Researchers to Test Virtual Psychedelics on AI to Help Understand Effects on Human Brains

January 20, 2021 14:05:05

While psychedelics gain popularity across the media through various clinical trials and research studies, it is important to remember that there is still a lot about them that we don’t know, including how they cause strange hallucinations and how they affect the brain.

Because psychedelics cannot be easily tested on humans, researchers from the University of Geneva and Imperial College London are working on testing virtual psychedelics on artificial intelligence (“AI”) algorithms. This will help researchers learn more about psychedelic substances while also exploring how artificial intelligence responds to a substance that is known to influence the brain of humans.

The researchers first had to develop a virtual version before they could test the psychedelic substances. They made a digital DMT version using neural networks that created images. DMT is a popular natural psychedelic that has been used in rituals across the globe for centuries and is known to cause strong hallucinations. The psychedelic can also be made in the lab synthetically.

Neuroscientist Michael Schartner revealed in an interview that deep neural networks were the advanced models for parts of a human’s visual system. He added that they could help explain how psychedelics affected perception while also being used to guide theories on how sensory information was hindered from updating information in the brain.

In past studies, researchers have discovered hallucinations linked to psychedelic drugs are associated with the serotonin receptors in the brain. While this is useful information, it does not explain why psychedelics are able to alter an individual’s consciousness.

With the researchers using virtual DMT and a working neural network for their research, they can begin unraveling the mystery of how psychedelics work in the brain. In addition to this, researchers will also search for similarities in the way psychedelics are processed in a neural network versus in the human brain.

So far, the team of researchers assert that their AI works in a way similar to a human’s visual cortex. They claim that the comparison is more realistic than one might expect. Schartner explains that the process of producing natural images with deep neural networks can be upset in similar ways visually, which provides mechanistic insights into how the brain works, while also offering a tool to sum up reports of psychedelic experiences verbally.

If the researchers are able to confirm that neural networks can be utilized in testing specific drugs, that confirmation would be a cutting-edge development for the pharmaceutical world. The findings of the current study have been reported in the “Neuroscience of Consciousness” journal.

One company that is positioning itself as a leader in the emerging psychedelics sector is Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC Pink: PRXTF). This company is leveraging its capacity to quickly develop medicinal and functional mushroom products.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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