How Do Psilocybin Mushrooms Reduce Brain Activity of the Ego? (Video)

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Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, of the Neuro-psychopharmacology Unit, Imperial College London, discusses research on Psilocybin and how psychedelics could be used in therapy to help with depression, addiction, and other problems of rigid thought patterns.

Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris is one of the first researchers in 40 years allowed to investigate the effects of psychedelic drugs. He used an FMI brain imager to study the resting state activation in the brains of volunteers who had taken a small, but very intense intravenous dose of psilocybin mushrooms. What he found surprised everyone.

He found that the psilocybin caused large decreases in activity in various centers of coordination in the brain. This was exactly the opposite to what Robin and everyone else had predicted, but it is a clear and far-reaching finding. Decreasing brain activity that generates a sense of “self” allows our consciousness to expand, a process that Aldous Huxley described as opening the mind’s “reducing valve” in The Doors of Perception.

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