May 26, 2008

Why Brain Boosting is not Cheating

The Benefits of CoffeeThe James Martin 21st Century School - Blog - : Brain-boosting drugs - just another headache for policymakers? is a response from me and some other colleauges here to the recent report from the Academy of Medical Sciences about cognition enhancement. To sum up, we generally do not agree with Les Iversen that academic use of enhancement is cheating, and we think it would be worthwhile to research more into cognition enhancement per se, rather than beat about the bush and claim the drugs are just intended as therapy for ADHD or age related memory impairment.

It is interesting to note that people do not seem to think that different access to strong coffee or individual variation in caffeine tolerance produce any unfair advantage. Maybe it is just the lack of experience with the drugs that makes people think they provide a super-advantage, while they at best only gives a medium one.

There was also a opinion piece in The Economist (May 22nd 2008) about the issue, making almost the same points. It also brings up the important point that cognition enhancement is very much in line with what we are already trying to achieve with espressos, ginseng and brain-training on the Nintendo.

Posted by Anders3 at May 26, 2008 07:35 PM