One of the most popular and frequently encountered psychedelic components in the face of psilocybin – the active component that can be found in many family of mushrooms around the world – is a truly inexhaustible source of data on the psychophysiology of humans and animals. After all, people from ancient times knew such psilocybin-containing mushrooms that very strongly change the state of consciousness and, in theory, actively affect the center of self-consciousness in the brain. It was this last question that the team of neuroscientists from Johns Hopkins University tried to establish, which conducted several experiments with psilocybin in humans.
In particular, scientists selected several volunteers of young and middle age without any previous indications of potential physical and cognitive impairment, and divided them into two groups – the first was given psilocybin in relatively small quantities, while the other was given only a placebo. After doing this for several weeks of testing, during which volunteers were allowed to rest from the experiments, scientists found that the vast majority of participants in the first group showed a significant tendency for the neurons to stagnate in the so-called claustrum – a section of the brain that always associated with our ability to consider ourselves as separate the individual, the so-called “center of the ego” of man.
Computed tomograms and brain images showed that during the action of psilocybin this part of the brain showed the least activity, especially in comparison with the second group, which was not exposed to psilocybin.
It is worth noting that this result clearly indicates previous studies that demonstrated the very ego-destructive effect of psilocybin on human consciousness. In other words, psilocybin as a narcotic component can actually “lull” the claustrum, which usually functions as the ego center of our consciousness, allowing us to evaluate ourselves as an independent and separate person from the rest of the world.