Brains on Magic Mushrooms are Hyperconnected
Magic mushrooms, which are psychedelics, can cause trippy experiences and hallucinations. Even though researchers know that drugs work by affecting the brain, how magic mushrooms work exactly have not been clear until now. According to a new study, the active ingredient found in the mushroom, called psilocybin, causes the brain to become hyperconnected.
For this study, the researchers recruited 15 healthy participants who underwent brain scans after they took a placebo and after they took psilocybin. Since psilocybin can cause negative experiences, the researchers only selected volunteers who reported having a positive time with the drug within their past.
After comparing the brain scans, the researchers found that when participants were on the drug, their brains were super connected. The drug connected "brain regions that don't normally talk together," the study's co-author Paul Expert explained according to FOX News. After the effects of the drug wore off, brain connections normalized.
Many people who have taken magic mushrooms have reported feeling spiritual. Some evidence suggests that just one transcendent trip can encourage people to become more open to new things and more appreciative of art and emotions. The researchers believe that the drug has the potential to alleviate depressive symptoms. However, more research has to be conducted to get a better idea of how the drug affects the brain.
The study was published in the Journal of the Royal Society.