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Surprising Science

Renaming ADHD

“What, then, is the problem in people with ADHD? The disorder is really about the allocation of attention, being able to control our mental spotlight.” The Frontal Cortex redefines ADHD.

“Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a terribly named disorder. The reason is simple: There is not an actual deficit of attention. We’re used to thinking of illnesses as resulting from a shortage of something—people with a thyroid disease are missing TSH, just as people with scurvy are missing Vitamin C—but ADHD doesn’t seem to work like that. Instead, recent evidence suggests that people with ADHD have plenty of attention—that’s why they can still play video games for hours, or get lost in their Legos, or devote endless attentional resources to activities that they find interesting.”


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