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Can magic mushrooms cure authoritarian personality?

Posted on January 31st, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

psychedelicsA new study by the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London has reached astonishing findings about the therapeutic potentialities of psilocybin, the psychoactive chemical in magic mushrooms. A first report from the group's study, released in October, indicated that psilocybin can "reset" the brains of depressed patients. A second report, just published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, indicates that the psychedelic agent may even affect political views.

In the study, seven volunteers suffering from treatment-resistant depression took two oral doses of psilocybin in a clinical setting—10 and 25 milligrams, respectively, one week apart.

The results were measured both by brain scans and personal testimony of the subjects. Psychedelic Research Group leader Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris said: "We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments."

He noted that such evidence for such findings has been building for years: "Based on what we know from various brain imaging studies with psychedelics, as well as taking heed of what people say about their experiences, it may be that psychedelics do indeed 'reset' the brain networks associated with depression, effectively enabling them to be lifted from the depressed state."

But this study also for the first time looked at psilocybin's possible effects on political views. Volunteers were asked to fill out a questionnaire placing their perspectives on the "Libertarian-Authoritarian" scale before and after being given psilocybin. They were asked to agree or disagree with statements such as "For some crimes, the death penalty is the most appropriate sentence."  Researches observed a change in scores tending toward the libertarian end of the spectrum—and the pattern persisted in follow-up administration of the survey one week, seven months and one year after the psilocybin trip.

(You can find similar studies online at Political Compass, Nolan Chart and Advocates for Self-Government, although these all seem to be produced by "economic" libertarians, while the survey in the study appeared to be more concerned with social views.)

A second quiz was intended to determine if sensitivity to nature is affected by psilocybin, with questions such as, "My ideal vacation spot would be in a remote, wilderness area." The results similarly showed that the psilocybin treatment was linked to an average increase in scores.

"Before I enjoyed nature, now I feel part of it. Before I was looking at it as a thing, like TV or a painting… But now I see there’s no separation or distinction—you are it," one participant told researchers.

"There was a significant effect on both measures and they more or less remained up to one year later," said study co-author Taylor Lyons. "Our research raises the possibility that taking psilocybin can produce lasting changes in people's mental outlook and political perspectives. Beliefs and attitudes are normally long held and don't really change much throughout life – people generally don't swing from one end to the other, they tend to be quite consistent. The participants only took psilocybin twice, and this change...happened quite rapidly."
 
It is certainly amusing to see what idealistic hippies have been saying for generations finally being vindicated by the white labcoat set.


Cross-post to High Times

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Fractal Enlightenment

 

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