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Rethinking Cognitive Enhancement$
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Ruud ter Meulen, Ahmed Mohammed, and Wayne Hall

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727392.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 July 2021

Overclocking the brain? The potential and limitations of cognition-enhancing drugs

Overclocking the brain? The potential and limitations of cognition-enhancing drugs

Chapter:
(p.37) Chapter 3 Overclocking the brain? The potential and limitations of cognition-enhancing drugs
Source:
Rethinking Cognitive Enhancement
Author(s):

Reinoud de Jongh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727392.003.0003

This chapter critically examines the available evidence for the possibility of pharmacological enhancement of cognition. It looks at the effects of the most promising cognition-enhancing drugs (CEs)—donepezil, methylphenidate, amphetamine, and modafinil—on such aspects of cognition as attention, different types of memory, and executive functioning, and offers a number of potential explanations for the mixed and sometimes contradictory evidence for cognitive enhancement in the scientific literature. It also examines how effective these drugs might be in enhancing real-world cognitive performance, before turning to the factors that limit the usefulness of CEs. The chapter concludes with recommendations for future research, and briefly considers whether future CEs might be more effective.

Keywords:   cognitive enhancement, cognition-enhancing drugs (CEs), donepezil, methylphenidate, amphetamine, modafinil, trade-offs, baseline dependency, memory, executive functioning

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