Cognitive Enhancement

Cognitive Enhancement

Pharmacologic, Environmental and Genetic Factors

1st Edition - December 20, 2014

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  • Editors: Shira Knafo, César Venero
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124171251
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124170421

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Cognitive Enhancement: Pharmacologic, Environmental and Genetic Factors addresses the gap that exists in research on the topic, gathering multidisciplinary knowledge and tools that help the reader understand the basics of cognitive enhancement. It also provides assistance in designing procedures and pharmacological approaches to further the use of novel cognitive enhancers, a field that offers potential benefit to a variety of populations, including those with neurologic and psychiatric disorders, mild aging-related cognitive impairment, and those who want to improve intellectual performance. The text builds on our knowledge of the molecular/cellular basis of cognitive function, offering the technological developments that may soon enhance cognition. Separate sections cover enhancement drugs, environmental conditions, and genetic factors in terms of both human and animal studies, including both healthy/young and aging/diseased individuals.

Key Features

  • Provides a multidisciplinary knowledge, enabling a further understanding of cognitive enhancement
  • Offers coverage of the pharmacologic, environmental, and genetic factors relevant to the topic
  • Discusses cognitive enhancement from the perspective of both healthy and diseased or aging populations
  • Topics are discussed in terms of both human and animal studies


Cognitive neuroscientists, neurobiologists, and neurologists

Table of Contents

    • Dedication
    • Chapter 1. What Is Cognitive Enhancement?
      • General Definition of Cognitive Enhancement
      • Different Classes of Cognitive Enhancement
      • Lifestyle Use versus Therapeutic Use of Cognitive Enhancers
      • The Aspects of Cognition Being Enhanced
      • Are Today’s “Cognitive Enhancers” Truly Efficient?
      • Possible Risks in the Use of Cognitive Enhancers
      • A Journey through this Book
    • Chapter 2. Signaling Pathways Involved in Cognitive Enhancement
      • Introduction
      • Stress as a Cognitive Enhancer
      • Biochemical Signaling Pathways in Learning
      • Biochemical Signaling Pathways in Neuronal Repair
      • Disadvantages of Cognitive Enhancers
      • Challenges in Developing Cognitive Enhancers
    • Chapter 3. Molecular Mechanisms of Drug-Induced Cognitive Enhancement
      • Introduction
      • Targeting the Induction of Plasticity: Glycine, D-Serine
      • Interplay between Cell Adhesion and Growth Factor Signaling: FGL
      • Modifying Synapses with the “Hunger Hormone” Ghrelin
      • Prolonging AMPA Receptor Excitation: Ampakines
    • Chapter 4. Role of Environment, Epigenetics, and Synapses in Cognitive Enhancement
      • Setting the Scene
      • Epigenetic Regulation of the Genome
      • Epigenetic Signaling and Behavioral Plasticity
      • Learning and Memory and Synapse Plasticity
      • Neurodevelopmental Principles and Memory-Related Synapse Remodeling
      • Role of Cell Adhesion Molecules in Experience-dependent Synapse Remodeling
      • Regulation of NCAM Polysialylation State
      • Regulation of NCAM PSA Expression during Activity-dependent Neural Remodeling
      • Synapse Remodeling and Memory Consolidation
      • Final Comment
    • Chapter 5. Transgenic Mice with Enhanced Cognition
      • Generating Mutant Mice
      • Synaptic Plasticity and Memory
      • Enhancing Cognition by Augmenting NMDA Receptor Function
      • CAMP-Creb Signaling
      • Translational Regulation and Enhanced Cognition
      • Epigenetic Regulation and Enhanced Cognition
      • Reducing Inhibition and Enhanced Cognition
      • MICRORNA and Enhanced Cognition
      • Extracellular Factors and Enhanced Cognition
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 6. The Use of Viral Vectors to Enhance Cognition
      • Introduction
      • Adeno-Associated Virus
      • Strategies to Increase Efficiency and Specificity of Gene Transfer
      • Trans-splicing AAV
      • Advancements in rAAV Packaging and Purification
      • Gene Delivery to the CNS
      • Cognitive Enhancement and Neurogenesis
      • Neurogenesis in Aging and AD
      • Animal Models of AD
      • Assessing Outcomes of AD Gene Therapy: Behavioral Testing and Neurophysiology
      • Current AAV Therapies in AD Animal Studies and Clinical Trials
      • Future Directions
    • Chapter 7. Advancing Fear Memory Research with Optogenetics
      • Introduction
      • Contemporary and Traditional Methods in Memory Research
      • Novel Findings in Memory Research from Optogenetic Studies
      • Memory Generation and Memory Enhancement Using Optogenetics
    • Chapter 8. Can Stem Cells Be Used to Enhance Cognition?
      • Introduction
      • The Role of Endogenous Neurogenesis in Cognition
      • Endogenous Stem Cells in Aging and Disease
      • Improving Cognition by Enhancing Neurogenesis
      • Improving Cognition with Stem Cell Transplantation
      • Contribution of Different Transplanted Cell Types to Cognition
      • Remaining Challenges
      • Conclusions
    • Chapter 9. Alzheimer’s Disease and Mechanism-Based Attempts to Enhance Cognition
      • Introduction
      • Synaptic Dysfunction Is a Central Feature of Alzheimer’s Pathology
      • Aβ Mounts the Synaptic Assault
      • Animal Models of AD
      • Experimental Paradigms Can Inform Us About Alzheimer’s-Related Pathophysiology
      • Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Is Impaired in Transgenic Mouse Models of AD
      • Soluble, but Not Insoluble, Aβ Disrupts Plasticity and Memory
      • Mechanisms of Aβ-Mediated Disruption of Synaptic Plasticity
      • Treatment Strategies
      • The Drugs Do Not Work: What Is Failing in AD Therapies?
      • The Future of Cognitive Enhancement in AD
      • Concluding Remarks
    • Chapter 10. Pharmacological Treatment of Cognitive Dysfunction in Neuropsychiatric Disorders
      • Introduction
      • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
      • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
      • Major Depressive Disorder
      • Schizophrenia
      • Bipolar Disorder
    • Chapter 11. Cognitive Enhancement in Humans
      • Introduction
      • Pharmaceuticals
      • Nutrition
      • Physical Exercise
      • Sleep
      • Meditation
      • Mnemonic Strategies
      • Computer Training
      • Brain Stimulation
      • Conclusions
    • Chapter 12. The Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Cognitive Enhancement
      • Introduction
      • Mechanisms of tDCS
      • Safety of tDCS
      • Applications in Cognitive Enhancement
      • Domain-General Cognitive Processes
      • Effects of tDCS in Different Populations
      • Optimizing the Effects of tDCS for Cognitive Enhancement
      • Open Questions
      • Conclusions
    • Chapter 13. Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical Considerations and a Look into the Future
      • Introduction
      • What Kinds of Cognitive Enhancement Are Relevant to the Normative Discussion and Why?
      • What Are the Normative Issues Associated with Cognitive Enhancement?
      • Tentative Proposal for Public Policies
      • Future Technological Challenges and Proactive Public Policies
      • Methodological Weaknesses and the Future of Evidence-Based Policy on Cognitive Enhancement
      • Conclusions
    • Index
    • Color Plates

