Better living through neurochemistry: Reason magazine on the prospect of the “Brain Spa”

Ronald Bailey in Reason magazine refers to University of Pennsylvania’s Anjan Chatterjee’s presentation at a Dana foundation conference on neuroethics:

In Chatterjee’s scenario, the executive’s new position has involved him with negotiating a contract with a company in Saudi Arabia. A lot of his competitors are vying for the contract, so the executive figures that if he knew some Arabic it might improve his chances of making the deal. Wondering if there is some way to enhance his ability to learn Arabic, he turns again to his neurologist for help. The neurologist knows that recent research shows that downing 10 milligrams of dextra-amphetamine half an hour before his Arabic lessons will improve his attention and retention. Fueled by dextra-amphetamine, the executive learns a good bit of polite Arabic.

Six weeks later, the executive flies off to Saudi Arabia. He wants to arrive fresh and alert, so the neurologist has prescribed Ambien for him to take on the flight over so he can get some sleep. When the executive arrives in Riyadh, he swallows modafinil to keep himself awake and alert without jitteriness through the grueling negotiations. In the end, the Saudis, flattered by his efforts to speak Arabic, award him the contract. He goes home in triumph.

More here

[Thanks to Foe Romeo for this]