Myopia is an Adaptive Characteristic of Vision: Not a Disease or Defect
Biological Psychology | Cognition and Perception | Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology | Evolution | Eye Diseases | Ophthalmology
This paper proposes that myopia (nearsightedness) is an adaptive characteristic of human vision. Most theories of the evolution of vision assume myopia is a disease or defect that would have resulted in decreased reproductive fitness in the absence of modern corrective lenses. In contrast, the present paper argues that myopic individuals may have played important roles in hunter-gatherer groups such as making tools and weapons, and identifying medicinal plants, contributing to individual and group survival. This idea is called the “adaptive myopia hypothesis.” Evidence favoring this hypothesis is reviewed in the context of the metatheory of evolutionary psychology.
Copyright © 2016 American Psychological Association
Wielkiewicz, R. M. (2016). Myopia is an adaptive characteristic of vision: Not a disease or defect. Review of General Psychology, 20(4), 437-451. doi: 10.1037/gpr0000090