People who have taken psychedelic drugs are said to reach a higher level of consciousness under the psilocybin influence. But what actually happens in the brain under the influence of psychedelics?
What happens to the brain when a person takes psychedelics?
Imagine for a second that your mind is a snowy hill, and your thoughts are a sled rolling down it. Sooner or later, the sled will lay a track, and all thoughts will roll down the same track all the time. Psychedelics are fresh snow, allowing your thoughts to roll in new ways.
What brain systems do magic mushrooms activate? Experts are now doing a lot of research on the effects of psychedelics on the psyche and physiological state of people. When psilocin takes effect, it is as if the resolution of reality is multiplied: consciousness begins to change, for example changing the perception of sound, colors. At this time, departments in the brain that don’t normally communicate connect, so you experience synesthesia, a mixing of the senses.
For example, you can close your eyes and see the geometry of music because the visual cortex processes some sound information. The music permeates through, the process unfolds quickly, and you drown in a flood of sensory experience. The signal becomes more and more diffused in the recesses of consciousness, and because of this the current in the brain’s passive-mode network, the neural network in which the ego lives, is weakened.
When the effects of psilocybin wear off, it’s like your brain reboots with a clean desktop with only one folder on it: “My old nonsense. It’s been a crazy journey, but what now? Physically and psychologically, you feel better. The office routine seems quite bearable to you, you are more relaxed about the shortcomings of others. You feel that your day is going quite well. This can even be useful in therapy to alleviate a person’s illness.
What do magic mushrooms do to your brain?
Psilocybin, the substance that induces psychedelic states and is contained in “magic mushrooms,” quickly stimulated the growth of neural connections lost under stress.
Mushroom drug effects on the brain also activate serotonin receptors, which are responsible for mood, cognition, and perception, meaning that one begins to feel uplifted and animated. Also, magic mushrooms affect the areas of the brain that are responsible for excitement and panic.
How do magic mushrooms help the brain for depression?
Studies prove that some psychedelic drugs are effective in treating depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction.
The idea to use the active substance of hallucinogenic mushrooms to treat severe forms of depression occurred to researchers several years ago. Since standard treatment methods (such as psychotherapy and antidepressants) are not always effective, scientists were looking for a more “active” treatment.
It turned out that people who had taken a dose of psilocybin significantly reduced the level of anxiety and depression. Such effects on the human body were observed for four-six months.