The psilocybin found in psilocybe cubensis mushrooms is known as one of the substances that alters consciousness in the most unique of ways. People who consume magic mushrooms have long reported having various mystical or spiritual experiences as well as hallucinations in which their sensory perception breaks down and they may experience overly saturated colors or the seeming melding of the objects around them.
In an effort to understand how this process occurs and how some people may actually have life-changing experiences even after a single dose of psilocybin cultivated from certified psychedelic mushroom spores, researchers at King’s College in London have conducted a study in which 15 volunteers who had prior positive experience with magic mushrooms were subjected to a variety of tests, both under the influence of the mushrooms, and after taking a placebo. The main research consisted of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan that aimed to map the connections made in the brain while using the psychedelic substance.
Experts found the effects of the mushrooms on the participants’ brains to be quite remarkable. It created a hyperconnected state in which the brain activated areas not normally used during waking conscious state and made long distance connections between them. The result was a state of consciousness similar to synesthesia, in which two or more sensory stimuli (such as a color and a number) were paired in a harmonious manner. As a result, some of the patients may have seen a certain number when faced with a color, or experienced other similar patterns of perception.
The study is very promising in its ability to present further information that may be used in the future to treat conditions such as chronic depression. For now, researchers still feel cautious and wish to study psilocybin more closely in order to gain a better understanding of how and why it has such an effect on the human brain. However, future studies could shed more light on the matter and lead to new discoveries that may help create effective treatments for a whole host of mental health disorders.