI, I think there are many of those symptoms that I would like to keep! I’d like to get rid of the fear of driving, and I would like to tone down my intense reactions to sound, but the multitasking – well I love it. I wouldn’t feel like me if I couldn’t frame a bunch of details into a theory about how things work. That’s why I don’t think of it as an illness, but am willing to call it a “condition.”

  81. Hi Sam,

    I too recently finished watching prison break and I was fascinated with Micheal Scofield as a character because of the way he was able to creatively and effectively get himself out of a bind. Upon research I discovered Micheal was diagnosed with LLI, as you mentioned in your post.

    I am only 17, however I have researched and read countless papers, not finding much in the way of attributes or, ways to effectively determine that I have LLI. I then stumbled upon your list, and I feel much similarities to that of the list you described,

    I am constantly surveying every new environment I am placed in, if I study (which I rarely tend to do) music, or the tele needs to be on in the background. When I read, I often get distracted unless I am listening to music at the same time. I always have a thirst for knowledge and am constantly striving to learn more. When my friends or parents have a menial problem I always constantly have a solution quicker then they can ask (even if they do not ask) which sometimes frustrates me if I believe that my solution is better. I am constantly adapting and looking for new ways to solve problems. From a young age I have always been interested in taking apart technology, (remotes, guitars, etc) If i focus on one task, I always find countless other tasks that distract me from the one I originally set out on.

    I thought in the years prior to this instance, that I may have had OCD or ADD. I was never diagnosed with these disorders, or even attempted to be diagnosed because I have always done well, and above average in school.

    The two things that sparked my interest in your note about LLI, are the easily relating yourself and fitting in with adults, rather the kids of my own age, along with the not saying particularly appropriate or the right things in social conventions or gatherings of friends. I am always the “weird” one, or constantly creating the awkward silences…

    Do you think I have LLI?

    • So, not being a medical professional, it’s not my place to say what I think you do or don’t have. LLI, if you have it, is also likely just one piece of the puzzle anyhow. What you describe though certainly indicates the possibility.

      • Thank you for taking the time to reply, I know you are very busy. I’ve never consulted a medical professional about the possibility of having LLI, but may take the time to do so. Thank you again.

  82. Hi there, I loved your article and think you’ve answered the questions I’ve been having abut myself. I think I may have LLI, but then again I may not. Would this scenario (something that happened frequently to me
    ) be consistent with someone with LLI. In a classroom situation, I would typically be listening to the teacher, several of my friends, the noisy classroom next door and at the same time scribbling away on my own project (usually writing a poem etc.) My teacher would call me out for having a conversation with my friends and demand imperiously: “Were you even listening?” Whereupon I would answer by quoting verbatim the last few minutes of the teachers presentation, at the same time though I would be internally registering all the different reactions of the students in the class: who was smug, who was indifferent, how the girl third from the left was using the opportunity to finish writing her notes. I would also be noticing how the room suddenly got colder because a window was being opened behind me and how my friend needed to brush her teeth because her breath was less then minty, how the tag of my shirt irritated my skin -All this in the space it took to answer the teachers questions. This sort of hyper-awareness is just everyday for me and I didn’t know it was strange until my friends would point out things like: “You can’t possible know where all the shops are in this mall we only came here for an hour a year ago.” Now I’m thinking I may just have LLI

  83. i only just read the first paragraph i couldnt be botherd reading the comments it looked too long but i truley believe i got lli. not only am i dyslexic but i spent time in a psychiatric hospital and got diagnosed with borederline personality disorder. i also score an IQ of 140. thanks for the help with seeing this but i wonderd how to i get tested for it? i want to be re-diagnosed and once the psychiatrists have diagnosed u wit something there very funny on re-diagnosing you. any tips?

  84. You might get a second opinion. Borderline Personality Disorder is a difficult diagnosis to live with. Try seeing a new psychiatrist who has no connection with the one you see now. Can’t hurt.

  85. How creative is too creative?, i have around 2-3 ideas a day, i’m like a machine of creating interesting ideas, but i’m also extremely sensitive, i get absorb the moods and emotions of people around me literaly i can hear the mood of the person that is talking to me. I have a couple of questions becuse i think i have a extremely low level of LLI, do you ever slow down or don’t think about things? how do you deal with feelings?do you tolerate coffe or alcohol (even a cigarrete accelerates my mind incredibly), just a little alcohol makes me miserable, i have this urge to always be thinking about something and sometimes it gets frustrating because i always run out of things to think, also i vary betwen elated and miserable feelings, i love nature and hate cities they’re almost toxic to me, do you count cars and trees? it’s almost like i have to be always doing something or i become extremely bored or miserable.

