Low Dose Psychedelics Allow Mice To Generate Neurons And Unlearn Conditioned Fear


Psychedelic Frontier reports on another study pointing to the immense power (and hazards) of psychedelics:

A new study of mice published in Experimental Brain Research shows that low doses (but not high doses) of psychedelics increase the rate of neuron creation in the hippocampus, and help the mice to rapidly unlearn conditioned fear responses.

Mice injected with low doses of PSOP [psilocybin] extinguished cued fear conditioning significantly more rapidly than high-dose PSOP or saline-treated mice. PSOP facilitates extinction of the conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.

Research continues to confirm psychedelics’ ability to reduce the conditioned fear response, enabling patients to confront fearful stimuli without the usual baggage of anxiety and defense mechanisms.

With the right therapeutic approach, psychedelics allow us to rewire our brains in a positive manner. On the flip side, reckless use of these substances may cause lasting negative changes in the brain.

18 Comments on "Low Dose Psychedelics Allow Mice To Generate Neurons And Unlearn Conditioned Fear"

  1. DeepCough | Jun 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm |

    One more reason why these drugs just aren’t good for you at all, no siree, Bob.

  2. kowalityjesus | Jun 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |

    Taking miniature doses of mushrooms is just so fucking interesting. I can’t help but get Truman Show-ish when on any dose of that drug. You guys are all actors, right? Put in place by the galactic alliance?

    • This is hilarious. I saw Truman Show for the first time recently, and really enjoyed it. The part where [SPOILER!] Truman’s sailboat collides with the edge of his world reminded me of many “reality-breaking” psychedelic experiences! Like, “Truman, I understand, I’VE broken through the boundary of reality too!”

      Can’t say I’ve ever been convinced that everyone around me was an actor though! That sounds spooky.

      • kowalityjesus | Jun 13, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

        maybe “agents” is nominally better, Thoreau would say “engineers”

  3. InfvoCuernos | Jun 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm |

    Why do I get the feeling this research will go towards military use, rather than helping people?

    • MoralDrift | Jun 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm |

      just imagine the possibilities, soldiers who are reprogrammed through the use of low-dose psychedelics to feel no fear, and perhaps even have no qualms about killing.

      or…the research would backfire and the now fearless yet semi-enlightened lab rats with guns would turn on their masters with extreme prejudice.

      • The beginning of sentience is IMO, the ability to say “what’s in it for me?” DOD efforts to create superintelligent killers based on wetware and Silicon Valley efforts to create sentient AIs are likely to succeed, but be counted by the surviving funders as a failure over this issue. The technology might work, but the people both organic and silicon they want to make are indeed likely to do the rational thing, and turn on them.

    • geminihigh | Jun 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm |

      they tried, and it usually ended in failure. the most common, long term result of military tests dealing with psychedelics was that the test subjects went AWOL afterwards. I believe that if you can survive a “bad” trip you will be way ahead of the curve when it comes to dealing with the immediate and post traumatic shock of being in combat. I’m friends with two former marines who feel their acid and shroom use prior (and during, acid/psilocybin is still fairly popular amongst service members since its hard to test for) their military careers didn’t fully allow them to be broken down and rebuilt into the Full Metal Jacket killing machines the Corps demands its infantry to be. they are still bad asses, still proud to be marines, but they were able to keep their ability to think critically, and are opposed to the wars in afghanistan and iraq. thats presents a big problem for the military; a grunt with a brain who thinks for itself!

  4. Heroic doses are the way to go;)

  5. InfvoCuernos | Jun 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

    You know, now that I think of it, I have heard that vikings used mushrooms prior to battle and I always thought that just didn’t make sense to me, because mushrooms didn’t really seem compatible with battle, but seeing this study, I think they might have been on to something.

    • Anarchy Pony | Jun 12, 2013 at 8:30 pm |

      The berserker rage. No one’s really sure how it was activated. Some have postulated psychedelics, alcohol, or even a sort of psych up meditation. Being of Scandinavian descent, I can tell you that it’s probably just a result of being really fucking pissed off.

      • The Well Dressed Man | Jun 12, 2013 at 11:10 pm |

        I’m also of Nordic ancestry. Little opportunity to make use of berserk in this day and age, it’s a terrible liability for driving in traffic or taking public transit . Mosh pits are still sometimes places where we can shine.

        • Anarchy Pony | Jun 13, 2013 at 12:17 am |

          It’s also bad when playing online competitive multiplayer games. Co-op’s fine though.

    • Adamas Macalz | Jun 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm |

      I’ve taken rooms twice and both times all I felt like doing was fighting… I wasn’t angry, I was euphoric, andmy entire body felt like liquid energy(hard to explain)… I spent a good 10 minutes the first time punching the sidewalk… but my family also has a predisposition for beserker rage, so it could be a genetic thing

    • heard the same thing about morning glory seeds for the Aztecs.
      makes me wonder how battles must have felt like as a member of these cultures, considering battling was considered of divine origin.

      . or perhaps, near death experiences and even the death experience itself obliterates fear. perhaps, that’s why psychedelics banish fear and are good before battle. also, because psychedelics are similar to nde’s they may cause fear(as in fear of divine judgment/ karmic retribution)

      Syrian rue is an interesting herb that seems to short-circuit the fear response. it is also an maoi, which are often prescribed for relief of anxiety. how and why does it do that. are herbs proof of some sorta intelligent design? kombucha anyone?

  6. Unlearn conditional fear?! Can u imagine the potential of this….
    I feel that the root of our problems (whether it is societal or individual) is Fear.

    Removing fear and replacing with love…

    I shall now go play with my ever-so-real friends in my imaginary world.

  7. Sounds like they repeated Timothy Leary’s 1960s academic work on therapeutic uses of psychedelics before Leary became a hippie guru.

    • kowalityjesus | Jun 14, 2013 at 12:47 am |

      It would be hard to tow that line (psychedelic advocate and pragmatic researcher) for a lengthy period of time, wouldn’t it? Maybe easier to pull it off today, for subtle but significant reasons.

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