Creativity is a cognitive talent linked to all aspects of our daily lives, allowing us to adapt to a constantly changing environment and come up with new solutions to issues. The creative process has been considered a dynamic process, needing changing between multiple modes of thought to attain a result, even though it is potentially impossible to define. Divergent thinking (DT) produces new and original ideas, while convergent thinking (CT) is the process of evaluating the generated ideas for their utility and efficacy.
Psilocybin microdosing promotes cognitive and neural flexibility in patients with severe depressive disorder. However, the data show that gains in neuronal flexibility caused by psychedelics do not necessarily result in cognitive advantages.
When paired with psychotherapy, psilocybin, the key ingredient in so-called “magic” mushrooms, has been demonstrated to have long-lasting and clinically significant effects on personality and mood. However, the mechanisms behind these impacts are unknown.
Researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands researched the cognitive effects of microdosing psilocybin truffles (technically not mushrooms, but instead the hardened vegetative part of a fungus). They discovered that small doses of psilocybin could improve brain function and increase creativity without impairing thinking ability.
Overview of Psilocybin Microdosing and How it Works
Microdosing is a relatively new phenomenon that entails ingesting minuscule dosages of psychedelic hallucinogens or other substances. In most cases, psilocybin microdosing does not affect consciousness or sensations. Importantly, this is a very low dose of the psychedelic, insufficient to cause a “trip” or the hallucinations commonly associated with these substances.
However, the more commonly used phrase for psilocybin microdosing, a minuscule fraction of a “normal dose,” is a bit of a misnomer because it lacks a numerical meaning. As a result, the widely recognized definition is a tiny dose that does not create drunkenness or a noticeable shift in awareness.
Psilocybin microdosing has a different purpose than traditional psychedelic or hallucinogenic chemical use. Many people take psychedelics in high dosages for self-discovery, enjoyment, or spiritual reasons. Microdosers, on the other hand, use these dosages to increase their well-being or improve their emotional or mental state.
Many people believe the sensation has nothing to do with psychedelics. Many people do not notice the effects at these low levels in the same way as they would on a psychedelic trip. However, psilocybin microdosing proponents argue that taking these psychedelics in short, controlled dosages helps the mind think more clearly and openly throughout the day.
How Psilocybin Microdosing Enhances Cognitive Functions
Microdosing has become popular among high-achieving Silicon Valley tech types and piqued the researchers’ interest. Users report that the medication, which supporters claim is non-toxic and non-addictive, aids flexible thinking, creativity, and personnel management. According to a study, the evidence has been anecdotal until now, and scientists haven’t investigated psilocybin microdosing.
Microdoses of psilocybin contain roughly 10% of the hallucinogenic components found in a regular dose. The goal is to obtain the drug’s benefits while avoiding its drawbacks, i.e., minimum side effects that stimulate thought but do not lead to extremes such as hallucinations.
The researchers examined the effects of.035 grams of psychoactive truffle on 36 people in this study. (They later tested the truffles’ chemical composition to ensure that psilocybin was evenly distributed throughout the truffles.) They looked into three different ways of thinking by giving the subjects three different tasks to complete before and after taking the drug, all developed by psychologists to test cognition. The researchers looked at the respondents’ convergent thinking, which involves finding a single solution to a single problem; fluid intelligence, which includes reasoning and problem-solving; and divergent thinking, which involves recognizing several possibilities.
According to these cognition tests, participants’ convergent thinking improved after microdosing. According to the study, subjects created more ideas, and their potential solutions were more “fluent, adaptable, and unique.” Participants’ divergent and convergent thinking improved due to microdosing with psychedelic drugs. The microdoses, however, did not affect the patients’ ability to think. This, according to the researchers, implies that mushrooms, when consumed in tiny doses, increase creativity without impairing fluid intelligence.
Nonetheless, the researchers feel that microdosing could be useful for more than only enhanced creativity and more flexible thinking, based on these preliminary findings. “Aside from its potential benefits as a cognitive enhancing approach, microdosing might be examined further for its therapeutic efficacy to aid persons with rigid thought patterns or behavior, such as those suffering from depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.”