Consciousness: and psychedelic alterations like NDE's (General)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 23:42 (38 days ago) @ dhw

Not exactly, because in none of the subjects was new information received:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2176721-why-taking-ayahuasca-is-like-having-a-near...

"A psychedelic drug taken as part of the South American plant brew ayahuasca produces effects that are strikingly similar to near-death experiences, a study has found.

"That means that feelings of leaving the body or inner peace associated with life-threatening experiences may simply be explained by changes in how the brain works, and aren’t evidence of paranormal phenomena, say the researchers.

"DMT is the main psychoactive ingredient in ayahuasca, which is used as a sacrament by some indigenous peoples in the Amazon. People who take it commonly describe feeling that they transcend their body and enter another realm.

***

"Little is known about what happens in the brain when someone has a near-death experience. The subjective similarity with a DMT trip suggests that psychedelics could shed some light on the phenomenon, says Timmermann.

"Psychedelic drugs such as DMT work mainly by affecting the serotonin system in the brain. Although this study didn’t measure brain activity, “we could speculate that something similar is going on during near-death experiences,” says Timmermann.

"The feeling of leaving the body or living through death might be linked to the phenomenon of ego dissolution, a loss of one’s sense of self which is a common feature of the psychedelic experience. Brain imaging studies show that the default mode network, a collection of brain regions linked to our sense of self, becomes less cohesive under the influence of other psychedelic drugs, and this may explain why some people feel that they have survived the death of their ego.

"Intriguingly, DMT appears in trace amounts in blood and urine, but a source for the molecule inside the body has not been identified. Some have hypothesised that it is produced in the brain when we are facing death, but this is highly speculative.

"Near-death experiences are sometimes said to give people a different outlook on life, and may be helpful in reducing fear of death and increasing people’s concern for others. Similar effects have been reported for psychedelic experiences, and a number of studies have reported positive effects on wellbeing when patients with life-threatening cancer take the drug psilocybin."

Comment: Not entirely a comparison, but a clear example of thought alteration.


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