Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder

September 25, 2022 — April 18, 2024


Content warning:

Mental health

Figure 1: This page has merch on my redbubble store.

Another cognitive way-of-being that I am interested in. Also interesting: depression, addiction, personality disorders, autism, gender dysphoria, and generally, having feelings etc.

My expertise on this topic is minimal, but I would like it to be better because ADHD is probably the most salient in my personal life.

Figure 2

1 Medicating

Curious about the psychopharmacology of stimulants in particular, e.g. Handelman and Sumiya (2022). Why do they work?

Also curious about the political economy of stimulants in the medicalisation economy.

2 Involvement in modern attention economy

In a political economy that is dominated by the war for salience, what niche does ADHD fill? Is ADHD a risk factor? An adaptive response? A side-effect?

3 What even is mindfulness?

I don’t know. See meditation for now.

4 Implications for learning

We tend to think about attention, in part, as a learning mechanism now. What does ADHD say about the human learning mechanism?

Pollak (2023):

Indeed, children with ADHD needed more trials to reach the criterion, suggesting poor learning. However, they needed more trials under both the constant and the partial reinforcement conditions. On the extinction phase, children with ADHD made fewer previously-rewarded choices, suggesting faster extinction, as predicted by the DTD.

The combination of slow learning and fast extinction might seem surprising, as participants must learn the new rewards regimen in the extinction phase. Conversely, this combination is understandable; forgetting something one did not learn well is easier. Therefore, the results suggest that children with ADHD have a fundamental learning deficit, which is independent of whether the reinforcement is constant or partial.

See also (Addicott et al. 2021; Hulsbosch et al. n.d.; Nissan et al. 2023; Smith et al. 2022).

5 Incoming

Figure 3: Thanks Oglaf

6 Incoming

7 References

Addicott, Pearson, Schechter, et al. 2021. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and the Explore/Exploit Trade-Off.” Neuropsychopharmacology.
Berman, Kuczenski, McCracken, et al. 2009. Potential Adverse Effects of Amphetamine Treatment on Brain and Behavior: A Review.” Molecular Psychiatry.
Blum, Thanos, Oscar-Berman, et al. 2015. Dopamine in the Brain: Hypothesizing Surfeit or Deficit Links to Reward and Addiction.” Journal of Reward Deficiency Syndrome.
Cassidy. 2015. The Attention-Deficit-Disorder Economy.” The New Yorker.
Caye, Swanson, Coghill, et al. 2019. Treatment Strategies for ADHD: An Evidence-Based Guide to Select Optimal Treatment.” Molecular Psychiatry.
Dodson. 2005. Pharmacotherapy of Adult ADHD.” Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Doran. 2017. A Political Economy of Attention, Mindfulness and Consumerism: Reclaiming the Mindful Commons. Routledge Studies in Sustainability.
Handelman, and Sumiya. 2022. Tolerance to Stimulant Medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Literature Review and Case Report.” Brain Sciences.
Hulsbosch, Beckers, De Meyer, et al. n.d. Instrumental Learning and Behavioral Persistence in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity-Disorder: Does Reinforcement Frequency Matter? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Ls, Z, and Lly. 2018. Pharmacotherapy for Comorbid Adult Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Stimulant Dependence: A Systematic Review.” IIUM Medical Journal Malaysia.
Maté. 2011. Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder.
Nissan, Hertz, Shahar, et al. 2023. Distinct Reinforcement Learning Profiles Distinguish Between Language and Attentional Neurodevelopmental Disorders.” Behavioral and Brain Functions.
Pedersen, Albris, and Seaver. 2021. The Political Economy of Attention.”
Pollak. 2023. Poor Learning or Hyper‐exploration?: A Commentary on Hulsbosch Et Al. (2023).” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Sciberras, Streatfeild, Ceccato, et al. 2022. Social and Economic Costs of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Across the Lifespan.” Journal of Attention Disorders.
Smith, Taylor, Wilson, et al. 2022. Lower Levels of Directed Exploration and Reflective Thinking Are Associated With Greater Anxiety and Depression.” Frontiers in Psychiatry.
Stoops, and Rush. 2013. Agonist replacement for stimulant dependence: a review of clinical research.” Current Pharmaceutical Design.
Volkow. 2006. Stimulant Medications: How to Minimize Their Reinforcing Effects? American Journal of Psychiatry.
Yanofski. 2011. The Dopamine Dilemma—Part II: Could Stimulants Cause Tolerance, Dependence, and Paradoxical Decompensation? Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience.