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Psilocybes. What causes the hallucinations?

  1. Mar 4, 2005 #1

    cronxeh

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    Psilocybin, Psilocin, etc

    What are the reasons for psychodelic effects on human body and brain from biochemical perspective. What causes the hallucinations? I understand its a "post-synaptic 5-HT2A receptor agonist", but has anyone ever studied the significance of geometric patterns and are those patterns related to what people with synesthesia experience or autistic savants?

    Does the chemical actually trigger the neurochemical bridge between different perception channels? Why do people hallucinate and see things that arent there? Has there been any study on actual areas of the brain being affected, triggered, supressed, or bridged by psychodelic substances?

    Please refrain from derailing this thread into some drug stoner hippy talk. Do not promote the use or preparation of psilocybin-containing mushrooms or other chemical compounds. I dont want this thread to become another https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=30204&page=1&pp=15
     
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  3. Mar 4, 2005 #2

    DocToxyn

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    Check this thread to get you started, I'll have to do some digging for the more specific info.
     
  4. Mar 4, 2005 #3

    saltydog

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    Hallucinogenic drugs mimic neurotransmitters. Are you familiar with the chemical structure of these drugs and neurotransmitters? They're similar. Surely if perception is interpreted in terms of neural impulses and since the impulses are converted to chemical messengers at the synapse, then it's clear to me anyway how one would experience fake sensations by the presence of these drugs in the synaptic gap. Just an example: serotonin looks to me anyway, real similar in structure to psilocybin.
     
  5. Mar 8, 2005 #4

    cronxeh

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  6. Mar 11, 2005 #5

    saltydog

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    That's an interesting question. Two points:

    Serotonin is "regulated" by normal neural functions: A sensory response causes an orderly sequence of neural events. Any serotonin secreted is a normal event we sense as real experience. The presence of psilocybin disrupts this normal function: A neural event is being caused but no sensory response is doing it. I suspect if serotonin were secreted haphazardly, it too would cause symptoms similar to hallucinations.

    People who ingest psilocybin and other hallucinogens, I suspect do so in amounts which end up in the brain in concentrations many times more than any similar neurotransmitter. Likewise, I suspect if one were to ingest large amounts of serotonin, it too would cause hallucinations. I think anyway.

    I'm not sure where the neurons which use serotonin are located. We could google it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2005
  7. Mar 12, 2005 #6

    cronxeh

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    Also, people are known to hallucinate when they dont sleep for about a week - is this due to low levels of serotonin? If so, opposite is true - you hallucinate not due to overflow of neurotransmitters, but due to lack of it as well
     
  8. Mar 12, 2005 #7

    saltydog

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    I don't know if sleep deprivation has anything to do with serotonin. Worth looking into though. Last I read, we know of about 50 neurotransmitters, maybe more by now.

    Also wanted to point out that since psilocybin is only "similar" to serotonin, the chemistry won't be exactly the same: Psilocybin likely will have different reaction dynamics with serotonin's receptor site (if in fact it affects such). This difference will also contribute to aberrant neural events and may be a significant factor in its hallucinogenic effect.
     
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