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Post: Study Shows How Psilocybin Lights Up The Brain

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Study Shows How Psilocybin Lights Up The Brain

Psilocybin mushrooms growing in tubs May 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Joe Amon/MediaNews … [+] What creates bliss for one is a bad trip to another. New findings help to clarify how psilocybin activates regions of the brain, creating patterns of hyperconnectivity, and why the effects of the mushroom’s active ingredient are so subjective from one person to another.

A study shows that the use of psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, initiates a “pattern of hyperconnectivity” in the brain that is linked to the ways it modifies ego and creates feelings of oceanic boundlessness. “Oceanic boundlessness” is defined as a sense of unity, blissfulness, insightfulness, and spiritual experience often associated with psychedelic substances.

The findings, appearing in the May 2024 issue Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging , published by Elsevier, were announced with commentary from the authors on May 23.

Researchers associated with Maastricht University in the Netherlands and University of Liège, Belgium found a specific association between the psychedelic state and “whole-brain dynamic connectivity changes.” While previous research has shown increases in static global brain connectivity under psychedelics, the new study shows that this state of hyperconnectivity is dynamic—changing over time—and its transition rate coincides with the feeling of oceanic boundlessness.

Researchers analyzed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data for two groups of people: 22 of whom received a single dose of psilocybin, while the other 27 participants received a placebo. They observed widespread increases in averaged brain functional connectivity. Upon further analysis, the findings showed a “recurrent hyperconnected pattern.” With analysis, the results show more feelings of oceanic boundlessness, and visionary restructuralization.

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"Psilocybin has been one of the most studied psychedelics, possibly due to its potential contribution in treating different disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, death-related anxiety, depression, treatment-resistant depression, major depressive […]

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