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Does Psilocybin Mushroom Increase Creativity?

Yes, Psilocybin mushroom increases creativity, according to the study published by Luisa Prochazkova and others on springer.com. The study suggests that using magic mushrooms and truffles in low doses could induce an unconstrained thought state and produce new and creative ideas.

Luisa Prochazkova gave 36 participants tasks to assess how they find a single solution to a problem (convergent thinking), solve new problems (fluid intelligence), and find many solutions to a problem (divergent thinking). After taking 0.37 grams of dried truffles, participants showed improved creativity, convergent thinking, and divergent thinking.

In this article, we will discuss the impact of psilocybin mushrooms on creativity, research on psilocybin and cognitive development, and the potential benefits of psilocybin for artists and innovators. This article contains evidence that support improved creativity after taking psilocybin mushroom.

Impact of psilocybin mushrooms on creativity

Impact of psilocybin mushrooms on creativity

Scientists have been responding to anecdotal evidence from artists and musicians stating that psychedelic drugs especially magic mushrooms may boost creativity. The impact of psilocybin mushrooms on divergent and convergent thinking includes a boost in creativity, empathy, and convergent and divergent thinking. After taking low doses of psilocybin mushrooms, an unconstrained thought state occurs, resulting in new and creative ideas.

According to research by Natasha L. Mason and others from Maastricht University, psilocybin increased creativity and empathy in the participants for a week after drinking a psychedelic mushroom tea.

According to another research by Natasha on “Spontaneous and deliberate cognitive processes during and after psilocybin exposure,” psilocybin showed improved convergent thinking (logical thinking) and divergent thinking (imaginative thinking). The improvement in divergent thinking was more significant.

In that study, brain scans showed that psilocybin affected how different parts of the brain connected with each other. This change is linked to improved creativity and overall mental health.

Research on psilocybin and cognitive development

Research on psilocybin and cognitive development

The research team on psilocybin and cognitive development suggests that microdoses of psilocybin mushrooms improved creativity and cognitive performance, according to an article published by Justin N Bonnieux and others on sagepub.com.

Macrodoses of psilocybin seemed to reduce creativity and cognitive performance for a short period of time after taking psilocybin. However, this effect decreased over time, and an improvement in creativity and cognitive development was observed.

According to research done by Natasha Mason on Spontaneous and deliberate creative cognition, psilocybin improved creative thinking, including convergent thinking and divergent thinking, and increased spontaneous creative ideas after 1 week of taking psilocybin. 

The study showed that shortly after taking psilocybin, spontaneous creative ideas increased, but creative thinking decreased for a short period of time. After a week, participants who took psilocybin outperformed the placebo participants in creative thinking tasks.

The brain imaging showed new connections between different parts of the brain that are linked to improved creativity and cognitive development. These connections had immediate and lasting effects on how the brain function and creative processes reacted.

According to a study done by Sam Gandy and others, a psychedelic state was found to improve creativity, primarily scientific creativity. This state promoted scientific creativity, resulting in significant scientific insights and breakthroughs.

Personal Experiences

Personal Experiences

Pablo Amaringo is one of the world’s most famous artists. He is known for his intricate and colorful paintings inspired by his ayahuasca experiences, according to an interview given by Pablo Amaringo to kahpi.net.

In the interview, Pablo shared that he worked as a healer and shaman in the Amazon rainforest for several years. As a shaman, he experienced the effects of Ayahuasca.

After an encounter with biologists Denis Mckenna and Luis Eduardo Luna, he transitioned to painting his visions from psychedelic experiences of Ayahuasca. His paintings showcased the people’s daily lives in the Amazon and the profound spiritual insights from the psychedelic experiences of Ayahuasca.

Pablo’s paintings are a mix of mystical knowledge and real life. His paintings show humans with animal features, spirits taking many forms, plants, mystical beings, etc. Some of his remarkable paintings include ‘A Fines Espirituales’ (Spiritual Endeavour), ‘Hondas de la Ayahuasca’ (Ayahuasca Waves), etc. 

Maya Hayuk, an artist from Brooklyn, uses psychedelics to enhance creativity and change her perspective. She consumes psychedelics and draws inspiration for her art but never creates her art under psychedelic influences.

R. Crumb, a cartoonist, credits psychedelic experiences for his unique signature cartoon style. Reuven Israel, a sculptor, created sculptures showing his visions of oneness and constant geometry of the universe. He had these visions during his psychedelic and shamanic experiences.

