Scientists have found evidence of a higher state of consciousness

LSD blotter tabs on a US quarter coin used as part of an illegal and potentially risky trend of taking tiny amounts of psychedelic drugs too boost work or treat ailments

LSD blotter tabs on a US quarter coin used as part of an illegal and potentially risky trend of taking tiny amounts of psychedelic drugs too boost work or treat ailments

"For all three", - they're referring to the aforementioned trio of psychedelics - "we find reliably higher spontaneous signal diversity, even when controlling for spectral changes", the researchers write in the paper, noting that this is the first time that these measurements have been applied to these drugs and "yielded values exceeding those of normal waking consciousness".

"People tend to associate phrases like "a higher state of consciousness" with hippy speak and mystical nonsense".

Most people would agree that they are more conscious when fully awake, less conscious at various stages of sleep, and least conscious when under forms of anesthesia that suppress brain activity.

This measure of the complexity of brain activity - called neural signal diversity - provides an index of the level of someone's consciousness.

"People often say they experience insight under these drugs - and when this occurs in a therapeutic context, it can predict positive outcomes".

This new study set out to determine how a psychedelic state would compare to other levels of wakefulness and unconsciousness, according to a scale of brain signal diversity measured by monitoring the magnetic fields produced by the brain.

The work was recently conducted by researchers with London's University of Sussex and Imperial College, where volunteers were given doses of either placebo or psychedelic drugs like psilocybin ('magic mushrooms'), LSD, or ketamine.

For the study, the team from University of Sussex and Imperial College, London measured the activity of neurons in people's brains shortly after they were administered a psychedelic drug.

Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, from the University of Auckland, who was involved in all three initial studies, commented: "That similar changes in signal diversity were found for all three drugs, despite their quite different pharmacology, is both very striking and also reassuring that the results are robust and repeatable".

More sophisticated and varied models are needed to confirm the results, but the scientists are "cautiously excited" about the potential use of their findings in discussions around using psychedelics medically, for example in treating depression.

It's also interesting to note that although ketamine, LSD, and psilocybin have different pharmaceutical mechanisms of action, a clear similarity in the cortical localization of changes in signal diversity was reported.

"The present findings may help us understand how this can happen". "This suggests that our measure has close links not only to global brain changes induced by the drugs, but to those aspects of brain dynamics that underlie specific aspects of conscious experience". For now, however, researchers at the Sussex University in the United Kingdom just wanted to see what effect these drugs have on our brain.

The subjects had all tried psychedelics in the past, and reported experiences during the study that likely sound familiar to other users (seeing geometric patterns, experiencing vivid imaginations, having feelings of merging with the surroundings, and getting senses mixed).

Recommended News

  • Naked mole-rats can survive near-suffocation

    Naked mole-rats can survive near-suffocation

    North American freshwater turtles and goldfish, for example, spend their winters in oxygen-lacking, ice-covered lakes and ponds. With all those rodents breathing and clogging up burrows, they often encounter low-oxygen and high-carbon dioxide conditions.

    USA 'ready to help bring' Syria conflict to end: Haley

    The civil war is separate from the US -led effort against the Islamic State group in the north of the country. He gave the order to fire missiles at Syria to punish Moscow's ally for its suspected use of poison gas.
    Ronaldo and Benzema join Bale in missing Sporting clash

    Ronaldo and Benzema join Bale in missing Sporting clash

    After the match Isco once again told the press that he's happy in Madrid and he wants to stay at the club. Real Madrid have scored 18 goals after the 80th minute in #LaLiga this season; more than any other club.
  • Google Home's assistant can now recognize different voices

    The feature will begin rolling out Thursday for Google Home users in the US , but will expand to the U.K.in the coming months. Consumers should also think about how this information could be used outside of the company, Shear said .

    Bill O'Reilly show axed amid sexual harassment scandal

    But how many more changes can Fox News withstand? It's also home to ambitions that the O'Reilly crisis may have hindered. Just hours after shaking hands with Pope Francis , he was sacked from Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations.

    US President Orders Changes to H1-B Visa Program

    Trump complained that today's H-1B visa system is a mess, with visas being awarded at random in a lottery . To qualify for the visa, workers usually must have a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Oracle to buy digital-ad analytics firm Moat

    Oracle to buy digital-ad analytics firm Moat

    Oracle said it will continue to invest in Moat and to include more functionality and capabilities, brought to market at a quicker pace.
    Rudy Gobert sprains knee in Jazz win

    Rudy Gobert sprains knee in Jazz win

    The French big man, who needed to leave just 13 seconds into the game, was diagnosed with a hyperextended knee and bone contusion. This year's NBA Playoffs began Saturday, unfortunately, the Los Angeles Clippers found themselves on the losing side.

    Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AGIO) Reviewed By Analysts

    According to sentiments of 9 analysts the mean estimates of short term price target for the company's stock is marked at $62.89. On Tuesday, February 21 NELSEN ROBERT sold $6.68 million worth of Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AGIO) or 135,364 shares.
  • Jeremy Corbyn says election is not a 'foregone conclusion'

    Jeremy Corbyn says election is not a 'foregone conclusion'

    In her first campaign visit, to a Labour marginal in Bolton, the Prime Minister told an invited audience: "There's a very clear choice at this election".
    Premier Wall asks Education Minister Morgan 'to review the library funding issue'

    Premier Wall asks Education Minister Morgan 'to review the library funding issue'

    Replying to a question in the legislature last month, Morgan appeared to suggest there were too many libraries in the province. According to the provincial government, tough decisions had to be made to keep the economy strong.
    Pakistan court: Insufficient evidence to remove Sharif

    Pakistan court: Insufficient evidence to remove Sharif

    The collection of leaked Panama papers showed that the offshore companies owned by Shariff's children managed huge funds. As per details, PM Nawaz Sharif heard the Supreme Court verdict while he was at the Prime Minister House, Islamabad .

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.