Neuroscience news block: mysterious giant neurons, neurobiology of being fun and LSD potency explained.

Neuroscientists did not sit idly by in the past month: while you were going about your business they discovered a giant neuron wrapping itself around the entire mouse brain, recognized the differences between experienced improv comedians and newbies struggling to be funny (apart from the obvious jokes quality) and took the first ever 3D image of LSD bound to a brain receptor.

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Science of being high: Your brain on acid.

Your ego disappears, you feel united with the Universe, you see things which are not there and your time perception is distorted: Even if you’ve never taken drugs these effects sound familiar to you; this is what your friends told you after they took acid at some festival or after their recent trip to Amsterdam.

Prehistoric art suggests that psychedelic drugs have a pretty long relationship with humans, their usage in spiritual and healing rituals going as far back as about 5000 years (our ancestors knew what’s up). However, due to political mostly than scientific reasons, psychedelic research was prohibited not long after blooming in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Currently, what can be called a reneissance in the research of psychedelic substances is taking place as more and more scientists turn their attention towards the neural correlates of the fascinating altered states of consciousness associated with psilocybin (the main component of magic mushrooms), ayahuaska and LSD.

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