With the advancements in neuroscience, the understanding of brain is also increasing. To be the part of future (the age of flying taxis and artificial intelligence) humans are in a thought of getting smarter by different means, one of which is neuroenhancement. Some thought that it's just like cosmetic surgery, that makes you beautiful and neuroenhancement, makes you smarter. The thing is achieved by drugs, a pill is going to make you good enough to be called clever, smart and genius. These drugs are called Nootropics, the smart drugs. The web world is full of success stories, but, do they really work? They work for the diseases they are prescribed for, the question is, do they work for healthy individuals to enhance their cognitive abilities or not? What does the research say about the effectiveness for healthy individuals?
Everyone speaks about advantages but, worth knowing what experts thinking. The Oxford university researcher Molly Crockett confirmed how we valor the social brain. She studied the effects of neurotransmitters and hormones on social reasoning and social relations. These neurotransmitters are the controllers of our basic emotions and stamina. Smart drugs claimed to play with them to make the brain feel like the presence of those neurotransmitters. Hence, causing desired effects. Crockett and her colleagues experimented with moral dilemmas. In which the participants must save someone from railway cart. The serotonin increased hatred to harm others. The point to cite this research here is to show that the brain function could be altered (to what extent) by using drugs. The thing is it could be possible for smart drugs or not?
The ability to focus is reported to increase by Modafinil, that effect noradrenaline, dopamine and glutamate in brain. But, the flexible thinking and creativity could be suppressed using the drug. As, it increases the concentration of neurotransmitters in the brain, if you cannot perform well then it might can make a difference for you. But, the high performers already got enough neurotransmitters (necessary to perform good) the use of drug will increase them and the adverse side effects will be there. There is a limit for every brain to what extent it could perform (the doped brain also has limit), it will go to that maximum limit and then there will be reduction.
A postdoctoral researcher Anna-Katherine Berm from Oxford university reviewed 24 studies between 1990 and 2015, Modafinil appeared to be effective for cognitive enhancement, but the improvement was not for everyone, every time and for every test. Many studies failed to show any difference. She got two problems in previous studies; one is that many of them were not focusing on healthy people and the second is they use inappropriate tests for the detection of cognitive function enhancement. She removed the two faults and her study shows that the use of Modafinil under controlled scientific environment is safe and effective. According to her there is a need to develop our testing techniques for high performers and to effectively create a better platform for debate on the topic. But do others agree with her?
In the school of psychology, at Malaysia campus of The Nottingham University, Dr. Ahmad Dahir Muhammad studied the effects of drugs on people with no medical issues and the study published in the PLOS ONE, a journal that could accessed for free. The results showed negative effects of drugs on medically fit people. Dr. Muhammad said: "The focus of the study was to look at the action of drug when accurate response in a particular time is required. The results were not according to the expectations. "
The drug slow response time of healthy individuals for the sentence completion test. He further explained that it was argued that delayed response time could make a difference in cognitive routine. The creativity issue study show that it improves it for those who were not creative but, the creative ones were impaired by the drug.
If we develop a mechanism that can control the quality and distribution of smart drugs and can stop students taking them, then they could make big differences in the life styles of Alzheimer's patients and the people with sleep disorders. As, these are reported to reduce accidents during night shifts. They could also be a relief for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue.
If you are a healthy person try to improve your cognitive abilities by healthy diet, exercise and good relationships. As, the effectiveness of smart drugs for healthy individuals is still controversial. Proper sleep will also be helpful in retaining your mental abilities. The studies confirmed that the regular walk and exercise is great for health. Do not try to order the drug online as, you don' t know the supplier. Think a lot before taking anything that claim to enhance your brain capabilities because the disturbance caused by cosmetic surgery is repairable but, if anything goes wrong with your brain it could never be the same again.