This Is Your Brain On Shrooms… Any Questions?

October 31, 2014 | Bucky Turco

Cool-ass researchers in London did a study involving magic mushrooms and the brain with the hope of better understanding why psychedelic drugs are so awesome (and potentially be used to treat depression), reports Wired. What they found is that when a person takes shrooms, the brain becomes “hyper connected” and fosters communication between “regions that don’t normally talk together,” said study co-author Paul Expert to Live Science.

The findings — which appear to contradict a previous study — were published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. To conduct the research, 15 volunteers were split in groups. The lucky ones were given a pill with psilocybin, the “naturally occurring psychedelic compound” in shrooms, while the unfortunate others were given placebos. Researchers then conducted MRI scans of all those involved. As Mic notes, that means that “yes, the volunteers were tripping inside an MRI machine.” Fun!

The image of the two spheres above shows normal brain activity and brain activity that has been stimulated by psilocybin. Can you guess which is which? If you said the one on the right is the affected brain, you are correct.

Overall, volunteers who took part in the analysis apparently had an amazing time. They claimed “it as one of the most profound experiences they’ve had in their lives, even comparing it to the birth of their children,” said Expert.

(Image: Proceedings of the Royal Society Interface)