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By Clare Wilson. Feeling euphoric. Now an experiment in which people played a trust game after taking the drug is helping to explain why. Also called MDMA, ecstasy is known to trigger the release of the brain chemical serotonin, as well as mimicking its actions in the brain. The points earned in the game depend on whether you cooperate with or betray your opponent, and on what they choose to do.
The game gets more complex if played over a of rounds, because while you earn the most points on a single round People on ecstasy betraying your opponent, you earn more over time if both people cooperate. The men played 15 rounds of the game with the same opponent, allowing relationships to build — although unbeknown to them, they were playing against a computer.
When they were given MDMA, they became euphoric and talkative. In this state, they cooperated twice as often as when they had played the game after being given a placebo — if their opponent was usually trustworthy. But if their opponent usually betrayed them, the men acted the same way regardless of whether they had taken MDMA or a placebo, playing less cooperatively.
The were presented at the British Neuroscience Association conference this week. Brain scans the team took showed that MDMA boosted activity in several brain areas linked to social behaviour, including the right superior temporal sulcus.
Recent work has shown the serotonin receptor that is activated by MDMA is found at the highest concentrations in the superior temporal sulci on both sides of the brain, as well as the other areas that became more active in this study. Mithoefer is investigating People on ecstasy as an aid for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. It may help people trust their therapist more and prevent them from being overwhelmed by their traumatic memories during therapy, he says. Trending Latest Video Free.
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Ecstasy and the effects on the body