Magic Mushrooms Expand the Mind By Dampening Brain Activity, May Help Depression
(Updated) More than half a century ago, author Aldous Huxley titled his book on his experience with hallucinogens The Doors of Perception, borrowing a phrase from a 1790 William Blake poem (which, yes, also lent Jim Morrison’s band its moniker). Blake wrote: If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern. Based on this idea, Huxley posited that ordinary consciousness represents only a fraction of what the mind can take in. In order to keep us focused on survival, Huxley claimed, the brain must act as a “reducing valve” on the flood of potentially overwhelming sights, sounds and sensations. A new study by British researchers supports this theory. Under the influence of mushrooms, overall brain activity drops, particularly in certain regions that are densely connected to sensory areas of the brain.