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Nehligh's 2010 review Nehlig (2010) wrote a systematic review article called "Is caffeine a cognitive enhancer?" (link to publisher, no PDF). On page S89 to S90 Nehlig reviews the evidence of caffeine as a cognitive enhancer within the context of a history of caffeine consumption: In caffeine non-deprived young (20–25 years) and older subjects (50–65 ...


7

Your question is very vague, and on a subject where a lot more research needs to be done, so forgive me but my answer is also going to probably be more vague and less definitive than you were hoping for. Provigil, as far as I can tell is just another brand name of modafinil, which has some very clear advantages when it comes to increasing your concentration ...


6

Resonance methods can be used to measure neurotransmitter levels. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy can measure the levels of a large number of neurotransmitters. However, this has always been viewed as a fairly static measure of neurotransmitter levels, and so has not been widely used as a measure of neural activity. However, Paul Mullins at Bangor University ...


6

Matt has the right direction but it's not the whole answer. As he explains, taking a metabolic precursor to dopamine will increase the amount of dopamine available to the brain. L-Dopa, tyrosine and tyrosine's precursor phenylalanine are possibilities. Even if taking any of these precursors may raise the amount of dopamine available to the brain, it doesn't ...


6

According to your snippet, increasing dopamine in the brain will decrease latent inhibition. Dopamine is produced in the body from the chemical L-dopa. Wikpedia states that dopamine will not cross the blood-brain barrier, so to increase dopamine levels in the brain L-dopa must be used. Wikipedia also says that there is a herbal extract containing L-dopa ...


5

It's a bit of an art, currently. Following is one technique I witnessed in a lab that takes electrophysiological recordings of tadpole and rat neurvous sytems. The lab that I worked with entrains the neuron, recording it's electrical activity (in a series of drug tests) and injects a marker that goes into the neuron (a GFP-like protein that binds to ...


5

I found an example of a system that researchers are aiming to use in the future for determining the level of neurotransmitter activity in the brain using MRI. You were on the right track with the utility of hemoglobin. The molecule used is somewhat similar. To understand how the probes were generated requires a bit of a biological detour. There are ...


3

One possibility is related to the Two-Factor theory of emotion. The theory describes how emotion is a product of both cognitive and physiological factors. Essentially, the mind tries to determine what emotion it is feeling by analyzing the body. By antagonizing epinephrine, they kind of inhibit the sympathetic nervous system. So, when a person would ...


2

Edit (09/14) -- Two years after writing this answer, I need to alter it slightly. Examine.com is a website dedicated to aggregating information on nootropics and other supplements/chemicals. It is often incomplete, but having a singular hub for academic/industrial research is nearly indispensable. I don't know if it satisfies what you're looking for, OP, ...


1

You've received a few great comments from our neuroscience-savvy users that indicate ways in which this question can be construed as particularly challenging or maybe even unanswerable. However, I think there's a much more basic and limited understanding of your question that takes into account your self-professed unfamiliarity with neuropharmacology and ...


1

In my opinion this has to do with how perception works in general. There are many situations, where you "see" something, that is not there. Optical and other sensory illusions are a prime example. Usually these mis-perceptions result from sensory input that our organs of perception were not built to analyze. For example, the size-weight illusion stems from ...



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