Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stumbling On to a Few Things About Psilocybin

I was wondering about where in the brain the effects of psilocybin took place and came across this interesting graphic showing psilocybin binding of  serotonin 5-HT2A receptors,  from the Heffter Research Institute in Zurich which funds psychedelic research (including a bunch I've already reported on, like our old pal Roland Griffiths).  Red and yellow indicate the highest receptor concentrations.  If I'm looking at this correctly, the frontal lobes get hit pretty hard.

I was also very interested in a brief mention of one of their other studies where, "comparing subjects in a meditation state with subjects under the influence of psilocybin, 3-D EEGs showed striking similarities between the two states of consciousness. This result may further explain how psilocybin “awakens” the brain patterns that occur during meditative and spiritual states of consciousness."

Also funded by Heffter was pooled research by Franz Vollenweider of 8 double blind placebo controlled studies, suggesting "that the administration of moderate doses of psilocybin to healthy, high-functioning and well-prepared subjects in the context of a carefully monitored research environment is associated with an acceptable level of risk."

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