How Magic Mushrooms Affect Your Brain

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More than 180 species of “magic” mushrooms produce the psychoactive compound psilocybin. When you ingest psilocybin, your gut converts it into another chemical called psilocin, which triggers changes in the brain. It increases activity in the visual cortex, leading to changes in perception; it decreases network activity in the “Default Mode Network,” driving the experience of ego loss; and it increases connectivity among different regions of the brain. Researchers believe it’s the combination of these effects that makes psilocybin an effective tool for combating depression and addiction, for which research shows support.

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