Mice on Acid

In the bowels of an animal research facility at Oxford University, mice are stirring in cages. Half of them have been given an injection of saline solution and behave like the docile house pet of your local fifth-grader. The other half have been given DOI, a drug chemically similar to LSD, and are, as the term of art would have it, tripping balls.

What exactly a mouse sees when she’s tripping on DOI—whether the plexiglass walls of her cage begin to melt, or whether the wood chips begin to crawl around like caterpillars—is tied up in the private mysteries of what it’s like to be a mouse. We can’t ask her directly, and, even if we did, her answer probably wouldn’t be of much help.

There was just nothing left except this non-self experiencing this icy light of unbearable intensity.

But the signals that the tectonic plates of a mouse’s reality are shifting beneath her feet are well-documented. Those are the signals that Merima Sabanovic, a

Citiți o mostră, înregistrați-vă pentru a citi în continuare.

Mai multe de la Nautilus

Nautilus10 min cititePsychology
A Quiet Path Out of the Coronavirus Shadow: Mindfulness helped this ER doctor through a dark time. It can help us through these times.
Eleven years ago, I sat down across from a man named Edward Espe Brown. I had returned home to Texas from a four-month stay at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California, endured a breakup, and was feeling adrift. I told Ed that I was struggling
Nautilus14 min cititeMedical
How to Conquer COVID-19 Amid a Confederacy of Dunces: Science can’t be democratic, says an outspoken virologist.
Robert Burioni is a virologist at the San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy, and a serious scientist. But in 2016, something happened that changed his course. He was on television with two anti-vaxxers—a famous actress and a former DJ—who were taki
Nautilus6 min cititePsychology
Do We Have Free Will? Maybe It Doesn't Matter
Belief is a special kind of human power. Agustin Fuentes, an anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame, eloquently claims as much in his recent book Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being. It’s the “most prominent, promising, and d