ADHD is a problem for millions of people. Perhaps this was an advantage for our ancestors

Evolution is funny. It is not a linear phenomenon where organisms accumulate progressive improvements but is produced by random changes that sometimes go well, other times badly. What is an evolutionary advantage today may become a burden to a species tomorrow.

This is what some researchers believe happened with so-called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD and evolution. A new experimental study mentioned This disorder is a loophole in human evolution. According to this hypothesis, some of the symptoms associated with ADHD would have been advantageous in the organized hunter-gatherer societies of our prehistoric ancestors.

in Symptoms of this disorder Impulsivity, restlessness, or difficulty concentrating. According to the team responsible for this new study, such symptoms will help them when optimizing collection strategies.

This will explain, on the one hand, the current prevalence of the disease and, on the other hand, its relation to genetics, since it is a disorder that is commonly seen. Hereditary character.

We have known for a long time that we carry Neanderthal DNA.  Now we understand its implications

Playing pickup. New research It is based on a test Where about half a thousand participants took part. The coordinating team has designed a virtual game where participants have to collect food from the bush, the more the better.

The game presented participants with the option to continuously pick from the same bush, which had consistently fewer fruits, or switch to a new one. The new one can have more or less results, and the player can lose between one and five seconds per change.

Before starting the game, participants were asked to complete a test with the intention of identifying which participants They shared symptoms Common to ADHD.

The best strategy. The team observed that participants with these symptoms tended to spend less time in the virtual bushes and were more efficient at picking their fruit than the rest. The Test details It was published in the newspaper Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Evolutionary logic. this This is not the only example favors the hypothesis that ADHD responds to an evolutionary strategy. Other studiesFor example, genetics has looked for these evolutionary relationships hyperactivity and impulsivity and our survival as a species.

If emotional tendencies were truly negative, An author explains to the newspaper guardian, evolution will eliminate this feature and others like it. For the team, this is another piece of evidence in favor of the hypothesis that, over millions of years, our ancestors benefited from these traits.

economic problems. The world has changed, yes. Over the past 10,000 years, humans have moved from a context of scarcity to one of abundance. This is, in evolutionary terms, minor, so it is possible that we have not yet eliminated any of these genetic debris.

Now the lack of focus, hyperactivity, and other traits we associate with ADHD are going to be a problem for many people. In a world full of stimuli, our constant search may be more of a curse than a help.

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Picture | Pixabay / Robert Stewart Burrett