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Post: UC Berkeley To Enlist Human Subjects in Groundbreaking Psilocybin Study

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UC Berkeley To Enlist Human Subjects in Groundbreaking Psilocybin Study

Shutterstock University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) will observe human subjects in a study to determine if psilocybin , the active compound in magic mushrooms.The study marks UC Berkeley’s first study involving human subjects with a Schedule I substance—drugs with no currently accepted medical value.

The study will examine how psilocybin changes the way our brain interprets information that we see and pushes us out of our normal state of mind. The UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP) is launching a new study designed to reveal the mechanisms behind how psychedelics shape human perception.

In the experiment, healthy human participants will ingest psilocybin, a compound found in psychedelic mushrooms. All the while, researchers will observe how their brains light up. Each participant will then perform simple perceptual tasks while their visual cortex is monitored using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

“We have this incredible opportunity to characterize the psychedelic experience in real time—while it’s happening—using modern neuroimaging methods,” Michael Silver, director of the BCSP and the study’s leader, told Berkeley News . “Understanding the actions of psychedelics at a neuroscientific level will generate insights into how they’re working as medicines and will hopefully help us develop more effective treatments for mental health disorders. It will also shed light on some of the fundamental mysteries of the human brain, mind and consciousness and how they relate to each other.” Our new study aims to uncover how psilocybin shapes human perception and is the first human subjects research with psychedelics at @UCBerkeley . Insights could optimize psychedelic-assisted therapy & shed light on mysteries of mind, brain, & consciousness. Before this study, UC Berkeley researchers had to rely on animal subjects, typically mouse models, in order to study psilocybin as a Schedule I substance. Going beyond that usually requires DEA approvals.

For the BCSP, they had to work for years to acquire federal, state, and campus-level regulatory approvals in order to use psilocybin, and they must follow stringent rules for handling of it. How Psilocybin Shapes the Way We Perceive Visual Information

Silver explained to Berkeley News in detail what excites […]

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