New research suggests that taking psilocybin, the hallucinogen in magic mushrooms, may actually lead to a decrease in the amount of blood flow in certain parts of your brain. Scientists at Imperial College London injected subjects with psilocybin and scanned their brains. Turns out, they observed a reduction in neuronal activity and blood flow in core regions of the brain like the thalamus and cingulate cortex. From Science News:
“Decreasing the activity in certain hubs in the network may allow for a more unconstrained conscious experience,” says Matthew Johnson, an experimental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore who studies psilocybin and other hallucinogens. “These drugs may lift the filters that are at play in terms of limiting our perception of reality.”
Further work by (Imperial College London) neuropsychopharmacologist David) Nutt’s team showed that the brain hubs responded together, linked by a neural circuit called the default mode network. Some scientists believe this highly interconnected brain superhighway is essential for maintaining a person’s sense of self.
Putting the brakes on this network could help to treat certain psychological conditions by opening the brain to new ways of thinking, researchers hope. Several studies have shown that psilocybin can change people’s attitudes for the better and may be useful for treating depression, a condition linked to too much activity in the default mode network.
“Chemically switching off might have very profound beneficial effects,” says Nutt, who suspects that psilocybin could also be useful for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. “It may help people completely locked into a mindset that drives their lives.”
"Turn off, tune in, drop out" (Science News)
"Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin" (PNAS)
image: "Mayan 'mushroom stones' of Guatemala"
Eurogamer’s Will Judd flirts with heresy: “Are mechanical keyboards really good for gaming?” When it comes to PC gaming peripherals, stats and specs drive purchases. Gaming monitors became popular because they offered lower latency or higher refresh rates, while gaming mice boasted higher sensitivities and improved tracking accuracy. Yet this quantitative trend doesn’t seem to […]
Tim Cook waved goodbye as Jony Ive pulled out of the car lot for the last time. Without dropping the smile, Cook tilted his head at Jeff Williams. “Finally,” he whispered though his teeth. “We can fix the fucking keyboards” Here’s Benjamin Mayo, quoting Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple to include new scissor switch keyboard in 2019 […]
The escalating tariff slap-fight between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China is messing with so many bottom lines that the only people playing the market and making bank are those with companies that make red ink in their portfolios. Even Apple, a company that pretty much prints its own damn […]
They might be the shiny new thing, but AirPods aren’t for everybody. Maybe you’re looking for a new sound or you understandably lost those tiny buds during a brisk run. If so, here’s 10 headphones and earbuds that break out of the Apple mode with a return to quality and wearability. Klipsch R5 Bluetooth Neckband […]
When it comes to passwords, there’s no such thing as paranoia. You want them secure and complex, and you definitely don’t want to repeat them on all your accounts. The trouble is, the internet seems to keep growing. And so do those accounts. Just one lockout from an important email or banking site is enough […]
With the rising temperatures on tap this summer, the climate is going to be a frequent topic of conversation, and those conversations won’t be happy ones. Luckily, there’s a way to do a little climate change of your own – in a safe and sustainable way. When it comes to personal air conditioners, EvaPolar is […]