Myth: Memory pills can assist learning

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You can boost your learning with memory pills. Countless companies market various drugs and supplements with claims of improved memory


There are no effective memory pills out there (2020). Many drugs and supplements indirectly help your memory by simply making you healthier or more alert. Many substances can help the learning process itself (e.g. small doses of caffeine, sugar, etc.), but these should not be central to your concerns. It is like running a marathon. There are foods and drugs that can help you run, but if you are a lousy runner, no magic pill can make you finish in less than 3 hours. Do not bank on pharmiracles. A genius memory researcher Dr Tim Tully believes that his CREB research will ultimately lead to a memory pill. However, his memory pill is not likely to specifically affect desired memories while leaving other memories to inevitable forgetting. As such, each application of the pill will likely produce a side effect of enhanced memory traces for all things learned in the affected period. Neural network researchers know the problem as stability-vs-plasticity dilemma. Evolution solved this problem in a way that will be hard to change. Forgetting is important in problem solving. Admittedly though, combination of a short-lasting memory enhancement with a sharply-focused spaced repetition (as with SuperMemo) could in theory bring some enhancement to learning

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