Scientists looked into the brain to show how taking DMT affects human consciousness by dramatically altering the electrical activity of the brain.
DMT (or dimethyltriptamine) is one of the major psychoactive components in ayahuasca, a psychedelic brew traditionally made from the grapes and leaves of the Amazon rainforest. The beverage is typically prepared as part of a shamanic ceremony and is associated with unusual and vivid images or hallucinations.
The latest study is the first researcher to show how powerful psychedelic changes our awake brainwaves – researchers can dream their powerful effects & # 39; comparing with.
The study, conducted by researchers from the Psychedelic Research Center at Imperial College London and published in Scientific Reports today, has led to intense visual imagery and immersive-dreaming of people receiving DMT and ayahuasca. experience.
DMT is a naturally occurring chemical found in small amounts in the human brain, but also in larger quantities in some plant species in the world.
The accounts of people who have received DMT report that there are intense visual hallucinations, often accompanied by strong emotional experiences, and even ılım breakthroughs kullanıc to what users define as an alternative reality or dimension.
It's clear that these people are completely immersed in their experience – it's just like having a much more vibrant and immersive dream, like dreaming, but with your eyes open Christopher Timmermann Psychedelic Research Center
However, scientists are interested in using the powerful psychoactive compound for research because they produce relatively short but intense psychedelic experiences, providing a window to collect data on brain activity when consciousness changes profoundly.
In a recent study, the Imperial team seized EEG measurements from healthy participants in a placebo-controlled design in a clinical setting.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) underwent intravenous infusion of DMT at the Imperial Clinical Research Facility. Volunteers were fitted with electrode caps to measure electrical activity before, during and after brain infusion, and the peak of psychedelic experience lasted for about 10 minutes.
The analysis showed that DMT significantly altered the electrical activity in the brain, characterized by a significant reduction in alpha waves (the dominant electrical rhythm of the human brain when awake). They also found a short-term increase in brain waves, typically associated with dream, theta waves.
& # 39; Chaotic & # 39; brain activity
In addition to changes in brainwave types, they also found that in general, brain activity has become more chaotic and less predictable – as opposed to those seen in deep sleep or under general anesthesia, in cases of loss of consciousness.
Değişiklik Changes in brain activity accompanying DMT are somewhat different from what we see with other psychedelics, such as psilocybin or LSD, where we see only reductions in brainwaves, yazar writes Christopher Timmermann of the Psychedelic Research Center.
“Here we saw a rhythm that emerged and emerged in the most intense part of the experience, otherwise an order emerged among the chaotic patterns of brain activity.
Indan From the changing brainwaves and the reports of the participants, it is clear that they are completely immersed in the experience of these people – it's just like having a much more vivid and immersive imagination, but your eyes are open. Açık
Research with DMT can provide important information about the relationship between brain activity and consciousness, and this little study is the first step in this path. Dr Robin Carhart-Harris Psychedelic Research Center
While Timmermann is uncertain whether DMT has any clinical potential at this stage, he explains that he hopes to further the business by providing a continuous DMT infusion to expand the window of the psychedelic experience of the group and collect more data.
The team says future studies may include more complex measurements of brain activity, such as fMRI, to show which regions and networks of the brain are affected by DMT. They believe that there will be a visual cortex with a large area extending towards the back of the brain.
Head of Psychedelic Research Center “DMT is a particularly intriguing psychedelic, Rob said Robin Carhart-Harris. The visual viability and depth of immersion produced by high doses of the substance appear to be on a scale above those reported by more widely studied psychedelics such as psilocybin or "magic mushrooms".
“It is difficult to capture and communicate what it is like for people living with DMT, but it is useful to try to dream while awake or experiencing a near-death experience.
“We believe that research with DMT can provide important information about the relationship between brain activity and consciousness, and this small study is the first step in this path.”
Sinir Neural correlations of the DMT experience evaluated by multivariate EEG ”, Christopher Timmermann et al. published in magazine Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-019-51974-4
Feature image: EEG output shows a drop in Alpha waves from a generated video. Credit: Masahiro Kahata