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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: 27 July 2021

Does modafinil improve cognitive functioning in healthy individuals?

Does modafinil improve cognitive functioning in healthy individuals?

(p.107) Chapter 7 Does modafinil improve cognitive functioning in healthy individuals?
Rethinking Cognitive Enhancement

Ahmed Dahir Mohamed

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews neuropsychopharmacological evidence on the effects of modafinil on cognition in humans. The chapter shows that the cognitive- and attention-enhancing effects of modafinil are mediated by effects on other forms of cognition such as motivational reinforcement and salience of pleasure. Modafinil is beneficial for narcolepsy but, as with amphetamines and psychostimulants, there is emerging evidence that modafinil has a potential for abuse. Because of these mixed effects, modafinil might have both positive and negative impact on healthy individuals and on society. The cognitive-enhancing effects of modafinil are, however, small or at best moderate and there is a lack of ecological validity on its cognitive-enhancing effects in the real world. The chapter also summarizes evidence concerning modafinil’s adverse effects and presents its safety information. Finally, the effects of modafinil on social cognition and ethical and moral reasoning are currently unknown and merit further rigorous research.

Keywords:   modafinil, healthy individuals, neuropsychopharmacology, pharmacological cognitive enhancement

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