Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb) from the world's oldest living tree has been reputed to ameliorate cognitive decline in the elderly and slow cognitive deterioration in patients with dementia of the Alzheimer's type. EGb remains as one of the most popular plant extracts to alleviate symptoms associated with a range of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and age-related amnesic conditions. EGb is known to contain a range of chemically active components that have antagonistic effects on platelet-activating factor, free-radical scavenging activity and direct effects on the cholinergic neurotransmitter system. Recently there has been much speculation, that EGb may act as a 'smart drug' or nootropic agent in the healthy young to improve intelligence. We conducted a 30-d randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in which 61 participants were administered a battery of validated neuropsychological tests before and after treatment. Statistical analysis indicated significant improvements in speed of information processing working memory and executive processing attributable to the EGb.