Brain doping soon acceptable?



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Will brain doping soon become socially acceptable? Professor Klaus Lieb, brain researcher and director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Mainz University Medical Center, together with the doctor Andreas Franke, asked around 1,500 schoolchildren and students about personal experiences with psychoactive substances to increase performance or the general willingness to "brain doping".

Professor Klaus Lieb, brain researcher and director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Medical Center Mainz, together with the doctor Andreas Franke, asked about the basic willingness to “brain doping”.

In an interview with FR-online, Lieb reports that although only four percent of those surveyed have their own experience in this regard, 80 percent openly signaled their willingness to use medication to increase concentration, alertness and memory.

Just two weeks ago, scientists from the Ernest Gallo Center at the University of California, San Francisco reported research results, according to which Ritalin may appear interesting as a means for "increasing cognitive performance" not only in attention and concentration disorders (AD / H / S). In experiments on rats, methylphenidate led to an increased activity of certain dopamine receptors in the brain. As a result, the “doped” rats learned better and faster than those of the comparison group treated with table salt. In addition to the methylphenidates, preparations from the amphetamine and anti-dementia groups, which are used to treat Alzheimer's, are also suitable.

The great willingness, according to Lieb, is to be interpreted on the increasing pressure to perform from outside, while actual use is kept low by the fact that the drugs mentioned are subject to prescription and the Narcotics Act. Freely available stimulants like the drink “Red Bull”, like caffeine tablets, have long been used by young people to stimulate people.

The scientist rejects a freer use of performance-enhancing substances. He warns, on the one hand, of unforeseeable long-term effects of the drugs, on the other hand, liberalization could put pressure on those who actually want to forego “doping”.

Alternatively, there are numerous concepts from psychology, education and naturopathy, with which the brain work can be optimized and overall performance increased. These include, for example, a beneficial diet, mental training, NLP, (self) hypnosis and structured learning based on behavioral psychology. (Dipl.Päd.Jeanette Viñals Stein, naturopath, 24.03.2010)

Further reading: Klaus Lieb: "Brain doping: why we shouldn't swallow everything."
Artemis & Winkler, Mannheim 2010.

Further articles:
Food for the brain: high performance through nutrition
Ritalin for good grades

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