MICHAEL POLLAN: So how do these psychedelics work?
Well, the honest answer is: We don’t entirely know.
说实话 我们完全不清楚
But we know a few things.
One is, they fit a certain receptor site — the serotonin 52A receptor —
and they look a lot like serotonin,
if you look at the molecular models of them.
And in fact, LSD fits that receptor site even better than serotonin does,
事实上 迷幻剂能更好地刺激血清素受体
and it stays there longer,
and that’s why the LSD trip can last 12 hours.
What happens after that, we don’t really know.
It’s an agonist to that receptor, so it increases its activity.
致幻剂是血清素受体激动剂 所以能增加其活性
And this, the neuroscientists say, “leads to a cascade of effects,”
神经科学家说 这会“导致一连串的影响”
which is shorthand for “don’t really know what happens next.”
But one thing we do know, or we think we know,
is that it appears that one particular brain network is deactivated or quieted,
服用致幻剂后 大脑中某个网络会停用或沉寂
and that is the default mode network.
This was discovered not very long ago by a researcher in England named Robin Carhart-Harris,
who was dosing people with psilocybin and LSD
and then sliding them into an MRI machine to take an FMRI, a Functional Magnetic Resonance Image.
然后把他们放进核磁共振机 进行成像
And the expectation, I think, was that people would see an excitation of many, many different networks in the brain.
That’s what the kind of mental firework foretold.
But he was very surprised to discover that one particular network was down-regulated,
但他非常惊讶地发现 大脑中有一个特定的网络受到抑制
and that was this default mode network.
So what is that?
Well, it’s a tightly linked set of structures
connecting the prefrontal cortex to the posterior cingulate cortex to deeper, older centers of emotion and memory.
把前额叶皮层和后扣带叶皮层连接到 更深更久远的情绪和记忆中心
It appears to be involved in things like self reflection, theory of mind (the ability to impute mental states to others),
它涉及自省 心智理论(体察他人心理状态的能力)
mental time travel (the ability to project forward in time and back)
which is central to creating an identity, right?
这些是创造一个身份的核心要素 不是吗?
You don’t have an identity without a memory.
And the so-called autobiographical memory,
所谓的“自传体记忆” 它有一种功能
the function by which we construct the story of who we are
by taking the things that happen to us and folding them into that narrative,
and that appears to take place in the posterior cingulate cortex.
So to the extent the ego can be said to have a location in the brain,
所以某种程度上说 自我在大脑中有一个定位
it appears to be this, the default mode network.
It’s active when you’re doing nothing,
when your mind is wandering.
It can be very self critical.
It’s where self talk takes place.
And that goes quiet.
And when that goes quiet, the brain is sort of, as one of the neuroscientists put it,
let off the leash
because those ego functions, that self idea, is a regulator of all mental activity.
And the brain is a hierarchical system and the default mode network appears to be at the top;
大脑是一个等级系统 默认模式网络似乎位于顶端
it’s kind of the orchestra conductor or corporate executive.
And you take that out of the picture,
and suddenly you have this uprising from other parts of the brain,
and you have networks that don’t ordinarily communicate with one another suddenly striking up conversations.
一般情况下 你的大脑网络不会突然开始对话交流
So you might have the visual cortex talking to the auditory system
而服用致幻剂后 视觉皮层和听觉系统进行交流
and suddenly you’re seeing music.
Or it becomes palpable.
You can feel it or smell it — synesthesia.
So you have this temporary rewiring of the brain in the absence of the control of the regulator.
在缺乏调节器控制的情况下 大脑会出现这种临时性的重组
And this appears to have a beneficial effect in terms of jogging the brain out of bad patterns.
Many of the disorders that psychedelics appear to treat well are manifestations of a stuck brain,
a brain that is locked in loops, a mind that’s telling itself destructive stories,
like ‘I can’t get through the day without a cigarette.
I’m unworthy of love.
My work is shit.’
These kinds of evidence of habitual thinking in a really negative loop are relieved.
And it may be that an overactive ego is what punishes us.
And that relief from that dictator is exactly
what some people need to free themselves from habits — mental habits and behavioral habits.
That, at least, is the theory.
至少 理论上是这样
I think there’s a lot more we need to learn,
but it’s a very provocative theory.
And then if we have a tool for behavior change, that’s a huge deal.
I mean, I know, having worked on food for many years,
that changing people’s food habits as adults is almost impossible.
We are creatures of habit in many, many ways.
And the older we get, the worse it gets.
人越老 这种情况就越严重
So if we have something that can kind of lubricate cognition, that can shake the snow globe,
所以如果真的有东西能改变认知 将产生巨大轰动
as another researcher put it, this might be very helpful in helping people escape these traps.
正如另一位研究人员所说 这可能有助于人们规避弱点


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