New research from the Netherlands suggests that taking small amounts of psilocybin in a "microdose" may improve convergent and divergent thinking in ways that promote cognitive flexibility.creativityand single-solution troubleshooting.
Fonte: Tomar foto/Shutterstock
A typical psychedelic dose of psilocybin, found in “magic arrows” and “magic truffles”, for someone of average body weight, is about 3.5* grams when the mushroom or truffle is dried; a microdose is about 1/10 of a hallucinogenic dose. " versus "heavy" psychedelic doses and psilocybin microdosing. For more information on dosing, see "What is the correct dose of psychedelic mushrooms?"eu"Erowid's Chests.")
The most recent study (2018) on psychedelic microdosing led byLuisa Prochazkovafrom the Cognitive Psychology Unit and the Leiden Institute for the Brain andKnowledgeat the University of Leiden,Exploring the effect of microdosing psychedelics on creativity in an open natural environment,was published on October 25 in the magazinepsychopharmacology.
Describing their new study, Prochazkova and co-authors said:
"Taken together, our results suggest that microdosing of [psychedelic] truffles allowed participants to create more ready-made alternative solutions to the problem, providing preliminary support for the assumption that microdosing increases divergent thinking."
Before we delve into the latest evidence-based findings about the potential mind-altering benefits of microdosing about 0.35 grams (350 milligrams) of psilocybin truffles, I want to share my personal experience of accidental psilocybin "overdosing". This first-person anecdotal narrative is shared here as a warning to anyone considering psilocybin use. My personal warning based on experience is to pay too closeWarningfor the exact number of milligrams you are taking in correlation with the dose-response of a specific psychedelic.
"I'm having a really bad trip... I want to get down right now."
As aadolescent, smoked a lot of marijuana, drank a lotalcohol, and took psychedelic drugs on two occasions. My first psilocybin experience changed my life in the most profound and mind-blowing ways. unfortunately mythrill seekingMy high school friends and I knew nothing about psychedelic dosing and gobbled up magic mushrooms like we were at an all-you-can-eat salad bar.
Just for the record: if you plan on taking any kind of psychedelic, please proceed with cautionand keep an eye on how many milligrams of psilocybin you're consuming relative to your body weight, the amount of food in your stomach, and overall tolerance levels.
Fortunately, after naively gobbling up a copious amount of magic mushrooms for my first psychedelic trip at age 16, I experienced the "mystical crystal revelations and true mind-freeing" that you hear in songs that reference LSD, such as "Age of Aquarius / Let in the Sunfrom the 1968 hippie-era musicalFur🇧🇷 My initial experience with psilocybin facilitated the telltale hallucinogenic phenomena described byWilliam Blakewhen he wrote: “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. Because man closed himself up until he saw everything through the narrow openings of his cave.
On the positive side, I attribute my exposure to psilocybin as a drug-using adolescent to my constant quest as a sober adult to achieve a drug-free state of what I call "superfluidity," in which thoughts, actions, and emotions are perfectly harmonized without any friction, viscosity or entropy. (To see "What driving force helps us move from 'flow' to superfluidity?")
- What is psychedelic assisted therapy?
- Find a therapist near me
Because my initial experience with magic mushrooms was so incredible, before taking psilocybin a second time, a reckless little voice in my teenage head whispered, "Why don't you double your pleasure by taking twice as much?" So the second (and last) time I took psychedelics, I consumed two large pieces of magic mushrooms. About half an hour later, this resulted in a terribly scary bad trip. Again, for the record:Taking too many milligrams of any psychedelic drug is a big mistake.
As I describe in the autobiographical passage ofThe athlete's trajectorythen having a cataclysmic "bad trip" felt like the architecture of my mind was being completely rearranged in a way that might force me to spend the rest of my life in a mental institution. Ingesting more than 15 grams of psilocybin mushrooms completely dissolved my sense of self to the point whereanythingmade sense and reality ceased to exist. I was trapped in this terrifying abyss of free reality for hours and thought my brain would never be the same again.
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“I don't know if you've ever had a bad trip, but it seems like every drum in your brain is spinning and resetting; opening doors that should remain closed, closing windows that should remain open, while re-blueprinting your psyche and soul foundation. Psilocybin fuses your synapses into new configurations, permanently rearranging the architecture of your mind." —Christopher Bergland,LosAthleteto the way
When I had a classic bad trip after ingesting too much psilocybin on a completely empty stomach, I felt like Major Tom, who is the “psychonaut"protagonist in the songs of David Bowie"space squishy"eu"ashes to ashes🇧🇷 As my bad trip continued… during the fleeting moments of being lucid enough to use language, all I could do was hum and stutter the lyrics: “I want an ax to break the ice. I want to go down now. Reaching an all-time low.”
