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Post: Psilocybin deeply enhances meditation insights

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Psilocybin deeply enhances meditation insights
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Article image In recent years, the scientific community has been increasingly interested in the potential benefits of meditation and psychedelics . A fascinating study has uncovered the synergistic effects of psilocybin and meditation, revealing how this combination can enhance insightfulness and alter brain activity patterns. Unlocking the doors of perception during meditation

Berit Singer and a team of researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich have published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports .

The study involved 36 experienced meditators who participated in a 5-day psilocybin-assisted meditation retreat, following a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study design.

The participants completed two fMRI brain imaging sessions, one day before and one day after the retreat. Each scan session consisted of resting-state, focused attention, and open monitoring sequences, with each meditation lasting 7 minutes. Mapping the synergy of psilocybin and meditation

The researchers used a novel approach based on the Mapper algorithm from topological data analysis to generate subject-specific maps for two groups ( psilocybin vs. placebo, 18 subjects/group) of experienced meditators.

The study revealed several intriguing findings: Psilocybin-induced positive derealization, when accompanied by enhanced open-monitoring meditation, was linked to the optimal transport (OT) distance between open-monitoring and resting state.

Enhanced meta-awareness through meditation practice in experienced meditators, combined with potential psilocybin-induced positive alterations in perception, mediate insightfulness.

Psilocybin alters the perception of the external world, presumably by increasing informational richness, which is reflected by increased OT distances between open-monitoring and resting state post-retreat.

Singer, one of the study’s lead authors, expressed her fascination with the application of pure mathematics, especially topology, to extract important information from latent structures in data.Speaking to PsyPost, she expressed her surprise by the common structure revealed among the subject-specific Mapper graphs, despite their initial apparent differences. New perspective on consciousness This study provides a novel perspective on the potential synergistic effects between mindfulness practices and psilocybin. It suggests that the combination of enhanced meta-awareness through meditation and psilocybin-induced positive alterations in perception can foster insightfulness.The findings also highlight the importance of understanding the neurophysiology of meditation and psychedelics beyond the conventional measures […]

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