Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a recreational, psychedelic drug that alter awareness of the surroundings, perceptions, and feelings, as well as sensations and images that seem real though they are not.
LSD works by binding primarily to the dopamine receptors and adrenal receptors in the brain. It also binds to most of the serotonin receptors. The binding process is believed to overstimulate the natural neurotransmission process, activating the receptors and altering thought and perceptions.
Though medical researchers have not scientifically proven how this process alters consciousness, they are certain about the binding process which links hallucinogenic chemicals to receptors and disrupts neurotransmission between receptors and parts of [ ... ]
While a baby's experiences and memories are vital to his/her development, most of us can't remember what we did before our third birthday. Why is that?
It may be that as babies we just don't have the necessary mental equipment to store and organize memories properly, a hypothesis strengthened by the famous case of Henry Molaison. Molaison was unable to remember any new events that happened to him after a faulty brain operation. Though he still had temporary short-term memory and could learn new skills, he couldn't retain information for long.
We know that neurons continue to be added to our brains in our early years, and it's possible that when this building process has finished, memories can start to form.
According to a study published in the medical journal eLife, researchers found that specific combinations of gut bacteria produce substances that affect myelin content and cause social avoidance behaviors in mice.
Researchers transferred fecal bacteria from the gut of depressed mice to genetically distinct mice exhibiting non-depressed behavior. The study showed that the transfer of microbiota was sufficient to induce social withdrawal behaviors and change the expression of myelin genes and myelin content in the brains of the recipient mice.
In an effort to define the mechanism of gut-brain communication, researchers identified bacterial communities associated with increased levels of cresol, a substance that has the ability to pass the bloo [ ... ]
For the first time, scientists have discovered a link between heavy marijuana use and reduced dopamine production. Just so you know, dopamine is the hormone/neurotransmitter that is released during any kind of satisfaction - it's the same hormone that is released in your brain when you eat chocolate. In a recent study, lower dopamine release was found in the striatum - a region of the brain that is involved in working memory, impulsive behavior, and attention, in addition to subregions involved in associative and sensorimotor learning, and in the globus pallidus. Previous studies have shown that addiction to other drugs of abuse, such as cocaine and heroin, have similar effects on dopamine release, but such evidence for cannabis was mis [ ... ]
After a broken neck left him quadriplegic, Ian Burkhart was told he would never be able to use his hands. Now he can grasp a bottle and pick up a credit card by using a computer plugged directly into his brain. Special software is able to decode his thoughts and convert them into electrical signals in his hand, bypassing the damaged nerves in his spine. Now Ian has regained an amazing degree of control over his hand, each movement stimulated by his own thoughts.
There’s an innovative new light technology that's trying to change the way people think about "artificial light." In Italian company called CoeLux has developed a new light source that recreates the look of sunlight through a skylight so well that it can trick both human brains and cameras.
It’s a high tech LED skylight that’s designed to provide "sunlight" for interior spaces cut off from the outdoors. One of the main ideas behind it is that to create realistic sunlight, you can’t just simulate the sun… you need to recreate the atmosphere as well.
The scientists who invented the light figured out how to use a thin coating of nanoparticles to accurately simulate sunlight through Earth’s atmosphere and the effect known as Rayleigh scattering[ ... ]
A landmark study, based on genetic analysis of nearly 65,000 people, has revealed that a person's risk of schizophrenia is increased if they inherit specific variants in a gene related to "synaptic pruning" - the elimination of connections between neurons. The findings represent the first time that the origin of this devastating psychiatric disease has been causally linked to specific gene variants and a biological process. They also help explain decades-old observations: synaptic pruning is particularly active during adolescence, which is the typical period of onset for schizophrenia symptoms, and brains of schizophrenic patients tend to show fewer connections between neurons. The gene, called component 4 (C4), plays a well-known role in t [ ... ]
Watch the video above, the trick is nothing short of incredible!
This is due to a mechanism called the opponent-process theory, which was developed in the 1870s. It is the idea of perceiving color in terms of paired opposites such as red with green, and yellow with blue. The possible scientific explanation for this theory is that bipolar cells are excited by one set of wavelengths and inhibited by other, which are in extend attached to the cone retinal receptors.
Mad honey is a rare hallucinogenic honey that is made by the Giant Bee of Himalayas (Apis dorsata laboriosa) in Nepal. The bee lives and nests at altitudes between 2 500 and 3 000 meters, where it builds very large nests under overhangs on the south-western faces of vertical cliffs. The honey possesses hallucinogenic properties because it contains an ingredient from rhododendron nectar called grayanotoxin - a natural neurotoxin that, even in small quantities, brings on light-headedness and hallucinations. Since it is difficult to harvest and has special properties, this kind of honey is expensive and sells for about five times the price of normal honey in the foreign market. So, the honey hunters take absurd risks to get the honey from over [ ... ]
Someone who greatly enjoys sweet foods is said to have a "sweet tooth." Experimental evidence now shows us that eating sweets forms memories that may control eating habits. In other words, people may enjoy eating sweets because the taste is correlated with positive memories.
The findings, published online in the journal Hippocampus, show that neurons in the dorsal hippocampus, the part of the brain that is critical for episodic memory, are activated by consuming sweets. Episodic memory is the memory of autobiographical events experienced at a particular time and place.
In the study, a meal consisting of a sweetened solution, either sucrose or saccharin, significantly increased the expression of the synaptic plasticity marker called activity [ ... ]
When homing pigeons fly home they rely on smells, magnetic fields, and vision to guide their way. But how important visual memory is for pigeons has long remained a mystery. According to a new study, pigeons that learned their way home with a blocked left eye couldn’t repeat the same journey when they wore a patch over their right eye, and vice versa. Instead, they flew slightly off course, following more of a curve than a straight line. Since birds lack a corpus callosum, this suggests that a birds’ lack of this key neural structure greatly affects how pigeons are able to find their way home.
This video explains it quite well. The key hormone in question is serotonin. Serotonin is known to play a role in depression. Low serotonin levels are believed to be the reason for depression and associated symptoms of anxiety, apathy, fear, feelings of worthlessness, insomnia and fatigue. The opposite is true when a high-level of serotonin is present, you feel jovial and enthusiastic. MDMA promotes the formation of this hormone.
Scientists have worked out why your eyes move when you’re dreaming. Scientists have known for decades that the rapid eye movements (REMs) that occur during sleep signal that we’re dreaming, but what do the individual eye motions really represent? It’s long been hypothesised that each movement of the eye reflects new visual information in our dreams, and now for the first time researchers have demonstrated that this is actually the case. According to a new study by researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel, each flick of the eye that occurs during REM sleep accompanies the introduction of a new image in our dream, with the movement essentially acting like a reset function between individual dream "snapshots".
In July 2011, a 52-year-old woman presented at a psychiatric clinic in the Netherlands reported that for her entire life she’d seen multiple peoples’ faces change into dragon-like faces. She was suffering from what is known as prosopometamorphopsia; a psychiatric disorder in which faces appear distorted. What made matters worse, researchers couldn’t work out what was causing this to occur. Various brain scans including MRI, electroencephalogram, and neurological examinations, as well as blood tests were all normal. One area of the brain that might be the cause is the fusiform gyrus, which is the part of our face recognition circuitry. The fusiform gyrus is located in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex, and damage to it can make people ha [ ... ]
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