December 22, 2012
Adderal As Autism In A Pill?

As Tyler Cowen has pointed out, atttributes of autistic minds have some economic advantages. Some companies are systematically utilizing these advantages to improve quality and enhance profits. A Jason Lisk essay about Adderall in the National Football League makes the point that Adderall causes mental hyperfocusing. The tendency hyperfocus is one of the advantages that autistics bring to many mental tasks. So you can buy a bottle of autism?

Of course, it’s not all positives. It can be abused. It can be addictive. You have to get a cardiac workup, and players that are sharing it without prescriptions could lead us to a Len Bias situation for Adderall. For me, I had a hard time sleeping at night. I was still on. That’s why you hear stories like Garrett Hartley, who claimed to have taken it to stay awake for a long drive. I would get so focused on things that I could not let go. I could always “hyper-focus” on things I enjoyed, but it intensified even more on Adderall. Staying up to play Civilization to wind down turned into six hours at the computer, and no sleep before returning to work.

Hyperfocusing is not the only attribute of the autistic mind. How many of the autistic attributes can be enhanced by drugs? The opposite effect is possible: Oxytocin enhances the ability of autistics to recognize emotions in the faces of others.

There's no mental state that is ideal for all situations. What we need: mental switches that will make it fast and easy to switch our minds into different modes. Shift into a socialization mode. Then switch on hyperfocusing to work on an intellectually demanding task without getting distracted. Get creative when you need to be. Then shift into a mode where you can analyze numbers and write up reports when that's what's needed.

We need cognitive state management technologies. Some already exist and not all of them are drugs. For example, bright lights will lessen the kind of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). You can also use white noise and noise suppressing materials and other changes in your environment to decrease mental distractions.

Which cognitive state management techniques do you use? Got any useful tips?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2012 December 22 01:08 PM 

Brian said at December 22, 2012 2:32 PM:

Wish I had some more exciting ideas to tell people, but right now all I have is caffeine, white noise, exercise, and sleeping pills. Maybe I'll try modafinil sometime. The wikipedia nootropics entry has many ideas.

dorian said at December 22, 2012 9:42 PM:

Theanine + dark chocolate rather than Adderal or even Caffeine, for the latter only 2 cups of green tea in the morning.

breaking larger tasks up into at least 2 major components, and then executing them separately in different & dedicated spaces/places.

Seinfeld's "never breaking the chain" seems to work well with my ever so mild OCD inclinations.

James Bowery said at December 23, 2012 9:00 AM:

Doesn't anyone remember "Speed", as in "Speed kills."?

san jose limo said at November 25, 2013 11:31 PM:

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