Semantic Apparatus – DMT Models the Near-Death Experience

Cited by Lee Sonogan

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Abstract by Christopher TimmermannLeor RosemanLuke WilliamsDavid ErritzoeCharlotte MartialHéléna CassolSteven LaureysDavid NuttRobin Carhart-Harris 

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are complex subjective experiences, which have been previously associated with the psychedelic experience and more specifically with the experience induced by the potent serotonergic, N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Potential similarities between both subjective states have been noted previously, including the subjective feeling of transcending one’s body and entering an alternative realm, perceiving and communicating with sentient ‘entities’ and themes related to death and dying. In this within-subjects placebo-controled study we aimed to test the similarities between the DMT state and NDEs, by administering DMT and placebo to 13 healthy participants, who then completed a validated and widely used measure of NDEs. Results revealed significant increases in phenomenological features associated with the NDE, following DMT administration compared to placebo. Also, we found significant relationships between the NDE scores and DMT-induced ego-dissolution and mystical-type experiences, as well as a significant association between NDE scores and baseline trait ‘absorption’ and delusional ideation measured at baseline. Furthermore, we found a significant overlap in nearly all of the NDE phenomenological features when comparing DMT-induced NDEs with a matched group of ‘actual’ NDE experiencers. These results reveal a striking similarity between these states that warrants further investigation.

Publication: Psychedelic Research Group, Centre for Psychiatry, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom. The Computational, Cognitive & Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom. GIGA-Consciousness and Neurology Department, Coma Science Group, University of Liège and University Hospital of Liège, Liège, Belgium. PUB DATE: 2018 Aug PMID: 30174629 PMCID: PMC6107838 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01424 – Includes Raw Data Figures

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