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-   -   ADHD brain computer analogy (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=193246)

parabellum 09-14-18 12:25 AM

ADHD brain computer analogy
 
I often liken the human brain to a computer. The following will make little sense if you are unfamiliar with computer components.
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I lived 30 years before I understood I have ADHD, and it’s severe, as far as I can gauge. I have gone through a tremendously hard time trying to work it all out alone; when I tell my existing friends and my family, they seem not to listen, or they shoo it away, not in a rude way, rather as if it is trivial, or ‘that’s life’ - of course this hurts me because I am climbing out of hell.
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So, I know what life is ‘like’ without knowing I had ADHD, and since discovering I have ADHD (around 5 months ago) I have made many comparisons, thanks to a fully functional brain via the aid of medication. So, here goes -- and just for ease of use I will use ‘ADHD’ as an adjective - i.e. ‘ADHD brain; ADHD person.’
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The brain’s core is the CPU. The CPU functions normally in both ADHD and neurotypical brains. There are many speeds of CPU around the world, but the design of operation is the same for every human brain that is not dead. There are also single-core and multi-core CPUs, with as much variance as hair colour, eye colour, etc; natural.
However:
----ADHD CPUs run in bursts, where all computing threads are thrown at every available core in an arbitrary fashion; eventually the CPU will bottleneck and the system will become unresponsive; at this point the system must be rebooted to resume normal activity, and the CPU may be too hot upon reboot to function efficiently straight away.
----Neurotypical CPUs assign resources (perhaps not efficiently) to core(s) in a priority order, caused by either urgency, prudence, procedure, or deliberation; the system will function as it should, and be responsive most of the time (of course not all the time).
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The brain’s memory is the RAM. RAM size differences between ADHD systems and neurotypical systems matter not; rather the allocation method of memory is flawed in the ADHD CPU (because it is almost always overloaded and running inefficiently).
----Neurotypical RAM will typically hold data for only as long as it’s needed, then it will flush the data to allow space for new data.
ADHD RAM will fill with data in the same way as neurotypical RAM, but ADHD RAM takes longer to flush it, because the CPU, running so inefficiently, demands more instant-access memory more often than a neurotypical CPU does. So instead of getting rid of redundant data in the RAM, as it should, to let new data in, the ADHD CPU ends up using only 5-10% (for example) of the physically available RAM for sustained periods (system appears ‘inattentive’ or ‘slow’ when in fact it’s attending at the same degree as a neurotypical system, just with fewer available resources). When under hyperfocus, this is a non-issue, because very little is required to be stored for later use (it is all done in a hurry, now). When trying to schedule a daily routine, there is not enough memory to store all the ongoing tasks. Eventually the memory will be dumped - e.g. after a long sleep - but the time at which the memory is dumped cannot be dictated by a CPU other than the ADHD CPU (logically impossible) - this is perhaps an explanation for the ‘poor sleep patterns’ (as labeled by other systems) of ADHD systems.
----ADHD memory dumps will also happen when an ADHD system blue-screens or black-screens. This can be likened to an emotional burst or an instant emotional withdrawal - at this point the system has become overwhelmed by pressures from both external and internal sources, and must erase everything it’s got, even the memory it was using for whatever task it was struggling to do.
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Thus, ADHD systems can be said to, while running, be simultaneously unable to forget and unable to remember.
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I had more thoughts about this but I’ve lost them and I have to get back to work - in any case I wanted to share this in case anybody reading here could benefit from this analogy.
Have a nice day!
Leo


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