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Magic Mushrooms Create a Hyperconnected Brain

Magic Mushrooms Create a Hyperconnected Brain
Magic mushrooms may give users trippy experiences by creating a hyperconnected brain. The active ingredient in the psychedelic drug, psilocybin, seems to completely disrupt the normal communication networks in the brain, by connecting "brain regions that don't normally talk together," said study co-author Paul Expert, a physicist at King's College London. The research, which was published today (Oct. 28) in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, is part of a larger effort to understand how psychedelic drugs work, in the hopes that they could one day be used by psychiatrists — in carefully controlled settings — to treat conditions such as depression, Expert said. [Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens] Magic mushrooms Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is best known for triggering vivid hallucinations. But the drug also seems to have more long-lasting effects. Making connections Drug's effect Related:  Drugs & Consciousness

The Ketamine Key Depression, a persistent sad mood and lack of ability to experience pleasure, is a symptom of many psychiatric disorders. It’s debilitating, expensive, and often difficult to treat. Most treatments such as psychotherapy and medications take weeks to kick in, which means lengthy hospitalizations or time off work. The ability to feel pleasure is, in some ways, what makes life worth living. Traditionally, the neurotransmitter thought to be responsible for experiencing pleasure is dopamine. Pharmacologic agents that work on the dopamine system in other ways, such as methylphenidate, sometimes help increase motivation and energy in someone with depression, but it can also cause anxiety, insomnia, and jitteriness. As with everything in the brain, the story isn’t so simple as a single neurotransmitter system like dopamine. The down side to ketamine (besides lack of FDA approval for depression, the hallucinations, and lack of general availability) is that the effects don’t last.

What We Really Know About Psychedelic Mushrooms For centuries, "magic" mushrooms have been both celebrated and reviled for their mind-expanding properties. Research and popular use of psychedelic drugs like mushrooms and LSD surged in the 1960s, when the substances first entered the American cultural consciousness on a large scale, and came to define '60s counterculture. At this time, thousands of studies were conducted to determine the properties and potential therapeutic applications of the drugs. But in 1970, the Controlled Substances Act brought an end to this era of science-based open-mindedness, and greatly limited drug research for the next four decades. Today, research on psychedelic drugs is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. 'Shrooms are known to trigger hallucinations, feelings of euphoria, perceptual distortions, inability to distinguish fantasy from reality, and sometimes a mystical feelings of oneness with nature. Here's what else we know about mushrooms, what they do the human brain, and how.

Scientists Studied What Psychedelics Do to the Brain, and It's Not What You've Been Told It turns out that psychedelics aren't just good for turning into an elf and jousting a car. Psychiatrists, psychologists and specialists in addiction and recovery from traumatic experiences have been investigating the use of hallucinogens in treatment programs, and the results indicate that psychedelics actually have practical therapeutic uses. And one drug has proven particularly useful. Repeated studies have found the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, can help people move past major life issues — like beating alcoholism and becoming more empathetic. The research: One study concluded that controlled exposure to psilocybin could have long-lasting medical and spiritual benefits. Fourteen months later, 94% said their trip on magic mushrooms was one of the five most important moments of their lives. What's more, the researchers say that those changes in personality are highly atypical, because personalities tend to be pretty set in stone after the age of 25-30.

Ibogaine For Sale Psychedelic Researcher: How Drugs Like LSD Can Change Your Life We are currently experiencing a “renaissance” in psychedelic research, as Michael Pollan writes in a recent issue of The New Yorker. Hallucinogenic drugs like psilocybin can be used to treat a range of mental health disorders, from anxiety and addiction to depression, and researchers at the nation’s leading medical schools are intent on discovering their full therapeutic potential. Psilocybin is among a group of drugs labeled "classic psychedelics," which also includes LSD, mescaline and DMT, and has been designated a Schedule I drug since Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act back in 1971. This classification—which defines a drug as having a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision—has made psychedelics very difficult to study in a laboratory setting. Editor’s note: This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity. As for why psychedelics, it’s kind of an interesting story. AK: Go on.

