An advanced brain imaging study by a team of UK-based scientists shows how dimethyltryptamine (DMT) alters our perception of reality by altering communication and connections.
According to information on March 20 press releasebrain mapping revealed that DMT significantly activates the imagination and other areas of high-level functioning, and that DMT enhances communication and connections between different parts of the brain.
Researchers associated with Imperial College London examined brain imaging data from 20 healthy volunteers. The volunteers were injected with 20mg of DMT while researchers at the Psychedelic Research Center at Imperial College of London captured detailed images of their brains. We were able to examine how brain activity changed during and after travel. Findings indicate that DMT alters brain function.
“This study is exciting because it provides the most advanced human neuroimaging of psychedelic conditions to date,” said lead author Chris Timmerman, Ph.D. Timmerman conducts research at the Psychedelic Research Center at Imperial College London.
“There is an increasingly popular view that much of brain function is involved in modeling and predicting the environment,” added Timmerman. “Humans have unusually large brains and model an unusually large number of worlds. For example, when we see something, part of what we actually see is , is the brain filling in the blanks based on what it already knows.What we saw at DMT was that the activity of highly evolved regions and systems of the brain that encode particularly high-level models It is the ability to become highly dysregulated under drugs, which is associated with intense drug ‘trips’.
LSD and psilocybin (classic psychedelics) are fairly long-lasting, with effects lasting up to 6 or 12 hours, respectively. However, DMT is a short-acting but highly potent psychedelic that wears off in minutes, although it may not seem like it in some cases.
The main difference between the effects of DMT and classical psychedelics is that the effects of DMT are more closely related to near-death experiences, whereas classical psychedelics are a little weaker. “However, it is unclear exactly how the compound alters brain function to explain such effects,” the scientist wrote in a press release.
Volunteers received a high dose of 20 mg of DMT intravenously and underwent two concurrent brain imaging studies. functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG).
According to the report, the psychedelic experience was approximately 20 minutes in duration, and at regular intervals volunteers rated the subjective intensity of the experience on a scale of 1-10.
fMRI scans showed activity within and between brain regions in volunteers using DMT. This includes increased connectivity across the brain and increased communication between different areas and systems.
They called this phenomenon ‘network disintegration and dissociation’ and an increase in ‘global functional connectivity’, consistent with previous work. The observed activity changes were primarily in brain regions associated with a ‘higher level’ human-specific function: imagination.
“Motivated by, and based on, previous research on psychedelics, the current study combines two complementary methods for imaging the brain. fMRI scans the entire brain, including its deepest structures. Robin Carhartt, founder of the Psychedelic Research Center at Imperial College London and senior author now working at the University of California, San Francisco. Professor Harris.
Meanwhile, UK-based biotechnology company Small Pharma is conducting the first large-scale study of DMT and its potential treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD).
This finding sheds light on the mechanisms behind how DMT helps overcome ingrained problems.