By Roland Sebestyén
Scientists have found that certain psychedelic ingredients found in ‘magic’ mushrooms have an impact on the area of our brain that is associated with our emotional response to music.
According to Science Focus, in a study in which 20 participants listened to music before and after taking a controlled dose of psilocybin – a naturally occurring chemical produced by magic mushrooms -, researchers observed that the substance was associated with an increased emotional response to music.
The Danish researchers and authors of the study reported that participants demonstrated an emotional response that was 60% higher than without exposure to psyilocybin.
Lead researcher Dea Siggaard Stenbæk, Associate Professor University of Copenhagen, said: “This shows that combination of psilocybin and music has a strong emotional effect, and we believe that this will be important for the therapeutic application of psychedelics if they are approved for clinical use.
“Psilocybin is under development as a drug to treat depression, and this work implies that music needs to be considered as a therapeutic part of the treatment.
“Interestingly, some of the music we used, Elgar’s famous ‘Nimrod’ variation (the 9th variation) describes his close friend Augustus Jaeger. Jaeger encouraged Elgar to write the variations as a way out of depression, so we’re pleased to see it used again to help understand more about mental health.”
The study supports the findings of previous research, including studies that demonstrated how LSD use can also enhance emotional responses to music.
For some, this is considered further evidence of the value of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of a variety of severe mental health disorders.
Canex recently reported on a number of ongoing studies and developments that are aiming to understand the medical and therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances.
A study conducted by Yale University has found that psilocybin can, in fact, repair brain cells damaged by depression. The compound was seen to prompt an immediate and long-lasting increase in connections between neurons.
According to Yale researchers, the administration of a single dose of psilocybin in mice was seen to cause a 10% increase in the number of neuronal connections.
Moreover, a psychedelic medicine start-up has announced plans to develop a transdermal patch for sustained delivery of psilocybin for mental health applications.