    • know how you feel mate the creativity just becomes a mess,it reaches a point you can no longer prioritize and takes over life completely,and would cost millions to impliment…if you havent allready start small and do one thing well then you can look at finding help to get ideas out there as it states up top you should visit http://www.lowlatentinhibition.org/ there are articles on creativity also you might like to visit the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/151833815112/ you and others reading will be freaked out by how simalar everyone is……as for toning it down i don’t know but most peoples lifes get a whole lot eaiser when the join the groups or forums and realise other pople stuggle with exacally the same problems and outlooks…..Clasical or theme music can help a bit, picturing the notes being played as colors or shapes like wmp visulisations can be relaxing.

  86. Also about crowds i become extremely tired in crowds and downtown, it’s frustrating, after traveling on a bus or an airplane i will feel exhausted, on the other side i love nature,.

  87. hi Sam I would like to ask if is there any opposite in LLI like I think I’m completely different from people with this, I cant focus on two things a the same time, my teacher and my mom use to say I take too long to respond, and I’m always the last one in class to understand..and I sleep too much. if you are calling my name at first it will be like you were calling me yesterday I only recall or realise after some seconds that you are calling me now. is there any help? ooo it’s like if I want to ask something and something else distarbed me I wont remember soon what I wanted to ask, and I wont focus on anything rather than thinking what I was about to ask..just like right now, I was to ask some important questions and now that I already asked few, I forgotten the rest..can I call it HLI since there is LLI.. H=HIGH..the only positive about me is that I’m too good to explain, but if you ask me you are giving me a problem.

  88. Anyways i would like to thank you for starting this comunnity, it saved me from commitng many more mistakes, i hope that in the future it becomes a condition recognized by every psycologist so people dont commit the same mistakes that i did.

  89. Damn SaM i really don’t know how you manage to keep sane with all the stimuli, i find myself going crazy and miserable most days, swinging between moods, and hopeless, if i had know the details about it before maybe i would have done better, but i hope that people get to know more about it in the future, and they manage to avoid all the confuson that i wen through.

  90. Hi Sam, I have come across several blogs regarding LLI including yours (even joined a facebook group dedicated to those who may have LLI, who have been diagnosed with it, or know someone who has been diagnosed or may have LLI) and I believe I may have LLI for several reasons (don’t think is too severe of a case however) and if you ever get the chance I’d like some input from you (or anyone else who reads this).

    I would like to share some of my personal history (will try not to get into too great of depth but excuse me if this post is rather long). When I was born I did not want to be held by my mother or anyone else (actually turned away from her when the nurse went to hand me to her after they cleaned me off). When me and my twin sister were infants, we apparently had incredibly picky stomachs (would projectile vomit 6′ across the room unless we had a very specific formula [and there was nothing medically wrong with us that would cause us to projectile vomit, as we were looked at by doctors for this problem]). We also had a very difficult time being touched by our parents without screaming, due to the sensory overload. As a result, my sister and I went through occupational therapy for some time until being touched was a manageable stimulus. I also have a long history of hypersensitivity in my hearing (made quite a few trips to the doctor as a child due to this [and them finding nothing medically wrong with me, not even once] , which I still experience to this day. Some days just the sound of typing on a keyboard and a whisper are too loud for me.

    Due to a lot of my social awkwardness and “odd” behaviors (as well as the severe sensory overload problems), I was diagnosed with autism when I was 6 years of age. One day I sorted through the diagnosis papers and a few things struck me as odd: both of the psychologists who conducted tests on me had scored me as having a slightly lower than average IQ test, although suspected my IQ is significantly higher than what I had scored (suspected my IQ to actually be in the above average range). They took note of the fact that I was easily distracted by various things during the tests and that I had refused to cooperate with them at times (probably a big reason why I was careless during most of the testing, since I “knew” what they were doing which angered me).

    Because of my diagnosis, I was put in speech therapy for about 5 years [kindergarten through 5th grade] and special education classes for several years. Unfortunately my teachers were only able to see my label and didn’t care to actually observe me beyond what they had read on paper. As a result, I was severely under-challenged and was legit stuck reading books made of cardboard pages with 20 point arial font and giant cartoon pictures until the end of my 4th grade year. I ended up “catching up” in my reading comprehension and literacy (was stuck at a kindergarten reading level by the time I was done with my 4th grade year [when I was no longer in special ed classes]). It took me less than a year to finally catch up in my ability to read (went from a kindergarten reading level to that of a 6th grader’s by the end of 5th grade). I did this by reading books accompanied by a dictionary and would break down words as many as 10x to the very basic vocabulary. I do not have the world’s best vocabulary but I am considered to have an above average vocabulary by other people (to my surprise at times). The truth is, the reason why I had a very difficult time expressing my thoughts as a child (and still to this day) is because so many thoughts occur at once that it gets quite difficult to say what all is going on through my mind, yet can be quite articulate when I do speak. Unfortunately, because of my having a hard time presenting all of the things going on in my mind (is actually impossible) and with how I have to limit myself on how much I put in posts (such as this one and especially in discussion board comments) because people will get “lost”. I am therefore often misunderstood because when I try to cut down my posts, it’s not entirely clear (since I had to leave out SO much detail to try “chopping down” my point).

