History of Nootropics: Plants to Piracetam

The concept for this book originally derived from a talk and is a work in progress (see blog post below). This "book" seeks to answer some of the questions about "why" molecules that plants make work in humans, how cognitive enhancers have shaped the course of history, how the nootropic concept was coined, and where we are today.

V2 of Talk at BodyHacking Conference 2019

V1 Of Talk at the Launch of the Meditation Battle League 2018

Early 2019 History of Nootropics Book Update

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The initial concept for this book had been percolating in my mind for a while, as for years I had been piecing together the background on the discovery of piracetam and…

Here are some tidbits and intriguing topics the book covers:

  • Evolution, exaptation and how a molecule in fish led to the growth in human brain size
  • Plants and humans share common cellular machinery and pathways
  • How coffee lead to Newton’s theory of gravity
  • How the pursuit of fashion led to the invention of modern organic chemistry
  • The hidden role cognitive enhancers have played in shaping the course of human history from the Enlightenment to the Civil War and beyond
  • Ways that “cognitive enhancement” has gone wrong, especially their extensive use by Nazis in WWII
  • Advances in neuroscience that lead to the introduction of the nootropic concept
  • How a failed search for a sleep aid led to the discovery of piracetam
  • An overview of the wide-ranging applications of nootropics
  • A look at where nootropics are today and where they are heading

"Enhancing the Mind" Interview With Simulation Series


Chapter 1: DHA – The Limiting Factor Of Brain Growth In Evolution

Chapter 2: Plants, Insects and the Human Brain

Chapter 3: Coffee and the Enlightenment

Chapter 4: Making Chemistry Fashionable

Chapter 5: Neuroscience of the 20th Century

Chapter 6: Drugs For Good and Evil (Coffee, Stimulants and War)

Chapter 7: An Accidental Discovery With Unusual Properties

Chapter 8: Nootropics: Towards the Mind

Chapter 9: From Premature Babies To Geriatric Patients

Chapter 10: From the Lab to the Web, Increasing the Speed of Science