According to new research published in Human Brain Mapping, the effects of reportedly mind-expanding psychedelics like LSD and mushrooms on the brain are very similar to the state of dreaming.

The study recorded brain patterns of volunteers who were injected psilocybin while laying in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. The psilocybin caused “the primitive brain network” linked to emotional thinking to be more active, with several different areas of the network such as the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex active at the same time in a pronounced, co-ordinated, “louder” manner. At the same time, it stimulated “disjointed and uncoordinated activity” in the “high-level thinking” brain network, which includes self-consciousness. It became unsynchronised and disorganised under psilocybin, just like in dreams.

Synchronized, pronounced emotional thinking? Strange activity in your self-consciousness? Sounds about right. (Images: Wikipedia, Imperial College London, Glitche)