Did Worry and Intelligence Co-Evolve?
Worrying is a beneficial trait that evolved in association with intelligence, according to a new study published in a recent edition of Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience.
“While excessive worry is generally seen as a negative trait and high intelligence as a positive one, worry may cause our species to avoid dangerous situations, regardless of how remote a possibility they may be,” said Dr. Jeremy Coplan, professor of psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, whose research team came to its conclusion by matching brain activity with depletion of the nutrient choline in the subcortical white matter of the brain. “In essence, worry may make people ‘take no chances,’ and such people may have higher survival rates. Thus, like intelligence, worry may confer a benefit upon the species.”