Psychedelic drug cuts brain blood flow and connections

2019-03-07 08:17:20

PSYCHEDELIC drug users through the ages have described their experiences as mind-expanding. But psilocybin- the active ingredient in magic mushrooms- actually decreases blood flow and connectivity in areas of the brain that are associated with perception and cognition. Robin Carhart-Harris at Imperial College London and colleagues recruited 30 volunteers who agreed to be injected with psilocybin and have their brain scanned using fMRI. Half of the volunteers had their blood flow measured during the resulting trip; the rest underwent a scan that measured connectivity between different brain regions. Less blood flow was seen in the thalamus,