    I find fluorescent lighting to be very distracting (the humming, the ever so slight changes in brightness, the heat emanating from the lights, the general color and “feel” to it, etc.) and causes me to be rather irritated and even uncooperative. I even had a 10 minute conversation with a friend of mine about this and why we believe that fluorescent lighting may actually be the reason why a lot of children are unable to concentrate in classrooms and experience impatience, how it is a way for light bulb companies to mimick the sunlight (minus its beneficial effects), etc. I find it rather hard to concentrate in classroom lectures, due to being unable to ignore the humming of the lights, the lights flickering ever so slightly, someone tapping their pen, the sound of people writing notes with their pencils, the clothes the teacher is wearing, how their tone of voice changes when they are emphasizing certain points, the teacher and students talking in the rooms neighboring, someone walking down the other side of the long hallway with obnoxiously loud boots, etc. Often times, whenever I get a chance I find myself putting on headphones and make the music play loudly to “tune out” the auditory stimulus (helps me feel more calm).

    I’m generally an extremely fast learner. My former psychologist and high school’s social worker have told me my mind is “like that of a sponge that absorbs everything” (and how incredibly unconventional yet insightful my ability to make connections between things and my general observations as a result of such). Because of how intrigued they often were at the things I noticed, said to them, etc., they have on a few times actually have gone over the time limit for appointments (we all know how much psychologists and counselors are portrayed in movies looking at their watches constantly). I tend to see alternatives and possibilities over how things actually are much more easily and rather quickly (am often told how much of an “outside the box” thinker I am). Generally speaking, I always tell people that you can learn from anyone, anywhere you go, from everything you see, hear, look at, etc. if you just listen (there’s a lesson to be learned from everything); because of this, I have been told I have “wisdom beyond my years” countless times (and that I should write a book). I always break things down to the bare essence, even if I don’t necessarily visualize things 100% accurately each time (ask many “why is this like this” questions about many things people consider to be mundane [tend to visualize the circuits, wires, mechanism of action, the screws and bolts keeping the light switch and the interior components in place, etc. that occurs when we turn on a light switch for example]). I also get rather bored in classroom discussions because my mind has as you said gone from A to N to Z (even if it’s not necessarily 100% accurate) while my classmates and teacher are still discussing point A. It never fails to entertain me when they finally reach a conclusion that I reached a few class periods ago.

    I have been asked on many occasions if I am psychic (finishing people’s sentences, make very accurate opinions based on having known them for a rather limited period of time, seem to “get” them the way lifelong friends don’t, etc.). There have been multiple times where I made observations based on someone’s appearance (skin color and dryness as well as overall tone, condition of their nails, their posture, the way they walk, how they talk, etc.) and have on a few times concluded they have some kind of nutrient deficiency or are on their way to developing a disease (and on a few occasions my observations and conclusions turned out to be true XD ), even though I had limited prior knowledge of their history, medical information, etc. (not to say I haven’t been wrong because I have but my observations have still made people think twice). I am rather quick at correcting myself even if I don’t necessarily “consciously” acknowledge what I did wrong (but do often “know” exactly where I went wrong at the same time). My IQ based on various online tests I’ve taken is in the mid 130s range.

    People I know have told me that whenever they look at me during class, at work, watching a movie, etc. that it looks like I have 5 thousand thoughts and many trains of thought occurring at once (and how restless I always look and act). I’ve been picked on by my teachers many times because of how much I “daydream”. Sometimes if people believe I’m not paying attention, they will test me by asking me what they had said and I will tell them verbatim what they said… all the while noticing other details aforementioned in the previous paragraphs (and more of course). I am also rather easily amused by some of the stimuli I notice and the trains of thought that I go on while I’m in class or wherever else.

