by Eric M Fortier, BA
Abstract: Classical psychedelics are a designated class of psychoactive substances that exert their effects primarily via the serotonin system. Yet, attempting to identify a unifying function of serotonin has led many researchers into despair. Among the determined attempts to resolve this perplexing mystery, some have come forth to propose that it acts, much like its chemical cousin auxin in plant tropisms, to orient us toward relevant sources of stimuli, and integrate the mind, body, and outside world. But, so far, this conception of serotonin has yet to be applied to an understanding of psychedelic experience. This work begins with an overview of the evolution of the serotonin system, its ancient relation to light, roles in orienting growth, attention, and behaviour, in modulating energy metabolism and resource access priority, and offers a brief outline of how its involvement in all these aspects of animal life relate to a modern model of the Mind. The second part of this work draws on a variety of cognitive, behavioural, and neuropsychological investigations with classical psychedelics and explores the implications of interpreting their various effects in this context. Touching on the nature and dynamics of simple and complex visionary restructuralization, expanded semantic and autobiographical memory, impaired cognition and control, paradoxical insight, problem-solving, meaning-making, mystical experience and more, Psychedelotropism (psykhē: mind, spirit; dēloun: to manifest, to reveal; tropos: to orient, a turning, a way) offers a thought-provoking interdisciplinary exposition of the phenomenology of extraordinary experiences precipitated by psychedelic perturbations of the serotonin system.
Published: Nov 16, 2020
Length: 90 p. with citations
Dimensions: 5.25 x 8 inches
Genre: Psychedelics / Science
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-7773485-1-9
ISBN (print): 978-1-7773485-0-2