Anjan Chatterjee is a neurologist and cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art. In answer to my questions, he shared his insights in successi~ cosmetic neurology, the potential of thus-called smart drugs to harm our health and our sleep quality, and the habits that are in fact good for our brains.
You’ve talked hind part before “cosmetic neurology” — what is this?
Cosmetic Neurology is the petition of neurotechnologies (pharmacology, biologics, devices, etc.) to give a new form to brain function in healthy people. Analogous to cosmetic surgery, the exemplar is to try to enhance the natural functioning of the brain. Most of these interventions are developed to behave to disease but then get applied in non-unsound conditions or situations. Examples abound: students catching stimulants, athletes doping, anxiolytics for ordinary social anxieties, beta blockers for musicians.
What are the dangers of using “pungent drugs”?
We often do not perceive the long term consequences of smart drugs. That is an obvious hazard. A more subtle one is the way out of trade-offs. If we are lucky in enhancing one domain, do we decrease others? For example, if we be in possession of a drug that makes us focus and concentrate better, and we take this all the time, would that have a not special dampening effect on creativity? Most models of creativity propose that some down time, when the mind is not focused, is indispensable thing to make creative links. Another jeopardy is that if these drugs were adequate (much more so than the current options) those of greater stuff means would have better access than those through fewer resources. It could end up core another way that exaggerates the insufficient distribution of wealth — in this cause intellectual wealth.
What effects will this newly come “smart drug” technology have on in what plight we sleep in the future?
Hard to apprehend. Smart drug technology could be placed in the words immediately preceding of our fast paced competitive environments. In winner-take-completely situations, incremental advantages can deliver out of proportion rewards. People often avail themselves of scorn advantages, or even perceived advantages, in the hopes of receiving those rewards. This in my witness is what drives the market for cosmetic neurology. With regard to be thoughtless, one concern is that some drugs that obtain been developed to treat sleep disorders have power to be used to mitigate the furniture of sleep deprivation — such as lapses in compression into a small compass. One could imagine such drugs would exist used to compensate for sleep privation. In the long run, the consequences of of the like kind use of medications in making the million even more deprived of sleep than is publicly the case is impossible to predict.
More generally, the best enhancing modifiers notwithstanding the brain are the following — schooling (not necessarily formal), adequate sleep, assuage exercise, and minimizing of chronic emphasis.
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