Product details

  • No. of pages: 392
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: December 20, 2014
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124171251
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124170421

About the Editors

Shira Knafo

Shira Knafo
Shira Knafo is the head of the Molecular Cognition Laboratory and an Ikerbasque research professor at The University of the Basque Country (Biophysics Unit, Leioa). Her particular interests are in studying the molecular and synaptic mechanisms underlying learning and memory processes, cognitive malfunction and cognitive enhancement. Her experience in different scientific disciplines (medicine, animal behaviour, electrophysiology, molecular biology, morphology and imaging) allows her to adopt a multidisciplinary approach that is considered a great asset in modern neuroscience research. In 2012, she was awarded the Sieratzki Prize for Advances in Neuroscience (Tel-Aviv University) for her contributions in the field of cognitive neuroscience. In the same year, the Spanish National Research Council acknowledged her achievements in its annual tribute to its scientists. In 2013, the Spanish Ministry of Science awarded her an I3 certificate of excellence.

Affiliations and Expertise

The University of the Basque Country, Biophysics Unit, Leioa, Spain

César Venero

Associate Professor, Department of Psychopharmacology at the Universidad de Educación a Distancia in Spain and is Director of the Lab for Neurobiology of Stress and Neurodegenerative Diseases. He has authored two books on psychopharmacology and memory work. He co-chaired the “Cognitive Enhancement in Health and Disease” symposium at the 2012 Federation for European Neuroscience annual meeting.

Affiliations and Expertise

Universidad de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain

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