Think Smart: How Psilocybin Mushrooms and Cognitive Learning Theory Can Work Together

Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms, are a type of fungi that contain a psychoactive compound that can induce profound changes in the brain and mind. Psilocybin can stimulate neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections between neurons¹²³. Psilocybin can also enhance metacognition, which is the ability to reflect on one’s own thoughts, feelings, and actions⁴. By boosting neuroplasticity and metacognition, psilocybin mushrooms can help you transform your life in various ways, such as improving your mental health, creativity, empathy, spirituality, and well-being .

Cognitive learning theory is a framework that explains how internal and external factors influence an individual’s mental processes to supplement learning. Cognitive learning theory focuses on helping you learn how to maximize your brain’s potential by using strategies such as attention, observation, retrieval from long-term memory, and categorization. Cognitive learning theory also encourages you to think about how you think, or practice metacognition. By using cognitive learning theory, you can learn to process new information more effectively, solve problems more efficiently, and apply your knowledge more flexibly.

What if you could combine the benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and cognitive learning theory? According to a recent study published in the journal NeuroImage, this might be possible.⁵ The study involved 24 healthy volunteers who received either psilocybin or a placebo before engaging in a cognitive learning task. The task involved learning to associate abstract images with monetary rewards or punishments. The researchers measured the participants’ brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and their performance using behavioral tests.

The results showed that psilocybin enhanced the participants’ ability to learn from positive feedback and avoid negative feedback. Psilocybin also increased the activity of brain regions involved in cognitive control, such as the prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex. These brain regions are responsible for regulating attention, decision-making, and metacognition. The researchers concluded that psilocybin might enhance cognitive learning by facilitating neuroplasticity and metacognition.

The study suggests that psilocybin mushrooms and cognitive learning theory can work together to enhance your brain and mind. By taking psilocybin mushrooms under safe and legal conditions, you might be able to improve your ability to learn from feedback and adapt to changing situations. By applying cognitive learning theory principles, you might be able to optimize your mental processes and achieve your learning goals. By combining psilocybin mushrooms and cognitive learning theory, you might be able to unlock your full potential and transform your life.


¹: de Vos CMH, Mason NL, Kuypers KPC. Psychedelics and Neuroplasticity: A Systematic Review Unraveling the Biological Underpinnings of Psychedelics. Front Psychiatry. 2021;12:724606. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.724606

²: Ly C et al. Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neural Plasticity. Cell Rep. 2018;23(11):3170-3182. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2018.05.022

³: Catlow BJ et al. Effects of psilocybin on hippocampal neurogenesis and extinction of trace fear conditioning. Exp Brain Res. 2013;228(4):481-491. doi:10.1007/s00221-013-3579-0

⁴: Carhart-Harris RL et al. Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109(6):2138-2143. doi:10.1073/pnas.1119598109

⁵: Barrett FS, Bolbecker MJ, Millward BA, Seminowicz DA, Griffiths RR, Doss MK. Psilocybin acutely alters the functional connectivity of the claustrum with brain networks that support perception, memory, and attention. NeuroImage. 2020;221:117210. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117210

Published by Ashley Ryan, M.S.

Ashley is an educator and coach who earned her M.S. from Colorado State University.

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