I don't know about you, but sometimes when I'm roaming the Internet for interesting blog topics, I inevitably stumble on some site about drugs. It might not be a bad idea to document psychedelic experiences, since in it is science after all. We're talking about changing the chemical composition of the human body and trying to identify the results.
The unfortunate part about such reports on these experiences is that sometimes the comments are from a bunch of burnouts and sound a lot like, "Man, I'm so high" or "I was trippin' balls." In order to figure out how the brain responds to psychedelics, Matthew Baggot (University of Chicago) and a few colleagues are working on a way for computer-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide a much more precise portrayal of each individual trip.
Making DMT Less Cool Sounding.
There are sites like Erowid that pride themselves on documenting the complexity of the human-to-drug relationship. Unlike many other sites, Erowid can boast it provides scientific information, general experience information, street knowledge, and warnings about the most popular drugs from tobacco to MDMA to DMT.
Baggot and crew have decided to take information from each site and run it through their algorithms. For instance, DMT and Savlia are different substances with different effects, but information describing the experiences of both have very familiar descriptions. If both drugs were to be smoked, the AI would see similarities since they both hit the bloodstream at a fast rate. While the information from the AI is still in progress, it seems to be that the AI could accurately describe psychedelic experiences, point out similarities and differences, and perhaps figure out what thoughts derived while or after using a certain drug.
Figuring Out How Bath Salts Turn Humans Into Zombies.
Although it's not the main intent behind the robo-tripping experiment, the information gathered could explain why people think what they do under the influence. In another words, they could hypothesize why bath salts have lead to over 15 stories of crime. My argument is that bath salts are more like PCP than cocaine or marijuana, but I only know what I've been taught in psychology courses and really dramatic Just-Say-No videos from the 1980s. Besides, Patrick Bateman snorted some coke in American Psycho and ended up murdering dozens of women in his thoughts, right?
I guess the most interesting part of this topic to me centers around artists. Believe it or not, a lot of artists have been known to experiment a time or two in their lives. I'm just wondering if this science will be able to determined where certain painters obtained their ideas, or where writers like Poe, King, or Huxley found their inspiration.
You Might Also Enjoy:
New Scientist - Computer AI Makes Sense of Psychedelics Trips
Quantitative Analysis of Narrative Reports of Psychedelic Drugs
DMT: The Spirit Molecule
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.