Drug chemistry and it's effect on the brain

Discussion in 'Free School' started by Cris123456789, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Cris123456789

    Cris123456789 Member

    Hello there guys. So if anyone is curiuos on drug chemistry or it's effect on the human body or even anything as far fetched as quantum physics, im willing to share the wealth of knowledge :)
  2. FlyingFly

    FlyingFly Dickens

    be my master
  3. Cris123456789

    Cris123456789 Member

    Any particular interests?
  4. FlyingFly

    FlyingFly Dickens

    particularly everything

    What decides if substance will pass the blood-brain barrier?
    What does it do when it is in brain and how does it remove itself.

    Depending on what it is it connects to its corresponding receptors and then what?
    How exactly it does affect our vision and how exactly our vision works. All I know is that when photons hit your eye the data is being transported to the neurons.

    How is this data represented and how is it stored? Can it be represented as a binary value?
    Can we somehow hijack this data and make human eye act as a camera? So you could see on screen what the person is seeing?

    And at this point how does the psychedelic substance affect our vision? Does it transform visual data, or does it change the way we interprete it?

    If our memory is stored in a brain is it possible to read it by a computer program? Were there any studies like this, is it possibile, anyone tried it?
  5. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    The ability of a substance to pass the blood brain barrier is partly determined by the size of the substance, its solubility, and whether or not there are any specific proteins present to transport it across the barrier.

    Once inside the brain a substance essentially diffuses. It may bond at a receptor site of a neuron, by basically randomly bumping into it (but of course it has to be the right kind of molecule to bind at any given site). When this happens ion channels will open allowing different chemicals (Na+, Cl-, K+) to enter or leave the receptor, thus altering the electrical potential of the membrane. A neurotransmitter can be inhibitory (decrease the likelihood of generating a potential) or excitatory (increase the likelihood of a potential). If excitation occurs to a sufficient degree an electrical discharge, or action potential, will be triggered. This will trigger a series of action potentials down all of the nodes in the axon of the neuron, potentially resulting in the release of a neurotransmitter, which crosses the synaptic gap and starts the process over at another receptor. Neurotransmitters, endogenous or foreign, eventually break down and are metabolized. Some substances may be actively transported out of the brain, others may be reused in the synthesis of new chemicals.

    When photons strike photo receptive cells at the back of the eye, in the retina, special protein molecules break away from the cells resulting in a change in the electrical potential of the membrane, potentially resulting in an electrical discharge like that described above. The data, as it exists at this level, at the retina, could potentially be represented in binary, as any given neuron either fires its complete charge, or fires no charge at all.

    The human eye would be a poor camera. The images that you perceive as you look around the room are recreated by the brain after a huge amount of processing.The image on the retina looks nothing like the world we see.

    The computational theory of mind, which posits that the brain is a computational device, is in fact true. This implies that it is at least theoretically possible to translate data in the brain into other mediums. However too little is currently known about how the brain stores data to make such an attempt plausible.

    As for the question of how psychedelics effect vision, that is far beyond my knowledge of psychology. Visual refinement actually begins before the nerve signals leave the eye, and after that a huge array of modules are involved in processing that data downstream. These modules are arranged into layers. Quite a bit is known about them. Get a physiological psychology textbook if you want to know more about them (for example, Foundations of Physiological Psychology by Neil R. Carlson).

    Psychedelics like DMT, LSD, and psilocybin are similar in structure to serotonin, and they bond at the same sites as serotonin. Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), in case you don't know, is an endogenous neurotransmitter. Their are several different kinds of serotonin receptor, and they have far reaching effects throughout the brain. Little is known about the specific actions of psychedelics at these receptor sites, though some basic research has been done.

    For a non-technical but very informative explanation of the mind take a look at How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker.
  6. Lodog

    Lodog killing them softly

    How come when I take acid and eventually fart that signals coming down? On a few bad trips I've farted and said "Thank God! I'm finally comeing down!"

    I'm sure I'm onto something here.
  7. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    Assuming that you are serious Lodog, I have no idea. I've never had a similar experience, and I've never heard one from someone else either.

    A few interesting things to note however: People on psychedelics, even if they haven't eaten in a while, seem in my experience to not feel hunger until close to the end of the trip.

    However I have had the experience, and others I know have had it too, of purging during a trip and having that experience be the most intense part of the trip, rather than signaling the come down.

    At first glance there doesn't seem to be a systematic relationship between the stages of the trip and the activities of the digestive and excretory systems. Oddly enough I would be interested to find out more.
  8. FlyingFly

    FlyingFly Dickens

    Interesting read. Thanks for it.
    Have you been studying medicine?

    Could suggest some books or articles to read about these or similar topics, please?
  9. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    Glad you found it interesting FlyingFly. I do not study medicine but I have a bachelors degree in psychology, and I focused on the biological aspects of psychology during my studies. I also have a degree in Computer Information Systems, and honestly I have found that degree absolutely instrumental in understanding psychology. This is why I am a huge proponent of the computational theory of mind.

    If you want to understand the structure of the brain, and its bio-chemical properties then I would recommend Foundations of Physiological Psychology by Neil R. Carlson. You can probably find an older used edition (for example 7th edition should be used but relatively up to date).

    If you are interested in the information processing aspects of the brain check out How the Mind Works by Stephen Pinker. That one is non-technical. Considering you asked about binary I would assume you have an interest in information processing, and to that extent I would highly recommend this one. Pinker is committed to the information processing model of the mind.

    If you are currently enrolled in a university you may have free access to many scientific journals through your school. If that is the case the library staff would know how to locate those materials. Use academic search engines to find relevant data. Check psychology and pharmacology to start.

    The only material that I have which relates directly to psychology and psychedelics is the works of Stanislov Graff. He was kind of a quack though so I wouldn't really recommend it.

    Most pharmacology texts provide very brief coverage of psychedelics. This really reflects how little research has been done, thanks to governmental regulation.
  10. baleoda

    baleoda Member

    when i take psychedelics they're like stims. i don't want to eat at all, anyone else like this??
  11. Crystal_Nocked

    Crystal_Nocked Well-Known Member

    First off you should know that the field you're referring to is called pharmacology.

    More specifically, when dealing with psychotropic medications, we call it psychopharmacology.

    So....yeah, what would you like to know? It was a subdiscipline in my college major, which was Psychology.


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