What are the effects of LSD on cognitive function and creative thinking?

A study using functional magnetic resonance imaging found that even a tiny amount of LSD can change how different parts of the brain talk to each other. It’s like how you might have a group chat with your friends on your phone.

The anecdotal reports showed that this small amount of LSD made the “amygdala” (a part of the brain) talk to other parts in a different way than usual. It’s kind of like if suddenly your group chat with your friends started talking about different things than it used to. So, LSD can impact cognitive processes and creative thinking, even in small doses.

Potential Benefits of psilocybin for Artists and Innovators

Potential Benefits of psilocybin for Artists and Innovators

The potential benefits of psilocybin for artists and innovators include enhanced creativity, imaginative thinking, an increase in the number of spontaneous creative ideas, and reduced artistic blocks. According to artsy.net, artists like Adrian Piper and Yoko Ono used psychedelic substances to boost creativity and create unique artworks.

Microdosing psilocybin or other psychedelic substances has been used by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and innovators to boost creative and imaginative thinking and find unique solutions and products.

Artists who use psychedelics

Some of the artists who use psychedelics include Henri Michaux, Adrian Piper, Isaac Abrams, Steven Arnold, and Pablo Amaringo, according to leafie.co.uk’s top 5 list. The works of these artists are discussed below:

Henri Michaux – Dessin Mescalinien (Mescaline Drawing 1956-58)

Henri Michaux was a French writer, artist, and poet. He was born in Belgium. He documented his psychedelic experiences and their effects on his art in books like “Miserable Miracle.”

He started researching the effects of mescaline after the death of his wife. The psychedelic experiences inspired him to pay attention to details in his art. His drawings and paintings showcase the effects of psychedelic experiences.

Adrian Piper – LSD Self Portrait from the Inside Out (1966)

Adrian Piper experimented with LSD in 1965 before it was legal. Inspired by her LSD experiences, she created many paintings that showcase a sense of detachment from reality. Her self-portrait painting is one of such paintings.

Isaac Abrams – Cosmoerotico (1969)

Isaac Abrams was one of the first artists who used psychedelics. Inspired by the psychedelic experience in 1965, he started painting without prior formal training. Isaac’s art showcases the connection between mind, body, and art. His paintings are full of bright colors and swirling patterns.

Steven Arnold – Connecting to the Infinite (1986)

Steven Arnold – Connecting to the Infinite (1986)

Steven Arnold is an American artist. In 1964, while living in Spain, he experimented with LSD. Inspired by psychedelic experiences, he created many paintings and explored spirituality. His work, “Connecting to the Infinite,” is a brilliant picture exploring mythology and religious texts with a unique perspective. His art doesn’t fit the psychedelic style, but it is beautiful and other-worldly.

Pablo Amaringo – Templo Sacrosanto

Pablo Amaringo is a Peruvian artist. His paintings showcased his visions from the psychedelic experiences of ayahuasca. Prior to being an artist, he worked as a healer and shaman for several years. His paintings showcase his supernatural, ecological, and spiritual vision/

Famous Art made on psychedelics

Famous Art made on psychedelics

Some famous art made on psychedelics include Pablo Amaringo’s Huasi Yachana, Alex Grey’s St Albert and The LSD Revelation Revolution, Peter Max’s Love, etc. The list of top psychedelics, according to psytshirt.com, is given below:

The Hallucinogenic Toreador by Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali painted his most famous art between 1968 and 1970. This painting’s timeline suggests the use of psychedelic drugs influenced its creation.

Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch created this masterpiece in the early 16th century. This painting showcases heaven, earthly beauty, and hell, filled with dreamlike imagery.

St. Albert and The LSD Revelation Revolution by Alex Grey

Alex Grey painted this masterpiece tribute to Dr. Albert Hoffman’s LSD discovery.

Love by Peter Max

Peter Max painted this art in the late 60s, and it is filled with bright and bold psychedelic colors.

Huasi Yachana by Pablo Amaringo

Pablo painted this masterpiece using the inspiration from his visions from ayahuasca experiences. This painting showcases visuals from other worlds, shiny temples, and entrances to other realms.

I’ve Been There by Jonathan Solter

Jonathan painted this painting to reflect his psychedelic experiences. His art, “I’ve Been There,” showcases 3-dimensional landscapes consisting of geometry emitting energy and light.

