Study shows Ritalin aids self-control

The study in 108 healthy subjects showed that when asked to complete two sequential number and letter recognition tasks, reaction time (a measure of attention control) declined in the group not taking the drug.

Methylphenidate appeared to block the depletion of regulatory control and suppress the default brain network associated with task-irrelevant spontaneous thoughts, the authors said.

The observations suggested pretreatment with methylphenidate had at least some specific effects on the depletion of regulatory control following mental exertion.

Psychol Sci 2014; online 22 April