Humanity is on the cusp of the next big thing in cognitive enhancement. The journey toward new brain-enhancing drugs as well as technologies remain, and while we have come a long way in supercharging the brain in its cognition and overall performance, there is still plenty to explore and improve in the field.
Here are some compelling reasons why cognitive enhancement — a world of nootropics, so to speak — is here to stay and even thrive.
- Increasing demands on cognitive functions – In an increasingly complex world, there is much demanded of our brain function and cognitive performance. These requirements fit a growing information society, where skills can become readily obsolete in an instant and certain mental abilities get a premium. These challenges and more make people constantly on a search for scientific ways to supercharge the brain and become “limitless,” as the movie of the same name shows.
- Constant curiosity – There is an inherent curiosity and thirst for the unknown among humans. Just like the hacking phenomeno in the world of computers, more and more individuals are looking to experiment with techniques that will overcome the limitations of people’s cognitive abilities. In other words, “hack brain function.”
- The quest to understand the brain – The brain is always changing, meaning every time you learn, your brain forms, strengthens, or connects neural pathways. This means no one is stuck at birth and the conditions at which their brain was conceived. In addition, research shows that the brains of individuals who have been previously labeled “learning disabled” can be totally rewired with an appropriate brain program.
- The drive to know what’s there to learn – and unlearn – about the brain – There’s always that question of where you can change your beliefs about your mind, and whether it will follow. It’s a continuing cycle of doing and undoing that makes brain enhancement such an interesting discipline. In a study, adults who had negative thoughts about aging in their younger years were found to be more likely to experience a cardiovascular event in the next 38 years, no matter their race, age or other factors. In learning, the same may be true.
- An exploration of human nature – Cognitive enhancement continues to expand and grow because of the unfailing temptation of enhancement, cognitive or otherwise. The urge to enhance and keep changing might even be argued as the very core of human nature, so discovering something new in how the brain works and can be hacked also tells us something new about ourselves.
Why do you think cognitive enhancement holds some key to our future? Will it ever lead to an end where we get to have a conclusive take on how the brain exactly works? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.