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June 16, 2022 75 mins

Is it possible that MDMA and psychedelics offer a master key for reopening the “critical periods” in our infancy when the brain’s development and maturation is strongly dependent on experience or environmental influences? Gul Dolen, a brilliant neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University, has approached this crucial question by administering these drugs not just to humans but also mice and octopuses. Her research suggests that these drugs are proving so valuable therapeutically because they all reopen these critical periods, in effect making an old brain young again, and allowing one to go back to that state where you’re receptive to the world like a child. We talked about her theories and speculations, the importance of social setting in psychedelics research, the relevance of her research insights into healthy aging, why macrodosing is much more significant than microdosing, and the potential of psychedelics to heal not just psychological conditions but physical ones as well.

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