Pattern Breaking: A Complex Systems Approach to Psychedelic Medicine

This paper (by Inês Hipólito‬, Jonas Mago, Fernando Rosas, and Robin Carhart-Harris) has been published by PsyArXiv Preprints. The abstract says:

“Recent research has demonstrated the potential of psychedelic therapy for mental health care. However, the psychological experience underlying its therapeutic effects remain poorly understood. This paper proposes a framework that suggests psychedelics act as destabilisers, both psychologically and neurophysiologically. Drawing on the ‘entropic brain’ hypothesis and the ‘RElaxed Beliefs Under pSychedelics’ (REBUS) model, this paper focuses on the richness of psychological experience. Through a complex systems theory perspective, we suggest that psychedelics destabilize fixed points or attractors, breaking reinforced patterns of thinking and behaving. Our approach explains how psychedelic-induced increases in brain entropy destabilize neurophysiological set-points and leads to new conceptualizations of psychedelic psychotherapy. These insights have important implications for risk mitigation and treatment optimization in psychedelic medicine, both during the peak psychedelic experience and during the sub-acute period of potential recovery.”

You can read the full paper from here.

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