Psychedelic brew called ayahuasca could enhance creative thinking abilities

first_imgShare on Twitter Email Pinterest Share on Facebook A psychedelic brew known as ayahuasca may help people “think outside the box,” according to a new study published in the journal Psychopharmacology. But more research is needed.Ayahuasca has been used in the healing ceremonies of indigenous Amazon tribes for centuries. The psychoactive drink is traditionally prepared using plants which contain beta-carbolines such as harmaline and tryptamines like DMT.Researchers led by K. P. C. Kuypers of Maastricht University visited two spiritual ayahuasca-using groups to investigate the drug’s effect on divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking describes the process of generating many possible solutions to a problem. Convergent thinking, on the other hand, refers to the process of narrowing down potential solutions to find one correct answer.center_img “Creative divergent thinking can enhance and strengthen psychological flexibility by allowing individuals to generate new and effective cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strategies on their own which helps them to adopt adaptive interpretations and coping styles,” the researchers explained.Kuypers and his colleagues recruited 26 participants for their study. These volunteers had all consumed ayahuasca previously.The participants first completed two creativity tasks designed to measure divergent and convergent thinking. About 3 hours later, they consumed ayahuasca in a dimly lit room while music played in the background. After waiting 2 hours for the drug to reach its peak, the participants completed the two creativity tasks again.Only one of the tests, the Picture Concept Task, indicated that ayahuasca produced changes in divergent and convergent thinking. The task required participants to find associations between a number of pictures that were aligned into rows.The researchers found that after consuming ayahuasca, the participants had a harder time finding the one correct association but were better at providing as many alternative answers as possible. Ayahuasca appeared to cause a decrease in conventional convergent thinking but enhance creative divergent thinking.There has been a renewal of interest in the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs. The authors cautioned that their findings were preliminary, but said their study could have some implications for this line of research.“The present study has shown that ayahuasca promotes divergent thinking, an ability which has been shown to be an important aspect in cognitive therapy,” Kuypers and his colleagues concluded. “It can therefore be suggested that ayahuasca possesses qualities that can promote a therapeutic process. However, since convergent thinking is also a critical aspect in therapy, and the current findings show that ayahuasca impairs this facet during the acute phase, future studies have to investigate whether this effect profile changes over time.”They added: “Additional research utilizing a placebo-controlled experimental design, including additional creativity measures, is warranted, before results can be generalized.” Share LinkedInlast_img read more

MoJ could face judicial review challenge over civil cost reforms

first_imgCharitable group the Public Law Project (PLP) has threatened to launch a legal challenge to the Ministry of Justice’s civil costs and funding reforms. London firm Leigh Day & Co has sent a letter before action to the justice secretary Ken Clark on behalf of the PLP, a national legal charity that aims to improve access to public law remedies for those whose access to justice is restricted. PLP seeks to challenge the way the MoJ plans to implement Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms. In particular, it is challenging the MoJ’s decision to abolish the recoverability of conditional fee agreement success fees, without also introducing other key reforms put forward by Jackson to mitigate the impact on access to justice for those seeking judicial reviews. In personal injury cases, the MoJ has proposed the introduction of costs protection for claimants – so-called qualified one way costs shifting – which means loosing claimants do not face the risk of having to pay the substantial legal costs of defendant bodies. The sums awarded for general damages will also increase. But for judicial review claims, the MoJ has decided not to implement the costs protection measure for claimants, with the result that the government and other state bodies will be able to recover costs from citizens who unsuccessfully challenge them. PLP claims this will deter ordinary citizens from mounting challenges and reduce their ability to obtain access to justice. It also claims that it is not lawful for the MoJ to introduce such radical changes to the system on the basis of ‘perfunctory consultation’ and in the ‘absence of any reasoned justification’. PLP also considers that the proposals are unlawful in view of the UK’s common law and international law obligations to ensure access to justice. Its director Diane Astin said: ‘PLP believes that the MoJ’s decision not to implement Lord Justice Jackson’s proposals on costs protection for most claimants in judicial review claims has not been thought through. ‘The proposed changes are likely to have a seriously detrimental effect on the ability of individuals and groups to challenge unlawful conduct by public bodies.’ Astin said the proposals should have been consulted on properly. She urged the government to withdraw its plans pending a thorough consultation on the likely impact on access to justice. Jamie Beagent, solicitor at Leigh Day & Co, said: ‘Access to justice is a fundamental right. The MoJ’s proposals will seriously hamper that right. ‘To undermine a key means by which the public can access the constitutional court of this country without introducing the balancing reforms recommended by Lord Justice Jackson is unjustifiable.’ A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: ‘The government set out its position on the reform of civil litigation funding and costs on 29 March. ‘This followed careful consideration of the responses received during a full public consultation. We have received a letter from Leigh Day and Co and will respond in due course.’last_img read more

