psychedelics   1014

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Brain Dynamical States During the Psychedelic Experience
In particular, the psychedelic experience produced by psilocybin (a substance found in “magic mushrooms”) is characterized by unconstrained cognition and profound alterations in the perception of time, space and selfhood. Considering the spontaneous and subjective manifestation of these effects, we hypothesize that neural correlates of the psychedelic experience can be found in the dynamics and variability of spontaneous brain activity fluctuations and connectivity, measurable with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

[MY NOTE: Look closely at page 10.]
psychedelics  where-no-man-dares 
11 days ago by jaypcross
Serotonergic Psychedelics LSD & Psilocybin Increase the Fractal Dimension of Cortical Brain Activity in Spatial and Temporal Domains
We were able to show that both psychedelic drugs significantly increased the fractal dimension of functional connectivity networks, and that LSD significantly increased the fractal dimension of BOLD signals, with psilocybin showing a non-significant trend in the same direction.

[MY NOTE: Want to send Robert Cahart-Harris some questions to go deeper into the differences between mushrooms and LSD. Use r.carhart-harris@imperial.ac.uk to reach him.]
psychedelics  where-no-man-dares  entropy 
11 days ago by jaypcross
Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neural Plasticity
Here, we report that, like ketamine, serotonergic psychedelics are capable of robustly increasing neuritogenesis and/or spinogenesis both in vitro and in vivo.

[MY NOTE: From what I can determine, neuritogenesis only (or primarily) occurs during brain development. This seems to be saying that psychedelics initiate a "second" phase of neuritogenesis. Almost a rebirth. Which squares with other research reports of psilocybin "rebooting" a depressed brain. In any case, review this paper for its breakdown of the differences between what each psychedelic does to the brain. Particularly "dendritic aborization" and "dendritic arbor complexity", which relate to the formation of new dendritic trees that create new synaptic connections -- expanding the brain's range of perception. I instinctively connected this research with Kapil's 1/1/2019 discourse, "The Life You Have Missed", particularly his railroad tracks metaphor.]
psychedelics  proof  where-no-man-dares 
22 days ago by jaypcross
Opinion | Turn On, Tune In, Start Up
Brief overview of how tech workers are increasingly using drugs to boost lucidity, not eschew it.
tech  psychedelics  drugs 
25 days ago by irace
Somewhat Interesting, Yet Manages To Be Mostly Boring
"I have led a boring life, at least as measured by the topics covered by this book, Michael Pollan’s "How to Change Your Mind." Not only have I never taken any psychedelic drug of any type, I have never taken any illegal drug at all. Similarly, I have never had any type of mystical experience whatsoever, though I am certainly open to such a thing and have total confidence that many other people have. Just not me. But here, as in many matters, others go where I have not tread. Pollan, famous mostly for books on food, decided to explore drug-induced alterations of consciousness, and this book is the measured result of his spelunking in the caverns of the mind.

I suppose that psychedelics might be interesting for me. Among other benefits, they are said to provide a lasting uptick in the personality characteristic “openness to experience,” in which I am very low indeed, according to test results. But I am a bone-deep paranoid, of whom long ago it was said that my core belief is “bad people are everywhere, and they must be put down.” Therefore, the chances that I would perceive ghostly enemies in my fever dreams, and then reach for my boot knife, seem to me far too high to risk taking any drug that alters perception of reality. So all this is abstract to me, and will remain so.

As far as the book, this is, disappointingly to some, not a book about Pollan’s own experiences with drugs, although those do figure. Those expecting an updated version of Aldous Huxley’s florid "The Doors of Perception" will not find it. This is a book mostly about history and science, cut with ten percent description of the author’s closely controlled personal experiences with psychedelic drugs. In other words, Pollan is not an evangelist or proselytizer for drug use; his advice is thoughtful, rather than enthusiastic."

[MY NOTE: Excerpt from lukewarm review of Michael Pollan's book "How To Change Your Mind." This guy epitomizes why I'm writing my novel. Psychedelics cannot be introduced in a "think-y" way like Pollan does. Books like that are only going to be read by current or aspiring psychonauts. They wont reach many new people.

I need to inject this magical experience into the bloodstream. In a STORY. A story that is at once inspiring and relatable. One that SHOWS you, in dazzling clarity: "THIS is what's possible. THIS is how your life can transform." The topic *requires* evangelism. People need to FEEL the magic. Not just be told about it by scientists.

As the reviewer later notes, "finally, we get to what everyone really wants to read, which is Pollan’s own drug travelogue." Also, though, I need to remember that "psychedelics aren't the thing, they're the thing that gets us TO the thing!"]
psychedelics  where-no-man-dares 
28 days ago by jaypcross
Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain
"Neuropsychedelia examines the revival of psychedelic science since the "Decade of the Brain." After the breakdown of this previously prospering area of psychopharmacology, and in the wake of clashes between counterculture and establishment in the late 1960s, a new generation of hallucinogen researchers used the hype around the neurosciences in the 1990s to bring psychedelics back into the mainstream of science and society. This book is based on anthropological fieldwork and philosophical reflections on life and work in two laboratories that have played key roles in this development: a human lab in Switzerland and an animal lab in California. It sheds light on the central transnational axis of the resurgence connecting American psychedelic culture with the home country of LSD.

In the borderland of science and religion, Neuropsychedelia explores the tensions between the use of hallucinogens to model psychoses and to evoke spiritual experiences in laboratory settings. Its protagonists, including the anthropologist himself, struggle to find a place for the mystical under conditions of late-modern materialism."

[MY NOTE: Hamilton Morris was more enthusiastic about this book than any of the 3 he recommended on Tim's podcast. Looks really good.]
psychedelics  neuroscience  where-no-man-dares  to-read 
5 weeks ago by jaypcross

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