Science: Health: Drug
Supplement to put you in the zone   (0)  [vote for, against]
Make this a priority for research

There have been big advances in medicine allowing researchers to peer into the inner workings of the living human brain. I think a valuable objective would be to ascertain exactly what neurochemical magic occurs to put you "in the zone".

We've all experienced being in the zone and it is a wonderful feeling - albeit too rare for my liking. Interestingly, this zone-ness works for physical or mental challenges equally well, although I suppose it is ultimately a cognitive phenomenon. When I have that feeling I can rip through paperwork at a breakneck pace while simultaneously solving some logistical problem. Or, I KNOW I can knock a ball out of the air with another ball without a problem.

I suspect it is adrenal related, as an emergency situation will often instantly put you "in the zone", where it seems you have all the time in the world to avoid the multitude of objects which have just suddenly fallen off the truck in front of you. If researchers can distill this ability into a pill, the market would be enormous. Productivity in offices and research labs would go through the roof and I suspect the military would be interested as well.

I do expect nature has a reason for being frugal with this abilility because there must be some offsetting cost such as some sort of burnout or energy cost. On the other hand no one would desire to be "on". All I know is that it is an ability I'd like to have more often.
-- AusCan531, Apr 21 2013

Here's a little bit more info http://en.wikipedia...ow_%28psychology%29
Interesting ideas about optimal bits/second of information which /i guess would vary with individual [leinypoo13, Apr 21 2013]

Wikipedia: Nootropics/Cognitive Enhancers http://en.wikipedia...#Cognitive_enhancer
The jury's out on which of these might work best, under target conditions - but the study, and indeed results of that study are already out there. [zen_tom, Apr 22 2013]

[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 22 2013]

[marked-for-deletion] “We should research…”
-- ytk, Apr 21 2013

I don't think this is a big mystery. What you experience from time to time is a hypomanic phase - a mild version of the upside of bipolar. A fair bit is known about how to induce it, the only real problem being how to stop it tipping over into mania which, though much more fun at the time, is probably not something you'd want apparently.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 21 2013

Why, because "in this house we obey the laws thermodynamics?" Thermodynamica are only prescriprive of efficient functioning machines, but only la la la interpretation says that is the only way of things.
-- rcarty, Apr 22 2013

Caffeine works pretty well for me.
-- DIYMatt, Apr 22 2013

Erythroxyline... not even once.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 22 2013

random, halfbakery