Modafinil officially improves memory and creativity, say scientists

The study drug makes the brain work better

Clever scientists have decided modafinil is the best thing to help your brain perform. 

The popular revision aid boosts planning and decision making, flexibility, learning and memory, and even creativity.

Ethical questions are now being asked by scientists about whether modafinil should be “classified, condoned or condemned”.

It can help you function with less sleep

Originally intended to help narcolepsy suffers, the revision aid could be used across the whole of society because the mental enhancer has few serious side effects.

Library folklore previously said modafinil would lead you to focus solely on one task.

But after reviewing the published research on the drug, Ruaridh Battleday and Anna-Katherine Brem, from the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School, found the pills can dramatically enhance cognitive capacity.

The study showed a positive impact on planning and decision making, flexibility, learning and memory, and even creativity.

It is usually prescribed to treat sleep deprivation and has been used in the past by the US Air Force to keep helicopter pilots alert during long distance flights.

The pills cause the user to be more alert and focused

One in five of us admitted taking modafinil in The Tab’s study drug survey.

The pressures of being at the country’s top uni must be getting to Oxford students. A quarter of Oxonians have used it – more than any other uni.

Newcastle students fill the runner-up spot with 25% trying the drug, while Leeds, whose students take the most recreational drugs, are third.

Those who took the drug reported side effects such as “needing to go to the loo more” and “inability to sleep” while “reduced appetite” was the most common.

Of those who admit taking it, 20 per cent say they swallow the pill on a daily basis.

Find out what modafinil is like in our feature.