Suffice it to say: psilocybin is powerful stuff. Indeed, as someone prone tosubstance abuse, having a really bad trip with magic mushrooms was a catalyst for changing my life. After tripping over my brain and thinking that my mind would never recover from consuming excessive amounts of psilocybin, I was sothankfulfeel lucid and lucid again. I made a promise to stop drinking, to abstain fromto smokemarijuana and never take a microgram of psilocybin again. Aerobic exercise became my "drug of choice" and I began self-medicating with well-adjusted doses of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) that helped to optimize my mental health. (To see "Aerobic exercise has clinically proven antidepressant powers.")
As someone who fell in love with running during my drug withdrawal process, I discovered firsthand that aerobic exercise triggers the production of endogenous mind-altering substances (e.g., endocannabinoids, endorphins,dopamine) that make me feel good and never fail to spark my creativity.
While this post is inspired by a groundbreaking new study that identified a potential link between psilocybin microdosing and creativity, as a public health advocate I would never prescribe microdosing psychedelics as a way to improve cognitive flexibility on a regular basis. In my opinion, sustained aerobic activity and bipedal movement (such as walking) are easily accessible and underused ways to facilitate divergent thinking and fluency.intelligencewithout the use of exogenous drugs.
That said, despite metrendAgainst the recreational use of any type of drug, there is growing empirical evidence to suggest that the use of psychedelics such as psilocybin, LSD and ayahuasca in supervised and controlled medical settings may offer effective alternatives to currently available pharmaceuticals for treatment. of a wide range of mental disorders. health problems. (To see "Psilocybin may 'reset' brain circuits in depressed patients: Magic mushrooms may boost recovery from treatment-resistant depression.”)
On October 23, 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated psilocybin as a potential "BreakthroughTherapy” as part of an upcoming international study on psilocybin-assisted therapy bycompass pathsfor patients with treatment resistancedepression(TRD). Compass Pathways was founded in 2016 as a consortium designed to accelerate patient access to evidence-based mental health innovations.
The recent "breakthrough therapy" designation for psilocybin comes amid the so-called "psychedelic renaissance" and could lead to the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms" and "psychedelic truffles" being approved by the FDA for medical use in the United States. um umstatement, George Goldsmith of Compass Pathways said, "This is great news for patients. We are excited to take this work forward with our clinical trial of psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression. The FDA will work closely with us to accelerate the development process and increase the chances of bringing this treatment to people suffering from depression as soon as possible."
Psilocybin microdosing may improve divergent thinking and creativity
Let's go back to the new pioneerstudyingon the effects of microdosing psychedelic truffles by Prochazkova et al. (2018). While there is much anecdotal evidence for psilocybin's "mind-expanding" powers, clinical research is relatively rare. For this study, Prochazkova and her colleagues set out to investigate how a microdose of a psychedelic substance (0.33 grams of dried "psilocybin truffles" for average body weight) affected cognitive brain function in 36 study participants who participated in a a conference organized byDutch Psychedelic Society(PSN).
PSN's mission statement reads:
“We promote the safe, informed and responsible use of psychedelics and altered states of consciousness to support healing, personal growth and cultural evolution. Our aim is to promote a positive image of psychedelics and advocate for their safe, informed and socially constructive use. We believe that psychedelics are an integral part of the evolution of human consciousness, making evident the sacredness and interconnectedness of all things, generating further creative inspiration and promoting unity at a time when humanity seems increasingly divided and isolated from our ecosystem. broader”.
Previous research has found that typical doses of psychedelics containing enough milligrams to trigger hallucinogenic responses target serotonergic 5-HT2A receptors in the brain and can disrupt "normality" in ways that promote cognitive flexibility and divergent thinking, which often leads to creative ideas. . Prochazkova and her team believe microdosing could be a way for people to experience the creative benefits of psychedelics without the risk of experiencing the "bad trips" that high doses of psychoactive hallucinogens can trigger.
The new study by Prochazkova et al. is the first of its kind to investigate how very small amounts of a psychedelic drug influence three cognitive domains: (1) convergent thinking (e.g., identifying a single solution to a problem), (2) divergent thinking (e.g., the ability to to recognize many possible solutions) and (3) fluid intelligence (for example, the ability to reason and solve new problems).
"We found that convergent and divergent thinking performance improved after a non-blinded microdose [of psilocybin], while fluid intelligence was unaffected," the authors said.
Prochazkova isoptimisticthat his team's latest findings will lead to more research into the potential benefits of microdosing psychedelics. "In addition to its benefits as a potential cognitive enhancement technique, microdosing may be further investigated for its therapeutic efficacy in helping people who suffer from rigid patterns of thinking or behavior, such as those with depression orobsessive-compulsivedisorder," he said.
The authors conclude:
"While this study provides quantitative support for the cognitive-enhancing properties of microdosed psychedelics, future research should confirm these preliminary findings in more rigorous studies."placebocontrolled study designs. Based on these preliminary results, we speculate that psychedelics may affect cognitive metacontrol policies by optimizing the balance between cognitive persistence and flexibility. We hope this study motivates future microdosing studies with more controlled designs to test this hypothesis."