Editor's Summary

11 December 2008

Smart drugs: the case for changing minds

Stimulants such as methyl-phenidate (Ritalin) and modafinil (Provigil), familiar as treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy respectively, are increasingly used as 'smart drugs' by students and more widely as a boost to intellectual creativity. Should society recognize the demand for cognitive enhancement? The trend has been resisted by some on the grounds of safety, 'medicalization' and social inequality. Nature has been reporting on developments in this area and providing a forum for discussion. The debate continues with a call for acceptance of enhancement as a reasonable goal, and online on Nature Network.

CommentaryTowards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy

Society must respond to the growing demand for cognitive enhancement. That response must start by rejecting the idea that 'enhancement' is a dirty word, argue Henry Greely and colleagues.