Study: Psilocybin Enhances Meditation

by | Cannabis Times


New Study Shows Psilocybin Can Enhance Meditation Insightfulness

According to a recent study published in Scientific Reports, the use of psilocybin during meditation can lead to a boost in insightfulness. This groundbreaking research delved into the effects of psilocybin on experienced meditators, using a unique approach based on topological data analysis.

The researchers, in their abstract, stated that they examined functional magnetic resonance images collected during focused attention and open monitoring meditation before and after a five-day psilocybin-assisted meditation retreat. They used the Mapper algorithm to uncover organizational principles and utilized graph topological tools, including the optimal transport distance, to measure the similarity between brain activity patterns.

The most striking finding of the study was the link between psilocybin-induced positive derealization and enhanced open-monitoring meditation, which was reflected in the optimal transport distance between open-monitoring and resting state. The researchers also noted that these findings suggest a potential synergy between mindfulness practices and psilocybin in promoting insightfulness.

The study involved 36 experienced meditators who completed two fMRI brain imaging sessions before and after a 5-day psilocybin-assisted meditation retreat. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or psilocybin, and their altered states of consciousness were measured using the 11D-ASC questionnaire.

During the scan sessions, the participants engaged in resting-state, focused attention, and open monitoring meditation sequences, with each session lasting 21 minutes. The researchers then generated and analyzed Mapper shape graphs for each subject.

In conclusion, the researchers found that psilocybin can alter the perception of the external world, potentially by increasing informational richness. This was reflected in the increased optimal transport distances between open monitoring and resting state, compared to meditation alone. These findings provide a new perspective on the potential synergistic effects of meditation and psychedelics and may reveal novel brain markers for these effects.