Psilocybin frees the brain from its rigid patterns and ego-driven assumptions, and allows the user to look at the world — and him or herself — from a whole new perspective. Many mushroom experiences also are accompanied by waves of good feelings and psychedelic visions of sound and color.
These results build on other evidence about how psilocybin can rewire the brain. A previous study at the Imperial College London showed that brain activity diminished in certain areas when subjects took the substance, particularly in the part of the brain responsible for a sense of self.
“I was fascinated to see similarities between the pattern of brain activity in a psychedelic state and the pattern of brain activity during dream sleep,” lead researcher Robin Carhart-Harris said in a statement. “People often describe taking psilocybin as producing a dreamlike state and our findings have, for the first time, provided a physical representation for the experience in the brain.”
“We find that the psychedelic state is associated with a less constrained and more intercommunicative mode of brain function,” the study concludes, “which is consistent with descriptions of the nature of consciousness in the psychedelic state.”
Magic mushrooms got their name for a reason. Psilocybin — the active chemical in so-called “magic mushrooms” — works on the mind in amazing ways to breed new insights and break from negativity and intransigence.