Carl Zimmer on “Neuro” Drinks

Science writer Carl Zimmer writes about drinks that claim to enhance your neural performance. Good reporting, and he used himself as a guinea pig.

In passing mentions the trend of college students taking ADHD drugs to get an academic edge:

A growing number of college students are taking Adderall—typically prescribed for attention deficit disorder—in hopes of boosting academic performance. But Farah and other neuroscientists have found some of those students are fooling themselves. “There are a decent number of null results,” she says.


I’d heard of pre-med students taking up smoking (in a rather vivid irony) to get a point or two on the boards. It all seems a little nuts, perhaps “cognitive enhancers,” aren’t here now, but they will arrive soon enough, bringing a host of philosophical and educational issues. And I thought the steroids in sports controversy was full of tough calls.

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