Exhibit 1:
Cognition-enhancing drugs

A somewhat different type of mind extension, which I will touch on here only in passing, is the use of cognition-enhancing drugs by healthy people, particularly by college students. Greeley et al. (2008) report that more and more students are routinely taking drugs such as Ritalin and Adderal that "increase executive functions" and "improve their abilities to focus their attention, manipulate information in working memory and flexibly control their responses" ("Paths to Enhancement," ¶1). The authors, a group of respected scientists and ethicists, support this practice, encouraging the responsible use of "cognitive enhancement tools—including the pharmacological," by healthy people, claiming the drugs "will be increasingly useful for improved quality of life and extended work productivity, as well as to stave off normal and pathological age related cognitive declines" (Greeley et al. 2008, "Conclusion," ¶1). Even pharmacological cognitive enhancement can be seen as an outgrowth of digital enhancements: modern synthesized cognition-enhancing drugs would not be possible without the digital tools for creating them.


Greeley, H., B. Sahakian, J. Harris, R. C. Kessler, M. Gazzaniga, P. Campbell, and M. J. Farah. 2008. Toward responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy. Nature 456:702-705. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/456702a.html (accessed January 28, 2009). Archived at http://www.webcitation.org/5eBMEmOlH.