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Psychedelic Experience as a Heuristic Tool for Exploring the Mind and the Brain

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Abstract

I discuss the ontological nature and heuristic value of psychedelic experience. I argue that psychedelic phenomena may manifest the activity of certain mental formations and brain mechanisms that otherwise remain hidden. Thus, psychedelic phenomena can be heuristic tools and intriguing objects of the scientific study. I consider two types of psychedelic phenomena in particular. The first is the moral cleansing that may accompany a psychedelic trip. The second is the appearance of visual and auditory hallucinations. I establish a unified explanatory ground for the phenomena that are commonly viewed as distinct in their genesis. I explain both types of phenomena as products of the amplified imaginative ability of the brain under a substance’s influence. I suggest that the activation of imagination causes an increased empathy and thus accentuates moral feelings. I propose the hypothesis that hallucinations are mental objects of a quantum nature. I argue that no ontologically separate reality stands behind psychedelic visions.

Alyushin, A. (2011). Psychedelic Experience as a Heuristic Tool for Exploring the Mind and the Brain. NeuroQuantology, 9(3), 577‐590. http://dx.doi.org/10.14704/nq.2011.9.3.419
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