Tingkatkan Kualitas Layanan, MRT Singapura Gandeng McLaren Gunakan Teknologi Formula 1

first_imgLibursantai.com Moda transportasi massal semakin hari semakin berkembang dengan adanya minat ditambah antusias masyarakat yang menggunakannya setiap hari. Kehadiran Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) di Singapura yang menunjang transportasi masyarakatnya membuat SMRT selaku operator berupaya meningkatkan kualitas layanannya.Baca juga: Tempatkan Tenaga Ahli di Kereta Nirawak, MRT Singapura Mampu Saingi Kinerja Sistem Metro TaipeiSMRT baru-baru ini menggandeng McLaren Applied Technologies yang merupakan bagian dari tim Formula 1 (F1) untuk bekerja sama dalam solusi pemantauan motor, rem, sistem pneumatik dan gearbox di kereta MRT Singapura. SMRT mengatakan, data yang ada nantinya digunakan untuk pengambilan keputusan sehingga layanan bisa lebih optimal. KabarPenumpang.com melansir dari channelnewsasia.com (15/3/2018), bahwa pemantauan semacam ini menurut SMRT biasa digunakan oleh mobil balap F1 untuk memberikan informasi penting yang berasal dari pengambilan data secara spesifik dan real time pada kru dan teknisi F1.“Di Singapura, SMRT telah merintis pengembangan sensor pemantauan kondisi rel untuk meminimalkan gangguan pada layanan komuter kami, mengoptimalkan kinerja kereta api dengan mendeteksi dan memperbaiki masalah yang muncul lebih dini. Kami berharap dapat berkolaborasi dengan McLaren Applied Technologies untuk meningkatkan kemampuan ini lebih jauh, menggabungkan keahlian teknik kami di bidang kereta api dengan kemampuan mereka yang terbukti memanfaatkan sensor, telemetri dan perangkat lunak di motorsport,” ujar CEO SMRT Desmond Kuek.Kuek mengatakan, teknologi McLaren ini akan disesuaikan dan dipasang pada kereta SMRT akhir tahun 2018. Sementara itu, McLaren Group Acting CEO Dick Glover mengatakan, pihaknya sangat antusias dan menyambut baik kerja sama dengan SMRT.“Kami sangat antusias untuk mengikuti langkah pertama ini di Singapura bersama SMRT, bekerja sama untuk menyesuaikan teknologi motorsport kami yang telah terbukti untuk mengoptimalkan kinerja armada dan memberikan perbaikan berkesinambungan terhadap pengalaman penumpang,” ujar Glover.Baca juga: Remajakan Armada, MRT Singapura Adopsi Kursi Lipat Guna Antisipasi Lonjakan PenumpangDiketahui, MRT Singapura kini mulai berbenah setelah beberapa masalah yang membuat layanannya terganggu pada tahun 2017 kemarin. Salah satunya adalah terowongan MRT yang tergenang banjir antara stasiun Bishan dan Braddell dan melumpuhkan perjalanan MRT selama 20 jam.Tak hanya itu, masalah tabrakan antar sesama kereta MRT pada November 2017 lalu juga mengakibatkan 29 orang luka-luka. Sehingga operasional di jalur stasiun Joo Koon menuju Tuas Link dihentikan seharian.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… Relatedlast_img read more