Nature: 'cognitive enhancement' is not a dirty word

ArnieChipmunk
ArnieChipmunk
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pills on the chess board?Should mind drugs be allowed or forbidden in chess competition? Less than two weeks after super GM?Ǭ†Vassily?Ǭ†Ivanchuk missed a doping test at the Olympiad, scientists in Nature published an article that says 'cognitive enhancement' should be allowed in modern society.

In their commentary on the website of?Ǭ†Nature -?Ǭ†one of the most important science magazines in the world -?Ǭ†seven prominent neuroscientists and university teachers conclude that we must 'reject the idea that enhancement is a dirty word'. According to research quoted in Nature,
almost 7% of students in US universities have used prescription stimulants (...)?Ǭ†and?Ǭ†(...) on some campuses, up to 25% of students had used them in the past year. These students are early adopters of a trend that is likely to grow, and indications suggest that they're not alone.
Although the authors do not specifically?Ǭ†mention chess, it's obvious that the subject is closely related to our royal game. Indeed, the authors state that

in the context of sports, pharmacological performance enhancement is indeed cheating. But, of course, it is cheating because it is against the rules. Any good set of rules would need to distinguish today's allowed cognitive enhancements, from private tutors to double espressos, from the newer methods, if they are to be banned.

?Ǭ†This is exactly the point that many proponents of drugs in sports have?Ǭ†made in the past (and indeed on this website as well): why is some chemical substation more of a 'drug' than?Ǭ†a private tutor or wealthy parents who can afford to buy lots of chess books?

The article in Nature?Ǭ†explicitly states that 'mentally competent adults should be able to engage in cognitive enhancement using drugs', and they support their conclusions with results from peer-reviewed research. They are not blind to possible dangers, however, and they do make an exception for children. Their suggestion that drugs are to be evaluated by an evidence-based approach, and not on?Ǭ†irrational sentiments (and most anti-drug sentiments seem to be just that),?Ǭ†seems?Ǭ†reasonable and wise to us. It's probably too late for Ivanchuk, but it would be interesting to see FIDE respond to this article.

You can read the entire?Ǭ†commentary here (and more on a similiar piece in Nature?Ǭ†from last year here and here). Do let us know what you think in the comments.
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