Nootropics: Week Three Testing Silicon Valley Smart Drugs

Our test subject has spent 21 days trying Nootropics in an attempt to improve brainpower.


November 25, 2015

I’ve just finished up week three of living off smart drugs. It’s been an interesting experiment, and this week I’ve had some new revelations.

I’ve been trying to keep track of any changes by doing a number of online tests to measure memory and response times. Read about them here.

Day 17

Today provided another high-intensity situation that required decisive decision making.

I help teach a local middle school P.E. class. It was our weekly game day, and we were playing Capture The Flag.

It had rained that morning and the grass was still wet. One 8th grade girl took upon herself to guard the flag; she was not going to let any intruders close. As she was chasing down a flag bandit she took a sharp turn and lost her footing on the wet grass. She slammed her head on the ground, and before I knew it, she lay motionless. Everyone in the class gathered around.

I felt mind-numb at first. Then a million questions raced through my brain.

And we were off campus today. I felt mind-numb at first. Then a million questions raced through my brain: Do I call an ambulance? Do I sprint a mile back to campus as fast as I can, leaving the other kids here? Do I send a kid back to get help? It also occurred to me that it was the end of class, and the other students needed to get back.

I steadied my mind for a second then called the shots. The students who wanted to leave could, but I needed a few to stay with the fallen girl. I was going to sprint back in my jeans. Huffing and puffing, I made it, and drove a cart back to transport her to the school for a diagnosis.

It ended up being a minor concussion, nothing to be too concerned about. Needing to make decisive decisions for a large group of people is a situation I don’t often find myself in.

I thank my enhanced mental state for helping me sort out my thoughts and stay focused instead of panicking and delaying my reaction.

In light of this situation, the rest of the week seemed pretty dull.

I am playing catch-up with video work right now, so I spend a lot of time editing. I still notice an edge in my focus – I manage long spurts of intense work without needing a social media distraction.

Thoughts from the week

This week I saw my test scores level out… and drop a little.

At the end of week two, my best Reaction Time was 309ms (compared to 367ms before starting Nootropics). But this week my best score was 330ms. So, not much improvement.

The recall test had some hiccups, as well. Before starting the experiment, I recalled a 12-digit number by memory. Last week I pulled off a 13-er. But this week I only managed to recall a 10-digit number. I think this has a lot to do with luck of the draw. I think the 13-er I did last week had something like “7777” in it. That helps.

I did noticeably improve in one area. My score in Self-Paced 2-Back on Quantified Mind moved from 586.207 to 625.495. This game requires determining if the image you’re shown is the same or different than two images ago. It takes a great deal of concentration, so I think the drugs helped boost my performance.

I’m aware that some improvement is due to repetition of the tests and may not be related to the drugs at all, but tests are the best we have for now.

Check back next week for the fourth and final part of my month-long experiment.

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