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In stories such as Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, the main character, Charlie Gordon, receives an operation on his brain that triples his intelligence.

Could something like this be achieved if the brain is somehow sped up and forced to do more in less time? And wouldn't something like this cause the brain to deteriorate rapidly from being "worn out" by so much use?

I found in this article that as the brain ages, it will shrink and will have larger fissures in it. In the story, after what seems to have been a short life, the mouse dies and is dissected. The mouse's brain is found to have much larger fissures and have shrinked.

Is this wearing out or aging of the brain due to increased activity by surgical means accurate in any way?

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Our brain runs on a series of chemical and electrical reactions running at a stable pace. Unlike computers, you cannot "overclock" the brain into running these reactions any faster than normal. However, if we were to assume the psuedoscience to be true, it would be logical for the brain to undergo premature death. With the rates of these reactions increased you would see the rate of DNA mutations increase along with the amount of oxidative stress. All of which are causes of cancer and cell death.

How to actually improve cognitive function: http://m.wikihow.com/Increase-Your-Brain's-Processing-Speed

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I've seen this TED talk that suggests that cooking allowed humans to ingest more calories in a given day by "pre-digesting" food using fire. This caused "rapid" evolutionary increases in brain size. The talk suggests that gorilla brains are small because they spend almost entire day eating low calorie food and don't have spare energy to devote to brain development.

In the modern age, 50000 calories from sugar costs less than 10$. The definition of "binge eating disorder" is eating 5000-15000 calories in one sitting. From this point of view, the modern man has plenty of energy to dedicate to "overclocking" the brain.

Frequently used neuronal networks develop Myelin sheath, which increases nerve impulse propagation speed. Apparently training a specific move in sports causes myelin sheath to develop around the responsible neural network, causing increased performance. I'm not aware of negative side effects of myelination process.

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