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  • September 4, 2020

Experts Explain What Happens In Your Brain When You Take Shrooms

Magic mushrooms and their psychedelic effects have kept people traveling for thousands of years, but it's only recently that scientists have understood what happens in your brain when you ingest mushrooms.

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Studies show that psilocybin, the active ingredient in mushrooms, can be helpful for a variety of mental health problems, including major depression.

The psychedelic effects of mushrooms can begin in the thalamus of the brain, which filters out any information you get from the outside world. Some people suggest that psychedelics turn off this locking mechanism.

This doesn't mean you're adjusting to parts of the universe that don't exist, but your brain can't find what to look for. This is probably why you experienced what Dr. Sansum calls it "perceptual distortion" where things rise and fall or change color.

Dr. Catherine Preler, a psilocybin researcher at Yale Medical School, told Bustle that her research shows that as you age, the thalamus is also more likely to communicate with the sensory areas of the brain that handle things like taste and smell. The strange sensation of your trip is probably just the thalamus picking up any information instead of sorting it out as usual.