Here is the Abstract:
Ayahuasca, a South American psychotropic plant tea obtained from Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria virids, combines monoamine-oxidas-inhibiting B-carbpline alkaloids with N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic agent showing 5-HT agonist activity. The spatial distribution of ayahuasca-induced changes in brain electrical activity was investigated by means of low resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). Electroencephalography (EEG) recordings were obtained from eighteen volunteers with prior experience in the use of psychedelics after the administration of the 0.85 mg DMT/kg body weight dose of encapsulated freeze-dried ayahuasca and placebo. The intracerebral power density distribution was computed with LORETA from spectrally analyzed data. Statistically significant differences with placebo were observed at 60 and 90 minutes after dosing. Ayahuasca decreased power density in the alpha-2, delta, theta and beta1 frequency bands. This pattern of effects in analogous to that of the classical psychedelics and point out the involvement of 5-HT receptor agonism in the neurochemical effects of ayahuasca. Power decreases in the delta, alpha-2 and beta-1 bands were found predominantly over the temporo-parieto-occipital junction, whereas theta power were reduced in the temporomedial cortex and in frontomedial regions. The present results suggest the involvement of unimodal and heteromodal association cortex and limbic structures in the psychological effects elicited by ayahuasca.
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