Scientists studying the effects of magic mushrooms on the human mind have found the brain displays a similar pattern of activity during dreams as it does during a mind-expanding psychedelic drug trip.
An international group of researchers scanned the brains of 15 people before and after they received an injection of psilocybin, the hallucinogen found in the drug. The naturally occurring psychedelic compound is thought to synchronise the activity of brain areas involed in emotion and memory, such as the anterior cingulate cortex and the hippocampus, which suggests the areas were working in unison.
The team have been exploring the potential of psilocybin to help alleviate severe forms of depression in those to fail to respond to other treatments. They stated that early-stage experiments had gained some positive results. It is thought the drug may stop patients dwelling on their perceived inadequacies, by turning down overactive parts of the brain.
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