The Scientific Indian

Brain doping

Modern day living is now a highly competitive sport. The field events are well established: catching a bus driven by a cynical driver, getting a promotion at job, getting good grades in college, getting a grant for research, getting your research paper published, etc. Where there is extreme competition, there is room for the use of performance enhancement drugs. Some would call this ‘room for cheating’ but I am ambivalent on this. Enhancing your performance to compete is simply the natural thing to do. How far can/should one go in that direction is debatable but we can’t pretend that we have answers to the questions yet.

So, it is then no wonder that doping the brain with drugs like Modafinil is more common than one would expect. See this Nature survey among it’s readers (survey summary).

There an excellent discussion at All In The Mind podcast by Natasha Mitchell.


  1. #1 SatyaVrat
    June 20, 2008

    Nice Poetry!

  2. #2 Martin, CEO Samsung
    June 20, 2008

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Dude, it’s not true.

    Going back to the actual blog entry, I’m curious to see how the numbers stack up between people who use brain doping, people who say they think brain doping is a good idea, and people who say that doping in sports is acceptable.

  3. #3 selva
    June 20, 2008

    Martin, just to clarify. I do not think either way: brain doping may be good or bad. We don’t know yet.

    What’s acceptable changes. Doping in sports is not acceptable and against the present rules and regulations. But, sports rules are arbitrary and subject to change. Original Olympians (the greek ones) have to be men to participate. Those rules are not followed anymore, and rightfully so.

    Of course, there are many factors to consider but sporting rules are not immutable. Same goes for cognitive enhancement through drugs.

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