Who wouldn’t like to perform better, think more clearly, and have more “cognitive RAM”?
The slightly cheesy film Limitless-recently repurposed into a TV series- appeals to these human desires. The premise of the show revolves around the limitless pill NZT-48, an absurdly powerful cognitive enhancer.
Watching the protagonist of Limitless gain essentially superhuman powers naturally prompts the audience to wonder whether such a substance might actually exist. Perhaps as a well-kept secret by the ultra-wealthy or the military?
Nootropics enhance cognitive function, although the effects are more modest than what’s portrayed in Limitless.
Here’s one objection I’ve always had to the idea of substances like NZT-48. If a chemical could so drastically improve cognitive performance, then wouldn’t changes in the structure or function of the brain that mimic the effects of NZT-48 would have already been selected for?
If a neurobiological free lunch existed like the limitless pill, then natural selection would probably have already selected for it. Unless there are evolutionary incentives to being stupid, which isn’t such a radical idea.
That Being Said, The Closest Thing To a Limitless Pill Is:
Phenylpiracetam + Modafinil + Low Dose Nicotine
Phenylpiracetam has psychostimulant-like effects reminiscent of amphetamine (Adderall) without the edginess or sketchy side effect profile.
This nootropic improves verbal fluency and cognitive flexibility, whereas Adderall may actually increase concentration *at the expense *of cognitive flexibility.
Modafinil has gained a lot of recent attention in the mainstream media as a cognitive enhancer. I’m skeptical that Modafiil will increase your IQ, but it almost certainly will improve your work ethic, exuberance, and focus. I’ve safely bought modafinil from AfinilExpress for years, and can vouch for their reliability.
I would make the case that enhancing motivation could make you intrinsically smarter, because intelligence is after all an epiphenomenon, an emergent property of the synaptic structure of the brain.
Environmental enrichment promotes synaptogenesis (synapse formation); in turn, fresh, highly organized, well-integrated synapses are what’s going to make those neural networks more efficient!
Some neuroscientists maintain that nicotine is the only substance identified to-date that reliably improves working memory in normal, healthy subjects. Nicotine is also one of the best nootropics, in my opinion. Nicotine got a bad reputation due to its association with tobacco, but nicotine itself in low doses is relatively safe and an FDA-approved treatment for smoking-cessation. Gwern has an outstanding article on the nootropic potential of nicotine.