Ayahuasca, Autism, Aging


Ayahuasca, Autism, Aging and the Default Mode Network…New Research

Earlier blogs “Folk Who Meditate Decrease Mind Wandering” and “Magic mushrooms work like meditation?  The latest science.” demonstrated how dramatically long term meditation and psilocybin can alter the functioning of the default mode network (DMN).  The DMN is the selfing/I-ing/me-ing/my-ing neural network (“Three Neural Networks Dancing…”blah, blah”, tasking and control”).

Two new research studies demonstrate that aging and ayahuasca, an increasingly-used psychedelic/entheogen, can also change the functioning of the DMN, as does an earlier study on autism.

Studies have shown that DMN activity varies with many tasks, states of consciousness and physical maladies.   DMN activity is increased in schizophrenia, depression, Parkinson’s disease, social anxiety disorder, and by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – marijuana).   However, DMN activity is reduced in autism, Alzheimer’s disease, hypnosis, meditation and by psilocybin.  (References available for all.)


The ayahuasca research is “The Psychedelic State Induced by Ayahuasca Modulates the Activity and Connectivity of the Default Mode Network” by Palhano-Fontes, et al. in PLOS ONE.   As i’m sure your friends/frenemies have told you,psychedelics produce complex changes in perception and cognition, altered states of consciousness and in some cases, a remarkable increase in introspection. This can be useful in nondual awakening to demonstrate that the reality you typically see is not the only one the brain can manufacture.

– See more at: http://scienceandnonduality.com/ayahuasca-autism-aging-and-the-default-mode-network-new-research/#sthash.Cvem2f0x.dpuf