CILTEP Debunked? Memory Champion Tests It vs Placebo

CILTEP Debunked? Memory Champion Tests It vs Placebo

My name is Mattias Ribbing. I’m a three times Swedish Memory Champion, officially honored as an International Grand Master of Memory and ranked as having among the top 100 best memories in the world of all time.

The world of memory sports is very concrete and measurable. Competitions consist of a decathlon where we encounter 10 different kinds of information, like names & faces, numbers, images, sounds, words and so on, which we have to commit to memory in huge quantities.

Lately I’ve become very interested in nootropics and CILTEP specifically. I decided to do some testing, applying the strict measuring standards of memory sports.

My wife Christine, who has a Ph.D. in medicine, helped me set up a protocol for a full blind test.

For 10 days I did the official memory discipline “Speed Cards” each day. 5 days on CILTEP and 5 days on a placebo. This was randomized so I wouldn’t know what I had taken.

In “Speed Cards” I look through a shuffled deck of playing cards once and time it. Then I try to recall the order of the entire deck of 52 cards. If I’m a 100% correct, I get the time it took me to look through the deck.

If I have a single mistake or more, it’s considered a failed trial (the rules of memory sports are very tough). My official best result is 1 minute and 19 seconds.

For this experiment I did two trials of “Speed Cards” (as you do in competitions) each morning, keeping all surrounding factors as similar as possible. This gave me a total of 20 trials.

In the results below you can see that:

* My 4 best trials were all on CILTEP. 

* Out of the 8 trials where I failed to get a 100% recall, 6 trials where on placebo and only 2 on CILTEP.


It’s also interesting to note that day 1 of my experiment was the first time in at least 4 months that I memorized a deck of cards.

Considering this, the results of day 1 also stand out as exceptionally good.

Follow me @mattiasribbing

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