It’s one thing to say that psychedelic mushrooms “open your mind,” but it’s another entirely to demonstrate its dream-like effects in a scientific study. Yet, that’s what one group of researchers appear to have achieved in a study published today in Human Brain Mapping.
In the experiment, researchers injected a dose of psilocybin — the chemical that gives “shrooms” their kick — into a group of 15 participants, reports The Washington Post. Another group, the control, didn’t receive the drug. Then, using brain imaging technology, the researchers looked at the areas of the brain that were activated in both groups. This allowed them to determine that psilocybin increased the volume of activity in regions of the brain that are usually activated when we dream, during sleep. It also increased brain function in regions that are associated with emotion and memory. According to the researchers, these effects are akin to what we experience when we dream.