Study Maps Neurological Sources of Subjective Psychedelic Experiences

Neurological Study of Subjective Psychedelic Experiences - GCI Content Hub - Global Cannabis Intelligence

The largest ever psychedelic study has taken a first-of its-kind approach to better understand the subjective testimonies of subjective awareness in psychedelic experiences.

The study has used machine learning to show how psychedelic-induced changes in subjective awareness are rooted in specific neurotransmitter receptor systems in the human brain.

How does the study work?

Researchers collected 6850 testimonials from participants who consumed a range of 27 different psychedelic substances. Their pioneering machine learning strategy extracted commonly used words from the participants’ self-reports and linked them with the neurotransmitter receptors that likely caused them.

By mapping the participants’ subjective psychedelic experiences in this way, researchers found that psychedelics interact with some of the lowest and deepest layers of the brain’s information processing regions.

The team then produced a 3D map of the brain receptors and how they linked to the subjective experiences across the whole brain. Despite psychedelic experiences varying inherently from person to person, this database provides researchers with an ability to assimilate this information in a productive way across the brain.

The future of psychedelic research

By building a database of psychedelic experience, scientists can hope to design hallucinogenic treatments which reliably induce specific mental states known to have healing effects, such as ego-dissolution and feelings of connection and oneness.

The research showed that ego-dissolution – the feeling of being detached from one’s self – was most associated with the receptor serotonin 5-HT2A. In the future, a treatment targeting these receptors could be developed in order to reliably induce this experience in patients who would benefit from it.

This new breed of study represents a breakthrough in the rapidly growing field of psychedelic research. By creating practical ways to quantify the subjective mystical significance which characterises psychedelic experience, scientists hope to develop new treatments for a plethora of mental disorders.

To explore additional psychedelic content, click here.

Previous articleFive Year Recreational Cannabis Pilot Proposed in Denmark
Next articleProfessionally Psychedelics Podcast – Christian Angermayer, atai Life Sciences & Apeiron Investment Group