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Depression: 21st Century Solutions + The Dark Side of Wheat

Abstract Title:

Psilocybin-induced spiritual experiences and insightfulness are associated with synchronization of neuronal oscillations.

Abstract Source:

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Aug 1. Epub 2015 Aug 1. PMID: 26231498

Abstract Author(s):

Michael Kometer, Thomas Pokorny, Erich Seifritz, Franz X Volleinweider

Article Affiliation:

Michael Kometer

Abstract:

RATIONALE: During the last years, considerable progress has been made toward understanding the neuronal basis of consciousness by using sophisticated behavioral tasks, brain-imaging techniques, and various psychoactive drugs. Nevertheless, the neuronal mechanisms underlying some of the most intriguing states of consciousness, including spiritual experiences, remain unknown.

OBJECTIVES: To elucidate state of consciousness-related neuronal mechanisms, human subjects were given psilocybin, a naturally occurring serotonergic agonist and hallucinogen that has been used for centuries to induce spiritual experiences in religious and medical rituals.

METHODS: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 50 healthy human volunteers received a moderate dose of psilocybin, while high-density electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings were taken during eyes-open and eyes-closed resting states. The current source density and the lagged phase synchronization of neuronal oscillations across distributed brain regions were computed and correlated with psilocybin-induced altered states of consciousness.

RESULTS: Psilocybin decreased the current source density of neuronal oscillations at 1.5-20 Hz within a neural network comprising the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices and the parahippocampal regions. Most intriguingly, the intensity levels of psilocybin-induced spiritual experience and insightfulness correlated with the lagged phase synchronization of delta oscillations (1.5-4 Hz) between the retrosplenial cortex, the parahippocampus, and the lateral orbitofrontal area.

CONCLUSIONS: These results provide systematic evidence for the direct association of a specific spatiotemporal neuronal mechanism with spiritual experiences and enhanced insight into life and existence. The identified mechanism may constitute a pathway for modulating mental health, as spiritual experiences can promote sustained well-being and psychological resilience.

Study Type : Human Study
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Sayer Ji
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Depression: 21st Century Solutions + The Dark Side of Wheat

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