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Rethinking Cognitive Enhancement$
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Ruud ter Meulen, Ahmed Mohammed, and Wayne Hall

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727392.001.0001

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Students and “smart drugs”

Students and “smart drugs”

Empirical research can shed light on enhancement enthusiasm

Chapter:
(p.274) Chapter 17 Students and “smart drugs”
Source:
Rethinking Cognitive Enhancement
Author(s):

Brad Partridge

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727392.003.0017

The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants is often portrayed as widespread among university students (as a “study aid”). At the same time, enthusiasts have often claimed prescription stimulants such as methylphenidate and modafinil are effective as “smart drugs” while downplaying their risks to health. This uncritical enthusiasm is reflected in media coverage of cognitive enhancement, which tends to give the impression that the practice is widespread. This chapter provides a more critical look at the evidence for student use of smart drugs, including investigating attitudes toward cognitive enhancement, and recommends that bioethicists, neuroscientists, and the media take a more prudent tone toward the issue.

Keywords:   cognitive enhancement, students, prevalence, safety, efficacy

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