Ritalin and Other Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs Probably Won’t Make You Smarter

Scientific American:

On Monday, I put up a post on whether we would ever be able to upload our brains into a computer, merging ourselves into the great digital Singularity that would provide us with eternal life—and virtually infinite sensory powers and intelligence. The take home: This is akin to a cargo cult-like religion. Don’t hold your breath (or freeze your brain) in anticipation.

On Tuesday, I received notice of a new studywith a title that addresses, in a sense, a similar question from a more real-world perspective: “Why Aren’t We Smarter Already: Evolutionary Trade-Offs and Cognitive Enhancements.”

The two psychologist authors—Thomas Hills of the University of Warwick and Ralph Hertwig of the University of Basel—start their article in Current Directions in Psychological Science—by invoking the current fascination with pharmaceutical enhancement of our cognitive skill set, whether of memory, our ability to focus, or the speed with which we process information.

Read the whole story: Scientific American

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