Being hyperactive can be an evolutionary advantage

Being hyperactive can be an evolutionary advantage

Although it has always been considered as a difficulty for personal development and growth, the ADHD could contribute certain advantages for young people who suffer from it.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is the diagnosed psychiatric disorder more frequently in children and adolescents nowadays. Although habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy have traditionally been associated with the possibility of ADHD, the most important factor, by far, is genetic. Most of the genes associated with ADHD are connected to brain reward circuits, so hyperactive people present lower levels of dopamine receptors (also known as the well-being hormone). This means that these individuals find it more difficult to feel satisfied with what they are doing, so while a non-hyperactive child is content to sit quietly and read a book, a child with ADHD gets bored easily.

We can see how ADHD affects a person’s brain by looking at their activity through a functional magnetic resonance machine. Usually, when the human brain is at rest, a default activity network, but when the time comes to change tasks and meet a goal, this new activity is quickly transferred to the task network for better concentration that ensures the realization of the same. However, oddly enough, in the brains of people with ADHD, this orderly switching process does not work properly. When a hyperactive person is trying to switch from sleep mode to the task network to focus, their brain will not know which of the two to turn on. That is, when they try to focus and do their work, the MRI shows activity on both networks, which it’s makes it difficult to achieve the objective set.

ADHD, a survival advantage

Scientists have also discovered that due to structural changes in the brains of people with ADHD, they too must face other obstacles such as attention control, emotional regulation, and response inhibition. So what are the advantages of hyperactivity? Could ADHD be considered a evolutionary advantage? A study of the Faculty of Medicine of theUniversity of California,In San Francisco, they explain how our ancestors had little attention span and used to move continuously, which would translate into increased likelihood of getting food and improved survival.

All this in turn would be equivalent to greater success in reproduction and therefore in the transmission of genes to their descendantsBut what happens when we take a look at the current panorama? For example, when analyzing the sedentary and nomadic members of the tribe Ariaal From Kenya, researchers have found that nomads with the highest number of ADHD-related genes were better at hunting and getting food.

Better skills for artistic and communication careers

Close-up of a girl showing her hands painted with colors

When it comes to activities that require the use of imagination, several studies have also shown that hyperactive people tend to be much more creative both in controlled experiments and in everyday life settings because their brains are more susceptible to chance, to more unusual thoughts.

Also, while ADHD can cause children to struggle trying to fit into the routine and structured environment of schools and universities, studies have shown that in adulthood, certain careers are better suited to these people when they manage to channel and make good use of the great energy potential they have. Ace, the fields of art, hospitality or communication They become ideal terrain for hyperactive individuals, for which they have advantageous abilities.

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