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Magic mushrooms link unconnected brain regions

Des. D. Mona/Flickr/Creative Commons

Magic mushrooms link unconnected brain regions

Users of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, often report altered states of consciousness and a synesthesia-like melding of the senses. Now, scientists studying the drug may have found an explanation for these bizarre sensations: Psilocybin changes the brain’s wiring on a macroscopic scale, LiveScience reports. Researchers placed experienced magic mushroom users into an MRI machine after giving them either a placebo or a dose of psilocybin. They discovered that in addition to disrupting normal communication channels, the drug also created a hyperconnected brain that contained links between regions that don’t typically communicate with each other (see image from Wired). The new linkages might account for the blending of senses and may even explain why some users report profound shifts in perspective and worldview even after the drug has worn off.

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