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

Invasive species taking over Dominica’s sea grass

first_img Share 211 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Dominica’s native sea grass types featured in Dr. Steiner’s presentation.Dominica is losing its sea grass population to invasive species named halophilia stipulacea, a survey conducted by a group of marine biologists has found.Dr. Sascha C. C. Steiner of the Institute for Tropical Marine Technology along with a team of five other marine biologists conducted extensive surveys of Dominica’s underwater in 2008 and again in 2013.The findings, which he declared “very, very striking”, were presented at a workshop on Monday March 25th at the Fisheries Complex in Roseau.“Our native west coast sea grass S. Filiforme, in 2008 grew up to shallows of two metres and it would go all the way down to approximately just about twenty metres that was usually just the end. Now, if you’re somewhere around fifteen, fourteen metres and you go deep you don’t see S. Filiforme again. It’s gone and the entire space is taken up by the invasive species,” Dr Steiner revealed. Dr. Sascha C. C. Steiner is a marine biologists who works with the Institute for Tropical Marine TechnologyHe explained however, that there are a few areas, between Coulibistrie and Colihaut all the way up to the way up to Pointe Round, where the invasive species have not been able to penetrate.“The only places where you see S. Filiforme, as far as we understand it now, are areas where if…fifty percent is sand and fifty percent is sea grass, and it’s a pure strand of the native sea grass, the invasive doesn’t seem to be able to come in and that is what we now call a stronghold”. He recommended that the S. Filiforme strongholds are maintained and that a research is conducted to inquire whether the invasive species are toxic. If they are not found to be toxic, he suggested that they could probably be used as a vegetable in similar fashion as the watercress. Dr. Steiner emphasized that sea grass should not be confused with sea moss or algae which is used to make the popular drink called seamoss. Seventeen citizens participating in the workshop at the Fisheries Complex on Monday“We’re talking about flowering plants just like you have plants on land or if you imagine grass on land with flowers and with seeds, that’s what we are talking about. These particular species just happen to grow within the marine environment,” Dr Steiner said.A website; www.itme.org/mhdm has been created to disseminate the information and empower the public. “The way research is structured in Dominica with people coming and going, very often the information is not left here, or it is in a format that is very difficult to understand by a large audience. Now the intent of this site is to basically break that and open up information to a larger audience,” he noted. On the website, one can find the habitat types, where they can be found and descriptions about them, and information relative to Dominica’s diverse marine habitat types gathered between 1999 and 2009. Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img LocalNews Invasive species taking over Dominica’s sea grass by: – March 26, 2013 Tweet Sharelast_img read more

Louisville Bats’ purple inspired by U of L, UK

first_imgWho knew the Louisville Bats’ puns went beyond their mascot?SportsLogos.net featured the local Triple-A baseball club last week as part of a series looking into origins of team logos and colors. In the article, Greg Galiette, the team’s senior vice president, revealed how the Bats settled on their primary purple.“In this college basketball, college sports-crazed state and area that we live in,” Galiette said, “if you take the red of the University of Louisville and blue of University of Kentucky, mix the two together, you come up with purple.”Getting the everyday nine to wear the color hasn’t been much of a challenge, either.Galiette said that last year, the Bats switched up their alternate uniforms from a solid black to a “really bright, vivid purple, and the guys really enjoyed playing in those.”Paul Caputo’s article details the Triple-A club’s switch from Redbirds to Bats amid its move to Louisville Slugger Field — Galiette was afraid at first a Bat “might scare some kids” — as well as evolution to one of minor league baseball’s sleekest logos.Check out the full story here: http://bit.ly/1x6M1L4IN THE C-J• The U of L women’s basketball program rolled out its broadcast schedule for the upcoming season on Wednesday, with the main concern for local fans that an anticipated Dec. 7 matchup against rival UK won’t be televised outside of ESPN3.com. And it won’t be picked up for TV later. (http://cjky.it/1uAUzsL)• Here’s your reminder that Churchill Downs’ November Meet is in full swing, and we’ve got as close to a sure thing as there is in J.J. Hysell’s Play of the Day. For Thursday, the gamble costs $6. (http://cjky.it/1uAUBkw)• U of L spokesman Mark Hebert’s letter to Clemson’s hometown paper about positive treatment at the Cardinals-Tigers game last month has caught on. Did you have a similar experience in “Death Valley”? Let us know. (http://cjky.it/1tLW1qM)AROUND THE WEB• Former Wildcat Rajon Rondo collected his 20th career triple-double Wednesday night, evening him with LeBron James in that category since the 2008-2009 season. Naturally, trade talks are starting again, this time pointing the Louisville native to the struggling Los Angeles Lakers. (http://bit.ly/1E8dD1m)• ESPN’s Andrea Adelson added to a common sentiment this week when she wrote wondering, essentially, what if U of L’s DeVante Parker and Micheal Dyer had been healthy all season? “Does Louisville lose to Virginia and Clemson?” she asked in the article. (http://es.pn/1pqhhSY)• USA Today’s Dan Wolken wrote of the increasing trend of college football programs scheduling games 10 years in advance, pointing out that strength of schedule now may mean nothing later with a program like Mississippi State. The trend hasn’t hit U of L or UK yet, though the Cards and Cats did recently extend their Governor’s Cup contract through 2019. (http://usat.ly/1tLW99L) Jonathan Lintner can be reached at (502) 582-4199. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanLintner .last_img read more