    I remember watching Prison Break (which is where I learned about LLI as a lot of other people probably have) and I was able to relate with Michael Scofield’s hyperawareness of bullying, people’s feelings, whether or not others are lying, what they are generally like personality wise, what bugs them most, etc. with how he grew up. Because of my educational history, I became ridiculously aware of those who “fall in the cracks” of the education system, let alone in society generally speaking. As a result of this, I developed a “super hero” complex and have tried “saving” many people (tried to tutor a friend of mine who was learning 7th grade level math… in 11th grade!, taught my ex boyfriend how to read an analog clock because he missed that lesson in elementary school and no one taught him how, etc. as a couple of examples). I also have a long history of dating people who have been diagnosed with learning disorders or other types of disorders (or are suspected of having a disorder that’s yet to be diagnosed), are one way or another social outcasts, or otherwise go unnoticed. If people speak above one person who’s being rudely spoken over by other people, I still hear what they had to say and will ask them about it so they feel acknowledged. I have a very deep sense of empathy and am a lot more sensitive than I appear to some people (which greatly reflects in many of my actions towards people but not always initially [tend to make decisions based on "facts", reason and logic as opposed to feelings and emotions]).

    Thanks for reading this far! It’d be awesome to get some feedback as to what other people think of this and if they believe this all relates to having LLI or not (I know it’s long yet perhaps it’s my LLI kicking in and thus am unable to leave out details I feel are relevant even if others think not ;-) ) :) I haven’t even quite put in everything but this is a general idea of how I am with regards to potentially having LLI.

  91. I too discovered this through Prison Break on Netflix. This blog has been extremely interesting to read as have all the comments. I can identify with pretty much all of the pros and cons mentioned. During my education I felt able to channel this energy creatively but have since found certain periods of unoccupied time and structure to be challenging. I find it difficult to switch off and am very over analytical.

  92. Thank you so much for posting this. I have been put on SO many pills because my doctor was convinced I had ADHD. I too find it really helpful to have hobbies. When I was in middle school I thought everyone was boring because I have so many hobbies that they all seem like they do nothing with their life. I love that there is a group that we can talk to each other about this.

  93. It is said that such a low amount of people have it yet it isn’t a illness.

    Meaning, the only people likely to get diagnosed with it are people who actually think they have an illness. Which makes the statement: “For those with a low to average IQ, LLI almost always results in mental disabilities” completely false, as the majority of people with it are likely not diagnosed. Which also means that there is no way to know whether it is rare or not.

    I absolutely hate psychology. Its closer to a religion then science. LLI is NOT neurological condition its just an attempt to classify yourself due to your inability to accept yourself the way you are. True geniuses don’t bother classifying themselves but rather work an inconceivable amount of hours striving to achieve unsurpassable goals.

    I could show this article to anybody and they will think “I have that! I am a genius!”

    • Nice comment, but not so much at the same time. The big indicator for me is not being able to get away from the fact that I am uniquely different from most people I meet. Constantly being confronted with that fact is not something anyone can say they experience. It’s a haunting reality. Maybe that should be added up there, because for the person who really has LLI they get a shit ton of relief when they learn about this condition. With LLI you are constantly asking why, why, why, why until you get to the root of the issue. There’s nothing more antagonizing than not being able to get to the root issue of the general curiosity about one’s own nature and why it’s unique. When you get that puzzle piece there is a huge surge of dopamine, and then there is all these groups where you finally feel understood, and at the risk of sounding like a dork, it is incredibly uplifting. Most people don’t have such a huge piece of themselves missing because they lack like minds to talk to, or because they grew up being called weird or maybe just are extremely isolated. It’s frustrating because there’s nothing too special about you per say, but you are isolated and it can be incapacitating at times. If you get no relief from learning about LLI then you probably don’t have it.

  94. I think my Dad has LLI and I do too. My family was really dysfunctional, but we are a lot closer an better behaved now as opposed to 20 years ago. I got tangled up with a bunch of people of whom’s norm was drug use. I tried pot and it drove me insane, but for some reason I kept smoking with my friends. Then I turned to opiates. I’ve been a heavy user for the last decade. I’ve had a month completely clean except methadone as of now and I feel equipped better to succeed now that I am armed with the information I have about LLI. Opiates were the only thing that would slow down my thoughts and not make me feel like crap at the same time. I took so much LSD that I became unhinged and needed anti-psychotics, but like I said they made me feel like crap. I tried to separate myself from my persistent thought stream so much and it eventually happened and I became temporarily insane. I was diagnosed as having a drug induced psychosis All the things described up there sound like me. I took an IQ test and scored 112-119, but I think it could be a little higher. I say that because I’ve spent so much time “dumbing down” with opiates. Does anyone think this is possible with an IQ test? I’m posting on this forum for anonymity. I think that opiates have helped me control the flow of information. I don’t recommend trying opiates if you have LLI because it is extremely addictive to be able to regulate your over processing. It is so hard to get off this type of drug so please don’t get any ideas from this post because I am suffering more from the drug use than I ever did from LLI. I know this is really pathetic. Any thoughts? I’d really like to talk with someone about this, seeing as how I keep this part of my life so much a secret.

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