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Perception, Cognition and Ayahuasca A Multidimensional Analysis of Alter States of Consciousness

Suay, Dila (2024) Perception, Cognition and Ayahuasca A Multidimensional Analysis of Alter States of Consciousness. Advisor: Bottari, Prof. Davide. pp. 170. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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My Ph.D. thesis comprises a series of experiments aimed at investigating the impact of a novel ayahuasca analog, pharmahuasca (PHA), on face perception and creative cognition. These studies were executed with a within-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled design involving 30 healthy male participants. Chapter 2 centers on the effects of psychedelics on face perception, utilizing electroencephalography (EEG) during a visual oddball task with self, familiar, and unknown faces as stimuli. Notable changes induced by PHA in early visual processing, such as increased P1 and reduced N170 across all face categories, were observed. In late visual processing, a decrease in neural activation in response to the self-face, as indicated by the P300 wave, highlights the significance of psychedelics in altering self-referential information processing. Additionally, the impact of psychedelics on face discrimination was explored through a two-alternative forced choice (2-AFC) task, where faces are incrementally morphed to each other, revealing a decreased sensitivity for discrimination during psychedelic experiences across all face categories. Chapter 3 shifts focus to understanding how psychedelics influence creative cognition. Through task-based methodologies, the findings unveil a reduction in convergent thinking without affecting on divergent thinking. Next, we investigate how utilization of different thinking modes during the artistic creation, specifically in the domain of painting, under the influence of psychedelics. Importantly, there was a significant reduction in transitions between different creative thinking modes during the psychedelic-induced creative process, particularly affecting stages traditionally requiring convergent thinking, offered valuable insights into the phenomenological nuances of the interplay between psychedelics and the dynamics of creative thinking.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
PhD Course: Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.13118/imtlucca/e-theses/416
NBN Number: urn:nbn:it:imtlucca-30053
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2024 09:10
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/416

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