How should we deal with cognitive-enhancing drugs to improve mindfulness and its role?
Cognitive enhancement is a buzz phrase that’s been thrown around a lot in recent years. You see it in magazines, hear it on commercials, and catch it in the headlines. Everywhere you look these days it’s “Cognitive enhancement this…” or “Cognitive enhancement that…” It’s a term that’s become a part of mainstream lexicon, but few people actually understand what it really means. That’s why today we’re simply going to answer the question, “What is cognitive enhancement?”
Unleashing the Brain’s Full Power: What are Cognitive Enhancers?
- The simplest definition of cognitive enhancement is “the use of drugs, substances, or other means (known as cognitive enhancers) by individuals striving to achieve measurable improvement of various cognitive functions, including intelligence, memory, focus, and other areas of brain activity.”
- It has been said that we only use about 10% of our brain’s full power. For thousands of years, people throughout history have searched for ways to boost their brain power and performance. From eating various leaves and fruits to smoking certain substances, people throughout the ages have tried just about everything and every type of cognitive enhancer to tap into their brain’s full potential.
- And the search continues to this day, albeit, on a much more sophisticated level. Today, the quest for cognitive enhancement doesn’t take place out in the forest, it happens in a state-of-the-art laboratory under the supervision of world-class scientists and medical experts. Today’s cognitive enhancer is aimed at trying to treat the damaging effects of Alzheimer’s disease, ADD, and other cognitive issues.
- Of course, cognitive enhancers aren’t just used to treat the ill. They are commonly used by healthy individuals who are looking for a boost or an edge. It’s now common for a student to take a cognitive enhancer to improve his or her test scores. Even a world-class athlete may take a cognitive enhancer to improve his or her focus and mental stamina.
The Burgeoning Cognitive Enhancer Market
- These days, you don’t have to look far to find a cognitive enhancer. Looking for a product that can help you increase memory? You can find a supplement. Hoping to ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related cognitive disorders? There are pills you can take for that, too.
- Of course, since the beginning of time, there has been a lot of “snake oil” being sold in the cognitive enhancement market. That’s why some people will roll their eyes at the question of “What is cognitive enhancement?” But make no mistake, while some so-called cognitive enhancers are pure junk and, in some cases, actually dangerous, there are some substances and supplements that are backed by extensive scientific research. Take Pterostilbene, for instance. This little-known compound found in blueberries has shown promise in scientific tests to help protect the brain against age-related disorders. L-Tyrosine is another compound that has been shown to increase working memory, enhance mood, and reduce stress.
- The fact is that if you’re considering trying a cognitive enhancer you have to do your research. Never put anything in your body without first researching its ingredients carefully.
- And remember, there’s no such thing as a magic pill that’s going to make you a genius. But a good cognitive enhancement supplement could go a long way to helping you make real, measurable improvements in your cognitive performance.