About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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Brain Waves

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September 15, 2005

When Are You Most Alert?

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Posted by Zack Lynch

People reach their peak of alertness between 6pm and 7pm according to Circadian Technologies. From an evolutionary perspective, this time of day, early evening, was most likely spent securing the hearth for a safe night's sleep. Human alertness also rises at dawn or early morning. While a CMO magazine piece warns employers that trying to mess with this natural cycle won't get them very far, emerging neurotechnologies from companies like Cortex Pharmaceuticals are making are making headway on improving alertness and attention.

Located in Irvine, California, Cortex is a neuroscience company focused on novel drug therapies for neurological and psychiatric disorders. The company is pioneering a new class of proprietary pharmaceuticals called AMPAKINE compounds, which act to increase the strength of signals at connections between brain cells. The loss of these connections is thought to be responsible for memory and behavior problems in Alzheimer's disease. Many psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia, occur as a result of imbalances in the brain's neurotransmitter system. These imbalances may be improved by using the AMPAKINE technology.

A recently completed clinical study with AMPAKINE compounds in patients with schizophrenia indicated improvement in a number of symptoms also common to patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD"'). The US Department of Defense is also studying the use of these compounds to improve alertness in air force pilots and infantry.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Cogniceuticals


1. Mentifex on September 15, 2005 12:16 PM writes...

Mornings are when I am most alert, so I get up about three hours early to work on my independent-scholar artificial intelligence project. If I code the artificial mind for two or three hours and upload it to the Web, then the day is already successful before it even gets going. During the rest of the daily cycle, I jot down or write out ideas to incorporate in the next coding session. Mind.Forth, the AI Mind for robots, is being downloaded, or at least looked at, from all parts of the world. Somebody at a computer in Kiev seems to be checking back for it on a daily basis. One fellow in Ireland told me a few years ago that it was really easy for him to fetch the Forthmind and the Win32Forth to run it in. Nevertheless, once Mind.Forth is a little more stable, its JavaScript version (q.v.) will be updated and people will need only to click on one single link to run the AI Mind based on the neuroscientific principle of spreading activation.

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