Thankfully, an overwhelming proportion of Homo sapiens enjoys the gifts of attention, attention-related learning and normal cognitive function. These processes function so transparently that we normally don’t need to recognize or fully appreciate their molecular origins or their tenuous nature. But, as Joni Mitchell put it: “You don’t know what you got ’til its gone.” Our priceless gifts are inextricably.linked to the mentally ill who function beyond the limits of acceptable cognitive and affective diversity. In a sense it is they who make our gift possible. They pay the price.