Summary: Researchers studied the brain activity of healthy participants under the influence of nitrous oxide, comparing it to data from studies with ketamine and LSD to see whether the neurobiology of the psychedelic experience was similar. They found that the patterns of activity associated with the different substances overlapped, indicating common underlying biology, which could inform future research on the therapeutic use of psychedelics.
Source: University of Michigan
As a psychiatrist, it’s fascinating to see how different substances like nitrous oxide, ketamine, and LSD have overlapping effects on brain activity, specifically in the cortical “hot zone,” which is thought to be critical for determining the content of conscious experience. This research is promising and could help pave the way for future therapeutic use of psychedelics in treating various mental health conditions. However, more research is needed to understand the specifics of the common underlying biology and to develop safe and effective treatments for patients.
Dr Nathaniel James Thompson, MD, Cure of Mind