A group of neuroscientists, psychiatrists and ethicists have suggested that the society should be more open to the use of drugs that boost brain power rather than staying away from them.
In a recent survey, it was found that almost 25 per cent of students at US universities bought Ritalin or Adderall - prescription drugs to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
AdvertisementAnd the students routinely buy these drugs on black markets to boost memory and concentration. The stimulant Modafinil has also been touted as a mind enhancer.
However, after studying the effect of some of these drugs on cognitive function in healthy people, Henry Greely of Stanford Law School in California, and colleagues have said that cognitive enhancers found to be safe and effective should be welcomed, not feared.
Also, the researchers have called for more research on the effects of such drugs, which should also look into the drugs' safety.
"This isn't like steroids and sports... enhancement is not a dirty word," New Scientist magazine quoted Greely as saying.
He further said that using drugs in this way was not "unnatural," and it was not like steroids and sports. Enhancement is not a dirty word.
The researchers have claimed that a safe pill shouldn't be perceived differently to other strategies already in use to improve the minds, like a good night's sleep or a strong cup of coffee.
They said that inexpensive drugs might also hold the potential to be a more egalitarian way to get ahead than expensive tutoring.
Neuroethicist Julian Savulescu of the University of Oxford recommended that brain pills could give that extra edge to nations whose citizens are willing to raise their intelligence.
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