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Vancouver, Montreal researchers use magic to explore consciousness

Pablo (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pablo (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Bethany Lindsay at the Vancouver Sun:

Can questions about something as fundamental as the existence of free will be answered with a simple magic trick?

It may sound strange, but a new study from researchers in Vancouver and Montreal uses magicians’ mind tricks as a gateway to exploring human consciousness and decision-making.

In a street magic experiment, lead author Jay Olson asked 118 strangers to pick a random card as he riffled through the pack, intentionally showing one card for longer than the rest.

The results were remarkable. Ninety-eight per cent of people picked the target card, and an impressive 91 per cent believed that they had made that choice freely, without any influence from the magician.

“It was pretty cool,” said co-author Ronald Rensink, a psychology and computer science professor at UBC. “This would seem to be supporting the view that your conscious mind doesn’t really decide.

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Nine Myths About Schizophrenia

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Despite investment in research and treatment, the outcomes of patients diagnosed with the most severe psychiatric disorders have not improved since the Victorian period. Where are the flaws in our understanding? Mental health treatment needs a radical overhaul to bring it into the 21st century – but what needs to change?

… get up to speed with what’s fact and what’s fiction about schizophrenia with Professor and Clinical Psychologist Richard Bentall as he debunk the common myths in this free online course: Nine Myths About Schizophrenia.

The details of the course can be found here – or see the whole list of IAI Academy courses here.

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Psilocybin: The Science behind a Magical Molecule

Excellent summary of some of the recent scientific research on the main constituent of psychedelic fungi via The Nexian:

Liberty CapsPsilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in many species of mushrooms. In this form it has a long history of use by humanity in the context of healing and divination, and it is still employed in this manner today by indigenous groups such as the Mazatec. Since the 1960’s awareness of psilocybin and the fungi within which it resides has spread into the Western world. Following the legal clamp down that resulted from widespread use of this and other psychedelics like LSD and mescaline at this time, scientific research into this compound and other psychedelics all but drew to a halt. In the last few years regulatory red tape has been loosening to some degree, and scientists have began studying psilocybin for a number of reasons. It appears that psilocybin is a highly multifaceted compound and has the capacity to act as a profound tool in the study of the brain and consciousness, as well as act as a treatment for a variety of psychological conditions.… Read the rest

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Compilation of Cannabis Studies and Documentaries

HansRoht (CC)

A useful and comprehensive compilation of what we know so far about the most widely used illegal flower in the world…A plant that purportedly has “no currently accepted medical use”, despite the endless stream of studies and individual cases heavily suggesting otherwise. Now that two states have legalized it, with many more on the way, it won’t be long before the rest of the [police] States follow suit.

Via The Nexian:

“If cannabis were discovered in an Amazon rainforests today, people would be clambering to make as much use as they could out of the potential benefits of the plant”….”Unfortunately, it carries with it a long and not so long history of being a persecuted plant.” Donald L. Abrams, MD

Cannabis is one of the most thoroughly studied, yet misunderstood, medicinal psychedelic plants. Owing mainly to the propaganda of the “War on [Some People Who Use Certain] Drugs,” Cannabis’ potential for self-development, exploration, and therapy is largely ignored, discounted, and stigmatized. On theDMT-Nexus, Cosmic Spore has been compiling and organizing published scientific literature on this fascinating plant.… Read the rest

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Criminals and Researchers: Perspectives on the Necessity of Underground Research

PIC: DMT NEXUS (C)

PIC: DMT NEXUS (C)

History has shown time and time again how innovative research and experimentation is sometimes deemed too radical for the current paradigm, so much so that it is shunned by the societal structures that fail to understand it, and in some cases even made highly illegal. Whether it was persecuting heretical alchemists and “witches”, indigenous people across the world holding rituals with plant medicines/teachers, or students nabbing cadavers from the cemetery at night in order to further their understanding of the human body, humanity is no stranger to these completely insane fear-based witch hunts. It’s no secret that the biggest witch hunt today goes by the name “The War on [some people who use certain] Drugs”.

David Nickles, an underground researcher who has presented novel information at major psychedelic conferences on behalf of the DMT-Nexus, elaborates on the need for underground research via The Nexian :

Shortly after presenting on behalf of the DMT-Nexus at the Psychedemia conference at the University of Pennsylvania, in September 2012, I was interviewed by a Harvard Graduate student for a paper he was writing.

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End the Ban on Psychoactive Drug Research!

LiquidLSD

PIC: Feds (PD) “Liquid LSD”

There’s no doubt that we’re in the midst of a psychedelic resurgence; both in the “underground” and academia. Here’s yet another mainstream news article on the topic. Its nice to see them turning on…although…seeing how this was published on “Feb 1st, 2014″ and all…they might have taken too much (…or just enough?).

Man…I knew we should have warned the scientific materialists that time travel can be an inevitable side effect.

Via Scientific American:

Discovery of new psychiatric medication, whether for the treatment of depression, autism or schizophrenia, is at a virtual standstill. As just one example, the antidepressants on the market today are no more effective at reversing the mood disorder than those that first became available in the 1950s.

New thinking is desperately needed to aid the estimated 14 million American adults who suffer from severe mental illness. Innovation would likely accelerate if pharmacologists did not have to confront an antiquated legal framework that, in effect, declares off-limits a set of familiar compounds that could potentially serve as the chemical basis for entire new classes of drugs.

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Hungry Canadian Aboriginal Children Were Used in Government Experiments During 1940s

Lockwood

Temporary ration card. Click for more info.

It appears that Candian natives, including children,  were starved on purpose by researchers back in the 1940s and 50s.

via The Star

Aboriginal children were deliberately starved in the 1940s and ’50s by government researchers in the name of science.

Milk rations were halved for years at residential schools across the country.

Essential vitamins were kept from people who needed them.

Dental services were withheld because gum health was a measuring tool for scientists and dental care would distort research.

For over a decade, aboriginal children and adults were unknowingly subjected to nutritional experiments by Canadian government bureaucrats.

This disturbing look into government policy toward aboriginals after World War II comes to light in recently published historical research.

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Inside the Mutant Mouse Industry That Supplies Science Laboratories

White mice don’t grow on trees. At least, for now.

Pic: RAMA (CC)

Pic: RAMA (CC)

Via New Scientist:

It’s often said that in a city, you’re never far from a rat. Today’s UK government figures for the numbers of laboratory animals used annually in England, Scotland and Wales reveals the extent to which researchers, too, are surrounded by rats and other rodents. In all 4 million animals were used, a 9 per cent increase on 2011. Most of these – 3.3 million – were rodents. Some 2200 primates were used, mainly in pharmaceutical safety tests.

The majority of the rodents – 1.77 million mice – were mutant, “knockout” mice: animals with a specific gene turned off, helping scientists to understand what that gene does. “It’s a bit like trying to understand a car engine without a plan – piece by piece you pull parts out and then see how this contributes to the car not working,” says David Adams of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK.

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