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By Jim Phillips

ADHD's Evolutionary Advantage

A new study from the Royal Society B explains why some people have ADHD.

While many people today consider ADHD to be a condition that needs treating, it may have actually given our ancestors a survival advantage 👇

🌍 Imagine our early ancestors foraging for food. They faced a constant choice: stick to known food sources or explore new ones.

🔍 While many chose the familiar, those with ADHD-like traits likely engaged in more exploratory behavior. This might have been crucial for survival.

🏹 Modern-day nomadic populations, like the Ariaal tribe in Africa, show higher levels of genetic links to ADHD, according to a 2008 study. These traits helped them thrive in their environment.

📜 A recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B put this theory to the test with a foraging computer task involving 457 American participants.

🍇 Participants collected as many berries as they could in a given time. They could stay at known sites or explore new patches. Their ADHD traits were then assessed.

📊 Nearly half of the participants screened positive for ADHD. Interestingly, they collected significantly more berries than those who screened negative.

🌿 Why? Those with ADHD-like traits moved on to new patches sooner, while others lingered at one spot. This impulsivity provided a competitive edge, especially in environments where resources were contested.

🏃‍♂️ In competitive foraging scenarios, impulsively leaving patches allowed for learning about competitors and capturing new resources first.

The Study's findings suggest prevalence of ADHD traits serve an adaptive function in some environments. ADHD is more than just a condition to treat—it is a key to human adaptability!

Next time you think about ADHD, remember that our unique brain wiring can offer powerful advantages.






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