Researchers at Johns Hopkins University explored the association between psychedelics like psilocybin and consciousness in their new findings.
First published online in Frontiers in Psychology, the study involved a survey administered to more than 1,600 respondents who advocated psychedelic beliefs.
The attributions of consciousness of the participants were rated before and after being administered psychedelics.
“From before the experience to after, there were large increases in attribution of consciousness to various entities including non-human primates (63–83%), quadrupeds (59–79%), insects (33–57%), fungi (21–56%), plants (26–61%), inanimate natural objects (8–26%), and inanimate manmade objects (3–15%),” according to researchers.
“Higher ratings of mystical experience were associated with greater increases in the attribution of consciousness. Moreover, the increased attributions of consciousness did not decrease in those who completed the survey years after the psychedelic experience.”
The findings showed that increases in the attribution of consciousness to various entities were associated with reported belief-changing psychedelic experiences.
“This survey suggests that a single psychedelic experience can increase beliefs that living and non-living entities have the capacity for conscious awareness but does not change beliefs regarding superstitions or freewill,” researchers concluded.