In an effort to explore the effect of psilocybin on the healthy brain, an international team of scientists created a biophysically realistic whole-brain model, described by the researchers as a “technical tour de force.” The researchers reported on this model in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The groundbreaking model enabled them to observe how psilocybin impacts the activity of neurons and neurotransmitters. “Longer term, this could provide a better understanding of why psilocybin is showing considerable promise as a therapeutic intervention for neuropsychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, and addiction,” they wrote in the paper.
Psilocybin and other psychedelics are known to affect the neurotransmitter balance of serotonin receptors in the brain, but up to this point “little has been known of this process,” write two of the paper’s authors, Morten L. Kringelbach and Gustavo Deco, in an email to Lucid News. The model they created sheds new light on these dynamics. “Using this model will be crucial for truly understanding how psilocybin can rebalance neuropsychiatric disorders such as treatment-resistant depression and addiction,” the researchers added.
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