Important caveat for those thinking smart drugs can make a person more intelligent: Like any performance enhancer, there has to be a core level of intelligence or athleticism to be augmented.
Welcome to the world of nootropics, or smart drugs. Nootropics (derived from Greek words that mean to bend the mind) are categories of drugs, supplements and other additives and stimulants that enhance memory, cognitive function and even intelligence. For thousands of years, humankind has sought ways to improve the mind, and many believe that modern science is on the cusp of achieving that goal, albeit with many caveats.
…The goal behind them is to tweak the brain metabolism and keep the neurons firing in a focused way… The abilities to reason, to plan, to focus and to avoid acting on impulse are some of the higher functions of the brain that nootropics target.
It’s a mistake to think of smart drugs as steroids for the brain. The drugs don’t create more brain matter, like steroids create muscle. Instead, their goal is to focus the brain and make it work more efficiently. As Amy Arnsten, a professor of neurobiology at Yale medical School put it to the BBC, “You’re not taking Homer Simpson and making him into Einstein.”
In other words, smart drugs don’t make you smart unless you already are smart.