Magic Mushrooms and Natural Intelligence In a time when Artificial Intelligence is getting all the headlines, English author and film-maker Simon G. Powell is making the case for Natural Intelligence – the idea that life itself is intelligent and nature has solutions to problems we have yet to even understand. And it was a series of mushroom trips – “like insights into the essence of existence” – which initiated and propelled his work. Powell describes these first revelatory experiences in the latest podcast from The Eternities: “I had a mystical experience, what felt like divine energy [was] pulsing through me. Powell went on to write The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning (2011), which traced the history of the sacred psilocybin mushroom and discussed its visionary effects, also examining the current science and lasting spirituality that surround it.

Ecstasy and Acid in Your Medicine Cabinet? Doctors Explore Psychedelics Psychedelics, the drugs of choice for many in the 1960s counterculture movement, may be making a comeback in the most straight-laced of places: research labs and doctors’ offices. Scientists, doctors and scholars who have researched the health potential of drugs such as LSD, magic mushrooms and ecstasy, gathered at the Horizons conference in New York City this past weekend to discuss innovations in the field. Psychedelics have been the subject of experiments by scientists for decades but went out of favor with the law in the 1960s and 1970s when they “escaped the lab” and were picked up by proselytizers who helped give them a bad name, conference presenters said. This led to a backlash that slammed the lid on research for the next several decades. Try Newsweek for only $1.25 per week Here are some highlights from presentations at the conference. 1. Mayan mushroom stones Richard Rose The U.S. 2. To date there have been no adverse reactions to psilocybin in any study. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Could Psilocybin Be the Next Caffeine? A Microdosing Report. Well, this is an odd one. Typically if you were going to read an article of mine about psychedelics, it’d be about telepathic communication with higher dimensional forms of insectile intelligence or plants or some shit (which I continually pontificate about on Facebook, friend me). That’s just sort of how I roll and, as a matter of fact, I just participated in a research study for John Hopkins University in regards to that exact topic. So it’s not sounding so crazy anymore, is it? But, as with most bizzarro endeavors I find myself engaged in, I am but a talking monkey guided by means of mostly unseen synchromystic entanglement. Last fall, I tossed up a post about the Hypnotikon psychedelic music festival in Seattle. The protocol there was typically that if you took acid and it didn’t really kick-in after a couple of hours, you just used it as an excuse to drink yourself silly. It was a two day festival and the next night I took, from what my perspective was, the exact same dose.

Clinical Trial Approved for MDMA Psychotherapy The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has approved the first clinical trial using MDMA along with psychotherapy to treat anxiety among people with life-threatening illnesses, researchers told Al Jazeera on Tuesday, adding that public support for the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs is rapidly growing. "The tide has changed for psychedelic research," said Brad Burge, the communications director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a California-based nonprofit research group that studies medicinal uses for psychedelics and marijuana and is sponsoring the study. The DEA approved the project on Friday, he said. Unlike Ecstasy or Molly — names for MDMA sold on the street and often mixed with dangerous adulterants — pure MDMA has been proved “sufficiently safe” when taken a limited number of times in moderate doses, MAPS says on its website. That study was published this month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Agrostis: Tryptamines in the Crucible of Civilization - The Nexian By Morris Crowley on Friday, 04 April 2014, hits: 6805 The ancient Greek world was familiar with a wide variety of drugs... but is it possible that they used DMT and related tryptamines as well? This article looks at the mythology around an obscure Greek grass known as “agrostis” and considers how the ancient Greeks could have utilized Phalaris grass for its psychoactive effects. For the benefit of modern psychonauts, we also look at toxicity concerns surrounding Phalaris. The genus Phalaris has an interesting niche in the world of visionary plants. Prior to current efforts in developing a grass tek, the last time that Phalaris saw such a surge in popularity was the early 1990s, during the first few years of the Entheogen Review publication. So Phalaris has largely taken a backseat in the contemporary Entheogenic Revival. But all of this begs the question: might earlier cultures have also been familiar with the visionary potential of Phalaris grasses? A fortuitous footnote