Take the 2-minute tour ×
Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm attempting to teach myself perfect pitch.

For five years I have been developing and constructing computer training games. I'm now happy with the design, and ready to start training in earnest.

This is going to consume hundreds of hours of my time.

I'm interested in Nootropics -- it seems like a good idea to supply my brain with the necessary chemical building blocks to put it into an optimum state for restructuring itself.

I will need all the help I can get; There is to date no recorded case of an adult acquiring perfect pitch.

But how can I intelligently choose a Nootropic stack? There are plenty of companies offering products (e.g. http://www.mindnutrition.com/products/neurostim or http://biosciencenutra.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=133) but I can't see any way to choose between them.

Firstly, does it matter that my required learning task is specialised? (I'm guessing that it doesn't because the task is basically performance-optimising a neural network, and it shouldn't matter whether the input data is coming from the eyes, the ears, etc)

Secondly, is there any known method of benchmarking nootropics? Maybe some kind of cognitive performance test, that could evaluate improvements to memory, critical thinking, et cetera?

And finally, is there some independent resource that puts the available product shoulder to shoulder?

PS Would 'Nootropic' be a sensible tag?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Chuck Sherrington, Nick Stauner, Steven Jeuris Apr 28 at 21:58

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • ""Self-help" questions are off-topic because you should probably see a medical professional instead of trying to self-diagnose / self-treat. See: Why was my self-help question closed as off-topic?" – Chuck Sherrington, Nick Stauner, Steven Jeuris
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
Self-help questions (and in particular, those dealing with arbitrary self-experimentation) are off-topic here. –  Chuck Sherrington Apr 28 at 15:44
    
FWIW, the question only focuses on the self as an application of answers to general questions. One might attempt to answer the literal questions without appearing (in a strict sense, at least) to prescribe anything for the OP or otherwise provide personal mental health advice / services. This further blurs the line with definitional self-help questions that, after being put on hold, get edited to remove all self-references and leave only general questions, whose answers are clearly intended (taking revision history into account) to be applied for self-help purposes. This site needs a lawyer... –  Nick Stauner Apr 28 at 17:43
    
@NickStauner Easiest way out of that conundrum is to just close the questions and leave them be, then. –  Chuck Sherrington Apr 28 at 20:55
    
@ChuckSherrington: I'm saying that IMO, this question is already on the right side of the closure line, judging by the questions we reopen that are edited to remove self-references and phrase the questions generally. The OP isn't asking, "Will this work for me / do I need this personally?" I still voted in support of your nomination because I'm wary of answering questions where self-help is the clear intent, even when it's not in the explicit phrasing of the question itself...but I don't think editing to remove self-references clears up the legal issue like we seem to think. Needs a meta-Q... –  Nick Stauner Apr 28 at 21:09
    
Meta question (but not exactly the one @Nick was referring to) on this topic here. –  Eoin Apr 29 at 8:30
add comment

1 Answer 1

I'll have to leave it to someone else to provide real expert advice and references on this point but I do offer the following skeptical points.

Brain Training Doesn't Work

To my knowledge, there is no reliable data whatsoever that says domain general brain-training has any effect. Basically, you can spend as long as you like practice pitch recognition, or anagrams, or any other cognitive task, but the transfer to unpracticed tasks will be minimal - you'll simply improve at the task you've practiced. You cannot increase IQ/Working Memory/Cognitive Capacity in this way. See, for example, Owen et al, 2010. The only benefit accrued from these games is in cases of cognitive decline, such as dementia, Alzheimers, and other neurodegenerative conditions, where training can slow decline.

Nootropic Drugs Don't Work

I've seen no evidence, ever, that shows long term benefits of your so called 'nootropic stack', beyond the usual, possibly valid claims about fatty acids found in fish. I can't find references for this right now, unfortunately, but really the onus is on those who claim that these supplements do have an effect to point to unbiased evidence.

Neural Networks are not Brains

A neural network is an idealized representation of the activation of a small number of nodes, applied to a specific context. A model of a thing is not the thing. Additionally, I don't understand your claim that it shouldn't matter where the input comes from - where do you get this notion from?

Self Help

Finally, I'm pretty sure self-help questions aren't allowed on this site. You should at least rephrase your question in a more scientific idiom.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.