Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) - UCSD Cognitive Science

A Comparison of Hallucinogens and Dreaming By Carly Birnbaum, Myles St. Jonn, Burcu Darst, Gilbert Francisco COGS 175 Spring 2007 June 8, 2007 Outline Hallucinogens DMT

Dreaming Conclusion History of Hallucinogens Hallucinogen Derived from late Latin, alucinari, meaning to wander in mind or talk idly Oldest hallucinogen Amanita muscaria, discovered by observing the behavior of intoxicated reindeer?

Clearly reindeer found hallucinogens before man With the introduction of LSD to Europe and U.S. in 1949, era began with extremely potent agents Definition Any agent that causes alterations in perception, cognition, and mood as its primary psychobiological actions in the

presence of an otherwise clear sensorium Behavioral Effects Low Dose Hoffman, after ingesting small quantity of LSD 4/16/1943 I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratorybeing affected with a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness.

Perception intensified, rather than distorted Visual illusions, but no hallucinations Behavioral Effects High Dose 4/29/1943 Hoffman takes larger dose Unable to record experiences after 30 minutes

Later describes terrifying journey home Vision and time distortion Despite bewilderment, exhibited clarity of thought Familiar objects appeared grotesque and threatening Pharmacological Effects and Theory LSD acts on both serotonin and dopamine receptors 5-HT modulated mood, pain, perception,

personality and sexual activity Hallucinogenic activity caused by LSD is thought to be mediated by its effect of serotonin-2 receptors Acts post-synaptically to inhibit 5-HT release and increase retention of 5-HT at serotonin receptor sites 5-HT agonist Effects are Subjective Stoll (1947) noted a much higher incidence of acute adverse effects in subjects who

were unaware of its administration Slater el al. (1960) compared group with individual administration Excess of euphoric responses vs. more anxiety, hypomotility, speech disruption Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) Endogenous hallucinogen Serotonin agonist Precursor: tryptophan Believed to be produced by the pineal gland

Effects of DMT High Dosage Psychotic results Low Dosage Calming DMT Release DMT is released during psychedelic states

Near death experiences Death Childbirth Dreaming DMT-TA Hypothesis Tracer Amines System Receptor system linked to emotional centers of body

Endogenous DMT may counteract psychotic behavior Lucid Dreaming Having the courage to enjoy DMT visuals gives me more strength in the dream world to hold it intact. Once I can stabilize the 'stuff' dreams are made of, it seems as though I can experience whatever I can think

of. I have found myself eating dream food and even tasting it. Dreaming During REM Typically 4 periods First stage approximately 10 minutes Longer with each stage Fourth and final stage is longest

Usually what we remember Characteristics EEG readings Irregular frequency Low amplitude Motor neurons inhibited Rapid eye movement (under closed eye lids) Irregular Breathing

Increased Heart Rate Theta Rhythm Why do we dream? Early hypothesis Representation of our innermost unconscious feelings (Freud) Activation Synthesis Associations and memories from forebrain in response to random signals from brain stem (Hobson McCarley) Reverse learning

Neocortex overload We dream to forget (Crick Mitchison) More Recent Studies of Dreaming Memory processing, learning Evidence Theta rhythm traced to hippocampal regions Similar to waking state Reprocessing of information

gathered while awake Suggests possible survival strategy Conclusions Shared Neurochemical Properties Barry L. Jacobs Dreams and Hallucinogens Dreaming sleep and hallucinogenic experience both inhibit the 5-HT system Giving 5-HT during hallucinations decreases hallucinatory experience Giving 5-HT during sleep decreases REM time and

dream report 5-HT system intimately tied in with visual system Problems with 5-HT theory Why would 5-HT inactivation cause hallucinations? Why does giving people more 5-HT stop depression? Schizophrenia Characterized by auditory hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and delusions about reality

Higher concentrations of DMT found in urine Though small doses of DMT had calming effect on Schizophrenics Newer treatments act on 5-HT2a receptors Overall Brain Activity Similarities EEG effects of hallucinogens Is it similar to the EEG readings for REM?

No REM dreaming characterized by irregular frequency Dreams exist in Non-REM sleep which have different EEG activity EEG for hallucinogenic drugs are their own distinct EEG signal Dreams, Hallucinogens, and Consciousness: Speculations Localization of 5-HT2a receptor and dream-like hallucinations Daydreaming and Imagination

Theory of mind Escape from Reality Planning Interpretation of Reality References

Abraham, Henry D. et al., "The Psychopharmacology of Hallucinogens." Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 14 No.4., 1996. Winson, J. The Meaning of Dreams. Scientific American Special. Volume 12, Number 1, New York, 2002: 54-61. Nielsen, T. A. Stenstrom, P. What are the memory sources of dreaming? Nature. Volume 437, October 2005: 1286-1289. Michael S. Jacob, David E. Presti. Endogenous psychoactive tryptamines reconsidered: an anxiolytic role for dimethyltryptamine Med Hypotheses. Volume 64, Number 5, 2004: 930-937.

Rick Strassman MD DMT: The Spirit Molecule Jacobs, Barry. Dreams and Hallucinogens: A Common Neurochemical Mechanism Mediating Their Phenomonlogical Similarities. Neuroscience Biobehavorial Review. Volume 2, Number 1, 1978: 59-68 Fairchild, M.D. et al., "EEG Effects of Hallucinogens and Cannabinoids Using Sleep-Waking Behavior as Baseline." Pharmacology Biochemisty & Behavior. Vol. 2, pp.99-105. 12 July 1979. Schizophrenia www.wikipedia.org Li, D. et al., Association study of serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2A) gene with schizophrenia and suicidal behavior using systematic meta-analysis. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Vol. 340, Number 2, Feb 17 2006: 1006-1015

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