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Scientists Are Giving People Psychedelics to Understand Consciousness

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Some people claim they reach a higher state of consciousness when they take psychedelics, but is this really what’s happening?

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Increased spontaneous MEG signal diversity for psychoactive doses of ketamine, LSD and psilocybin

“What is the level of consciousness of the psychedelic state? Empirically, measures of neural signal diversity such as entropy and Lempel-Ziv (LZ) complexity score higher for wakeful rest than for states with lower conscious level like propofol-induced anesthesia. Here we compute these measures for spontaneous magnetoencephalographic (MEG) signals from humans during altered states of consciousness induced by three psychedelic substances: psilocybin, ketamine and LSD.”

Evidence of a ‘higher’ state of consciousness?

“Scientific evidence of a ‘higher’ state of consciousness has been found in a study led by the University of Sussex. Neuroscientists observed a sustained increase in neural signal diversity — a measure of the complexity of brain activity — of people under the influence of psychedelic drugs, compared with when they were in a normal waking state. The diversity of brain signals provides a mathematical index of the level of consciousness. For example, people who are awake have been shown to have more diverse neural activity using this scale than those who are asleep.”

LSD May Chip Away at the Brain’s “Sense of Self” Network

“New studies-prompted by a renewed interest in potential applications of psychedelic drugs for understanding the brain or even treating some psychiatric diseases-suggest that far-reaching changes in brain connectivity contribute to the altered states of consciousness and other effects of an acid trip. The latest work paints a picture of LSD and some other hallucinogens as drugs that can decrease modularity and connectivity within brain networks while enhancing the brain’s overall connectivity, explains Frederick Barrett, a cognitive neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University who has studied hallucinogenic drug effects but was not involved in the research released this week.”


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Written By: Lauren Ellis

50 thoughts on “Scientists Are Giving People Psychedelics to Understand Consciousness

  1. daily seeker gives a truck full of hot dogs and fish sticks to Kim in North Korea

  2. “to understand consciousness” is the nice way of saying “to control it”

  3. I’m personally glad psychedelics are starting to be seen as a tool and not a deadly street drug any more

  4. In my experience, Ego Death is probably what Buddhists describe as Nirvana. If I would believe in any religion, anything supernatural and life after death, I would not mind spending eternity in that state.

  5. Lol,nothing similar will likely happen in my former soviet block country anytime soon😞

  6. Hopefully people who haven’t tried psychedelics don’t bash on them when clearly you’ve had no experience using it.

  7. They don’t have a “higher state of consciousness” so much as they’re just flipping out because they took a mind altering drug.

  8. Sometimes I feel people who haven’t had first hand experience in psychedelics and want it to be used in medical use, don’t actually know how damaging a ‘bad trip’ can be. I have read and heard first hand experiences where people have had to be sent to wards after mind altering trips. Its not something to be taken lightly; yes it can help people with ptsd but at the same time if someone has a full blown bad trip (shadow people), that in itself can form it’s own ptsd.

  9. I’ve had my ego completely obliterated due to LSD, it’s a mindblowing experience, somewhat like being one with the universe and being incredibly content about that fact. My guess it’s that mechanism that’s at work when hallucinogens are used for people with anxiety due to a deadly illness.
    Also, I’ve found Ketamine to be the best at reducing depression, at a dose low enough to not cause hallucinations it helps to treat the illness for 2-3 weeks at a time (at least for me), it works much better than conventional antidepressants which take weeks to work, obviously causing deaths in the process.

  10. yet another video of gman calling the kettle black again. just substitute their flat earth beliefs w/ your belief in yahweh.(or even a physical jesus for that matter) You guys are quite literally parroting each other, just the devil is in the details.(pun intended. ha)

  11. There is no “randomness of thought” that happens under the influence of major psychedelics.

    They’re specifically known for *not* doing that. It’s not pot.

  12. I suffer from horrid depression. I have thoughts of suicide every day. Every morning I wake up I need to find a reason why it’s worth living. It suuuuucks. I’m stressed so much I don’t enjoy shit. Weed helps but I can’t hang like I used when I was younger. Pretty cool video. I wouldn’t want to be in that MRI machine, clanking & clunking while feeling like a lab rat being studied by these men in white coats while stuck in a clean sterile pristine room lol. Oh boy would I need to be taken to a park quickly after lol

  13. Last time I did shrooms the fire department showed up and I was so infatuated with the lights. they weren’t there for me they were next-door

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