The Solitron by Paul Laffoley

This masterpiece by Paul Laffoley showcases the visionary story of the Cosmos. Paul’s paintings reflect the vision of the universe, spirituality, and lives in other realms inspired by his psychedelic experiences.

The Apocalypse Chapel by Ernst Fuchs

Ernst took 20 years to finish this masterpiece. This painting showcases the biblical Apocalypse using psychedelic imagery inspired by his psychedelic experiences.

Jimmy Hendrix’s Explosion by Martin Sharp

Martin painted this painting to showcase the essence of the legendary musician Jimi Hendrix. He used vibrant colors to create this painting of Jimi performing live.

Neon Rose 12 (Chambers Bros at The Matrix) by Victor Moscoso

Victor created Neon Rose 12 with unique psychedelic color combinations. It is a poster promoting a concert by The Chambers Brothers.

FAQs

What are the Cognitive Benefits of Psychedelics?

The cognitive benefits of Psychedelics, such as psilocybin mushrooms, include enhanced creativity, increased empathy, and boosted imaginative thinking.

Who invented psychedelic art?

Wes Wilson invented the psychedelic art style that was being used to describe the peace movement of the ’60s, according to Truffle.report.

What is psychedelic art called?

Psychedelic art is often called “visionary art” or “trippy art.” The main characteristics include vibrant and bright colors, intricate patterns, and beautiful imagery, often inspired by psychedelic experiences.

Why do artists use psychedelics?

Artists use psychedelics, like psilocybin, to receive unique visions, improve creativity, draw inspiration, and go into deeper levels of consciousness. 

What is the psychedelic effect in art?

The psychedelic effect in art refers to the visual representation of different states of human consciousness. The main characteristics include vibrant colors, unique patterns, beautiful landscapes, and intricate geometry. It aims to capture the essence of the artist’s psychedelic experiences.

Final Thoughts

Psilocybin increases creativity, empathy, and imaginative thinking, according to many researches. These effects are present in the psilocybin users after 1 week of taking a psilocybin. Many artists and innovators admit to using psilocybin or psychedelic experiences to enhance creative performance.

Enhanced creativity due to psilocybin allows them to find unique solutions to their problems and draw inspiration for their new art or innovation.

However, future research needs to explore into understanding the precise mechanisms by which psychedelic drug enhances creativity. This will help uncover more about how it can be harnessed effectively to benefit art, innovation, and problem-solving

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References:

  • Bonnieux JN, VanderZwaag B, Premji Z, Garcia-Romeu A, Garcia-Barrera MA. Psilocybin’s effects on cognition and creativity: A scoping review. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2023;37(7):635-648. doi:10.1177/02698811231179801
  • Houser, K. (2019, March 8). Psychedelic Mushrooms Can Boost Creativity and Empathy for a Week. Futurism. https://futurism.com/neoscope/psychedelic-mushrooms-boost-creativity-empathy
  • Cortés, M. S. (2018, December 21). How Psychedelics Can Help Unlock Creativity | Artsy. Artsy. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-psychedelics-offer-artists-creative-boost
  • Can tiny doses of magic mushrooms unlock creativity? (2018, October 18). ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181025103329.htm
  • Sleater, R. (2021, July 19). Can psilocybin make you more creative? – Sciworthy. https://sciworthy.com/can-psilocybin-make-you-more-creative/
  • Prochazkova, L., Lippelt, D.P., Colzato, L.S. et al. Exploring the effect of microdosing psychedelics on creativity in an open-label natural setting. Psychopharmacology 235, 3401–3413 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-018-5049-7
  • Natasha L. Mason, Elisabeth Mischler, Malin V. Uthaug & Kim P. C. Kuypers (2019) Sub-Acute Effects of Psilocybin on Empathy, Creative Thinking, and Subjective Well-Being, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 51:2, 123-134, DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2019.1580804
  • Mason, N. L., Kuypers, K. P., Reckweg, J. T., Müller, F., Tse, D. H., Da Rios, B., Toennes, S. W., Stiers, P., Feilding, A., & Ramaekers, J. G. (2021). Spontaneous and deliberate creative
Author Microdosify

By Rachel Grey

I’m Rachel Grey, a Ph.D. psychologist specializing in psychedelic therapy with psilocybin and natural plant medicines. I obtained my doctorate from the University of Toronto, where I immersed myself in the study of these transformative therapies. With over 10 years of experience, let’s embark on transformative journeys of healing, growth, and self-discovery as we explore the power of psychedelic therapy together.

Updated on October 15, 2023