Our bodies are essentially an apartment complex for 100 trillion micro bacteria that have found a home within our intestines.
Before you start writing up an eviction notice, it’s worth noting just how much we – and every other organism with a digestive system – depend on gut microbiota.
Recent research shows gut microbiota influence our mood, behavior, and neurodevelopment. While it may seem these microscopic critters run our lives, the gut microbiome is largely influenced by environmental factors including diet, stress, geography, and age, among others.
Instead of accusing your gut microbiota of being bad tenants, ask yourself: “Have I been a good landlord? What are they trying to tell me?”
Social distancing has stripped us of our face-to-face interactions and recreational forms of cultural enrichment. As we’re all adjusting to the new norm, we’ve had to find alternative sources to fill this void of extracurricular education.
In lieu of visiting a museum, you may be scrolling through photos of the last time you visited the Renwick Gallery or Philadelphia Museum of Art, wishing their were a more hands-on way to relive the experiences.
Consider your wish granted. Cuseum has recently announced the release of their augmented reality technology that allows users to engage with famous artwork and virtually display it in their own humble abode.
It only takes a few milligrams of a naturally occurring compound – or even a just few micrograms on a sliver of paper – to open your mind to a vibrant swirl of creativity and long-lasting personality changes.
While psychedelics have shown efficacy in treating various mental health conditions including anxiety, treatment-resistant depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, they also carry the potential to help researchers further understand the interplay between various brain networks, says a 2018 Medical Hypothesis study.
By now, it’s no secret the brain and gut are in constant communication – and yet, there’s still an air of mystery shrowding the gut-brain axis.
So far, we know serotonin is central to gut-brain signaling. In fact, 90 percent of serotonin is synthesized in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, according to a 2016 Nutrients journal review.
Psychedelics, including psilocybin (a.k.a ‘shrooms’), LSD (a.k.a. ‘acid’), and DMT are serotonergic drugs that bind to the 5-HT2A receptor, says a 2018 World Psychiatric article. This is central to triggering the “psychedelic experience.”
Although research on psychedelics in mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders has been and currently is being heavily investigated, with a particular focus on serotonin, the impact of psychedelics on gut health remains largely untapped and under-researched.
Using neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy as her compass, Annaka Harris guides the reader through the mystery of consciousness in “Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind.”
Keeping the journey short, sweet, and digestible, Harris manages to present the big question in just a little over 100 pages – an impressive feat, considering the debate has spanned over multiple centuries.
Whether it’s a bandaid over a bullet wound or a patch over an underlying mental health condition, researchers have been studying the effectiveness of treating depression and attention-deficit disorder with nicotine patches.
Which leaves one to wonder which is the lesser of two evils – a dependence on nicotine, a highly addictive substance, or grappling with depression and ADHD?
“BARK! BARK! BARK!” Neurons fire to one in another in the face of a feline, fire hydrant, mailman, or dog treat. “BAAAAAAARK,” neurons fire again as the owner walks out the door and leaves the canine behind for an eight-hour shift.
Dogs have been “man’s best friend” for thousands of years, reports a study published in Nature Communications – but, is man dog’s best friend? How do they regard human relationships? What do dogs think and feel? How do they communicate?