FourFourSeconds ago, the world was transfixed by the story of Dr. James Randi, a psychologist who has become a symbol of attention-deficit disorder and the rise of artificial intelligence.
Randi has become famous for telling a story about a guy who has a rare disorder that causes him to have an almost-instantaneous reaction to things.
His behavior, according to Randi and his followers, can be described as a sort of mental “attention span,” the ability to focus for long periods of time without letting his mind wander.
It has been widely reported that, after a few minutes, Randi’s subjects have stopped talking.
He can’t focus for any length of time at all.
Randjis behavior is a symptom of ADHD, a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects about 15% of the population.
What is not widely known, though, is that the diagnosis of ADHD has been controversial for decades, as many scientists have questioned whether the condition is real, as well as whether it is an adaptive response to our increasingly electronic society.
In a new study published online today in the journal Psychological Science, Dr. Michael T. Rieff, a developmental psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues found that people with ADHD do in fact show a greater attention span than the general population, but that this difference is small and the findings do not indicate that ADHD causes other problems.
The researchers tested a sample of nearly 400 participants and used a set of personality test instruments to measure their ADHD symptoms.
They found that there were statistically significant differences between those who had ADHD and the general public.
They also found that, among adults with ADHD, there were a variety of behaviors that were associated with attention span and impulsivity, and that these behaviors were more common among men.
This means that men with ADHD tend to have higher levels of impulsivity and ADHD symptoms, whereas women have higher impulsivity.
These findings suggest that men and women with ADHD are not necessarily genetically predisposed to either behavior.
What this means is that these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that men tend to display more impulsivity in response to stimuli than women.
And because ADHD affects men more than women, these findings also suggest that ADHD symptoms may be more prevalent among men with higher levels in the prefrontal cortex.
So, if you have ADHD and you have higher amounts of impulsiveness in the brain, this may mean that you have a higher susceptibility to developing ADHD.
Riesff and his colleagues believe that the relationship between ADHD and impulsiveness and attention span is more complex than previously believed.
“The data also suggest there is some overlap between impulsivity associated with ADHD and some of the other cognitive functions that are associated with higher risk for ADHD,” he said.
For example, they found that impulsivity is positively associated with a number of cognitive domains, including executive function, executive control, working memory, and attention.
The association between impulsiveness with attention spans is also robust to other genetic factors, including environmental risk factors.
So this suggests that it’s not just impulsivity but also some other risk factors that contribute to the development of ADHD.
This may also explain why women with the condition tend to exhibit higher levels on attention span.
Men, on the other hand, tend to show lower levels of attention span in the general adult population, which suggests that impulsiveness is more common in men with the disorder.
The research also found evidence that impulsitivity is associated with lower levels in cognitive domains that are important for learning and memory, such as executive functioning, working-memory, and visuospatial skills.
“We are not seeing any clear genetic factors,” said Riesfeff.
He believes that the differences between the sexes may be due to environmental risk factor exposures, such the exposure to stimulants.
These compounds are used to treat ADHD in adults.
But Riesfs research also showed that women with attention deficit disorder do not show any higher impulsiveness levels than the rest of the group, even after controlling for factors that might affect impulsivity levels.
So it is possible that the higher impulsive levels among women with this condition are due to differences in the social environment.
In other words, they may be better able to cope with the stressors of the world and to learn from their mistakes.
“It may be that women are less responsive to attention and may therefore have a more robust response to attention,” said Dr. Robert W. Zaid, a professor of psychology at the California Institute of Technology and director of the Attention and Perception Lab at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in California.
The study also found the same pattern of results in men, with a positive association between ADHD symptoms and impulsive behaviors, including impulsivity of all kinds.
The differences in ADHD symptoms between men and men were significant in both genders, but women had more ADHD symptoms than men.
There was also some evidence that the association between attention span with impulsivity was more pronounced among men, but the difference was not statistically significant