Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Cosmetic Neurology

There was an interesting article in Sunday's paper (here). It's about the increasing use of drugs like Adderall, Provigil and Ritalin by healthy people as cognitive enhancers. In some senses this isn't that surprising - after all we all drink coffee to stave off tiredness - but there does appear to be a growing trend for so-called neuro-enhancement. Surprisingly (or not) there's not a lot of scientific study of what these drugs do to healthy people, and whether they really enhance cognitive function. However, there's lots of these drugs around, so it's not hard to get hold of it.

Interestingly, the users are not just college students who need something to keep awake as they're late on an essay assignment because they've been partying. (Nothing new here!) But rather, there is a growing trend of young professional users, who feel under increasing pressure to be more productive (both absolutely and relatively to all those 20 year-old whizz-kids in Mumbai). This cultural perspective seems to me almost as interesting - it's certainly not clear that cosmetic neurology is philosophically any different to cosmetic surgery.

Anyhow, take a look at the article - it's a little long, but I found it fascinating.

1 comment:

James said...

Well, it's probably better than Cider..

Although I do find that helps with type systems...