What happens to your brain if you experience hallucinations? Colorful fragments, turbulent faces or strange looks are just some of the hallucinations that may come as a result of a nervous system disorder.
A new study on mice is just a small step towards identifying the factors that cause hallucinations. Types of some drugs are one of the main factors that cause the brain region responsible for the vision to be disordered and neurons function in an erratic way.
Niel and some of his colleagues were interested in studying the role of a type of receptor or serotonin receptor 2A respectively. These receptors play an important role in perception. Some types of drugs such as LSD or ‘magic fungus’ target these receptors causing hallucinations.
In the study conducted by dr. Niels used mice, who were given a dose of a drug that causes hallucinations, which was also used in previous studies. They were then monitored by electrodes and by a microscopic view technique to see the functioning of their neurons. The effect of these drugs has been difficult to identify because mice can not show the type of hallucinations they see.
It is still unknown whether drugs give direct effect to the brain, or the effects of drugs are indirectly attributed. Researchers plan to find the answers to these dilemmas by using techniques that target 2A receptors in the brain region that is responsible for vision. These studies are published in the Cell Reports magazine