Tuesday 27 October 2020

Researchers find possible link between micro-dosing mushrooms and creativity

Researchers at Leiden University say they have found evidence that there may be a link between tiny doses of psychedelic drugs and creativity.

Micro-doses of drugs such as ‘magic’ mushrooms and truffles is considered to be an aid to creativity in some countries and their use is on the rise in the Netherlands.

The Leiden researchers gave tiny doses of mushroom to 38 members of the Psychedelic Society of the Netherlands and tested their ability to do certain tasks before and after taking the drug.

The tests, the researchers showed, that there was an improvement in both convergent and divergent thinking skills (which assess creativity), but, as psychologist Zsuzsika Sjoerds told the Volkskrant later, the performance in intelligence tests did not get better.

‘This is a suggestion that micro-dosing has a selective effect on creativity, otherwise it would improve everything,’ she told the paper.

Placebo effect

Nevertheless, it is too soon to conclude there is a link. ‘While this study provides quantitative support for the cognitive enhancing properties of micro-dosing psychedelics, future research has to confirm these preliminary findings in more rigorous placebo-controlled study designs,’ the researchers conclude.

Sjoerds and the rest of the team are now assessing the results of further research involving 70 people, which includes a control group, the Volkskrant said.

The research, which has not been peer reviewed and is available in pre-print format, also included scientists from Germany and the Czech Republic.

More on the trial from The Atlantic

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