Psychology (category filter × )

Me, myself, bye: regional alterations in glutamate and the experience of ego dissolution with psilocybin
  • The way we react to psilocybin seems to be connected to the glutamate system (the neuronal fast-signaling system in our brain that uses the glutamate neurotransmitter).
  • Analysis of data collected from 48 participants (26 in the placebo group) links positive experiences of ego dissolution to low levels of glutamate in the hippocampus.
  • Negative ego dissolution and increased feelings of anxiety were linked to higher levels of glutamate in the mFPC (medial prefrontal cortex).
  • All of this means that psilocybin directly influences the glutamate system, and those changes correspond with changes in behaviour during the psychedelic state.
  • These findings go beyond our neuroscientific knowledge, but they still form a necessary foundation for future clinical trials of psilocybin’s therapeutic effects.

New and diverse experiences linked to enhanced happiness, new study shows
  • Study authors used GPS to track participants for up to 4 months, regularly texting them to ask about their positive and negative emotional states.
  • People who were the most active explorers also reported the most positive emotional states.
  • Later, some participants underwent MRI scans, and the results showed that the brain actively rewards us for experiencing new things and switching locations.
  • People feel happier when they experience different things and visit new places often, but it’s unclear whether people with less interesting experiences actually feel sadder.
  • What’s important, even small changes - exercising at home, walking around your neighborhood, choosing a different route to go shopping - can have a positive impact.

Survey of entity encounter experiences occasioned by inhaled N,N-dimethyltryptamine: Phenomenology, interpretation, and enduring effects
  • New study hints that N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (known as psychedelic DMT) experiences bring positive changes to people’s lives.
  • 2561 people with mean age of 32 years, 77% male, responded to an online survey and shared their single most memorable entity encounter after taking DMT.
  • The way most study participants described it is very similar - that they met a guide, spirit, alien or helper.
  • Even though 41% felt fear, the most prominent emotions were love, kindness and joy, and a lot of participants say they stopped being atheist after the experience.
  • They also rated their experiences after DMT as the most insightful lifetime experience that brought long-term positive changes and meaning to their lives.

  • A professor from University of Kansas published a series of studies with one aim—to uncover why men seek help for depression so rarely.
  • His analyses show that, when it comes to depression, gender differences are real, and gender-specific studies might be necessary to fully understand depression.
  • The main conclusion is that men’s experiences with depression are much different than women’s, and these differences contribute to stigma.
  • To oversimplify this a bit, that stigma, along with other factors, leads to men not wanting to go therapy.

A key brain region for controlling binge drinking has been found
  • Repeated binge drinking, the pattern of drinking that often leads to alcohol use disorders, might be caused by kappa opioid receptors in the brain.
  • In a lab test on mice, turning off the kappa opioid receptors decreased the mice’s need to binge drink.
  • What’s interesting, is that this kappa opioid receptor is actually the “anti-reward system”, which produces stress, discontent and hangovers.
  • This could mean that the root cause of overusing alcohol lies in the very mechanism that makes us feel bad after drinking—but, again, it’s only been tested in mice.
  • Study authors don’t know why this happens, and the study itself is only a small step towards understanding alcohol or substance abuse disorders.




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