Psychonaut Web Mapping Project - it might be interesting to study their data...

It's interesting what you sometimes find doing unrelated searches. Their use of terminology is fascinating, "psychonaut", "web mapping", "novel psychoactive compounds" - imitation being the sincerest form of flattery?. Anybody know these guys? They might be fun to talk to.

Using psychedelic drugs does not increase one’s risk of developing mental health problems, survey of 130,000 randomly chosen users shows

...the researchers note that their study helps to refute previous speculations that psychedelic drugs lead to an increase in mental health problems. In a statement, study coauthor Teri Krebs pointed out that during “the past 50 years, tens of millions of people have used psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of long-term problems.”


In a study appearing in PLOS ONE, the Norwegian team analyzed health data on more than 130,000 people chosen at random from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2001–2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, of which 22,000 said they had used psychedelics at least once. The researchers found no links between the self-reported use of psychedelic drugs and a range of mental health problems, including general psychological distress, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychosis.

“After adjusting for other risk factors, lifetime use of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, or peyote, or past-year use of LSD, was not associated with a higher rate of mental health problems or receiving mental health treatment,” NTNU psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen said in a statement.

In fact, Johansen and his coauthor found that lifetime use of psilocybin—the psychedelic compound in “magic” mushrooms—or mescaline—the psychedelic agent in peyote—and past-year use of LSD were instead associated with reduced rates of serious psychological distress. They also found that lifetime use of LSD was associated with reduced rates of outpatient mental health treatment and fewer prescriptions for psychiatric drugs.

Form Constants and the visual cortex - stored for future discussion

By now we should all know the term "form constants", it's history, and the idea sets that accompany it. This page gives a fairly good summary in a short read, so, give it a try.

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http://countyourculture.com/2011/03/13/form-constants-visual-cortex/

In 1926, Heinrich Klüver undertook a groundbreaking series of experiments where he categorized the visual effects produced by mescaline. Various volunteers were recruited, peyote administered, reports taken, and results classified into categories. There were general perceptual effects, variations in color and distortions of shape. But the most interesting reports were consistent visual concepts he dubbed “form constants”. Across many volunteers and many sessions, all reported seeing visual patterns with similar structure.

A study showing oxytocin's role in creativity, flexibility, and novelty seeking - possibly a revolutionary idea for psychonaut explorers

So, this study is suggesting that oxytocin, the love and bonding neurotransmitter, may play a bigger role in other activities than previously thought. This makes a lot of sense intuitively - of course, if you are in a state of liking, bonding, attraction, inhibition-reduction, and novelty-seeking, you are more likely to be creative, or be able to quickly adopt new ideas or new ways of thinking.

http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/16/scan.nst094.abstract Oxytonergic circuitry sustains and enables creative cognition in humans

"Using double-blind placebo-controlled between-subjects designs, Studies 3–6 (N = 191) finally showed that intranasal oxytocin (vs matching placebo) reduced analytical reasoning, and increased holistic processing, divergent thinking and creative performance. We conclude that the oxytonergic circuitry sustains and enables the day-to-day creativity humans need for survival and prosperity and discuss implications. "

How An Algorithm Feels From Inside - contemplating intuitive perception

A short well constructed article looking at the way "minds" make decisions and process the experience of the external - a must read. Seriously, devote some time to understanding this one, it's not long, and brilliant.


"If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it make a sound?"  I remember seeing an actual argument get started on this subject—a fully naive argument that went nowhere near Berkeleyan subjectivism.  Just:

"It makes a sound, just like any other falling tree!"
"But how can there be a sound that no one hears?"

Interesting (and typical) report of an entity experience - the entity is a classic Gaia, in this case a female forest entity presentation.

"The moment I became aware of this forest brain, it became aware of me. It was startling. I got the sense that it was always here, that trees are a kind of animal (with moss as body hair and muscular trunks) they just move very slowly, living on a different timescale, and that mushrooms slow down our perception so the wavelength of our existence becomes as long and low frequency as theirs (Such that our two waveforms coincide), allowing us to perceive and communicate with them.

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