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Friday, July 12, 2024

To Understand the Human Brain, Give an Octopus MDMA

ON THIS WEEK’S episode of Have a Nice Future, Gideon Lichfield and Lauren Goode talk to Gül Dölen, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University whose most famous work centers on how psychedelics affect octopus brains. Recently, her lab’s research has shown promising results regarding how psychedelics could help humans recover from PTSD or a stroke.

Show Notes

Learn more about Gül Dölen’s work on critical periods in “The Psychedelic Scientist Who Sends Brains Back to Childhood” by Rachel Nuwer. Also be sure to check out the rest of WIRED’s psychedelics coverage. 

Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Gideon Lichfield is @glichfield. Bling the main hotline at @WIRED.

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Transcript

Note: This is an automated transcript, which may contain errors.

Gideon Lichfield: I'm sorry, do not put that bit in.

Lauren Goode: Hi, I'm Lauren Goode.

Gideon Lichfield: And I'm Gideon Lichfield, and this is Have a Nice Future. A show about how terrifyingly fast everything is changing.

Lauren Goode: Each week we talk to someone with big, audacious, often unnerving ideas about the future, and we talk about how we can all prepare to live in it.

Gideon Lichfield: This week our guest is Gül Dölen, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins who studies how psychedelic drugs affect the brain.

Gül Dölen (audio clip): For me, the most exciting possibility is just that in 30 years’ time, when you have a stroke or a brain injury or sports injury, as soon as you go into physical therapy you're getting physical therapy plus psychedelics. And in my mind the best-case-scenario is just that those patients will get to recover full function. That's the hope.

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Gideon Lichfield: Lauren, do you know what happens when you give MDMA to an octopus?

Lauren Goode: No. This has to be a trick question. I'm gonna guess that it hallucinates that it has 16 arms and starts to do the Macarena.

[Music]

Gideon Lichfield: No, it's a totally serious question. It does kind of start to do the Macarena, but Gül Dölen is a neuroscientist and she actually conducted this exact study.

Lauren Goode: OK, now I'm curious. What does happen when you give an octopus molly?

Gideon Lichfield: Octopuses are extremely antisocial, normally, but when you dose them with MDMA they react the same way as humans do at a rave. They become more cuddly and lovey-dovey with one another, and they even start doing something that looks a lot like dancing.

Gül Dölen (audio clip): Despite the fact that these brains are very different from ours, they respond to MDMA in basically the same way. And so the octopuses, when we gave them MDMA, they went from being asocial and avoiding the chamber that had the other octopus in it to being social and preferring to spend most of their time in that chamber.

Lauren Goode: OK, so what does this have to do with our very WIRED future that we are going to be discussing on this podcast?

Gideon Lichfield: Well Gül's most famous work is the octopus study, but she and her team recently had a pretty big breakthrough in understanding how psychedelics work in human brains—and especially how they can help people's minds heal from traumatic experiences.

Lauren Goode: OK, so I've heard of people using MDMA together with psychotherapy to recover from trauma. I know some folks use ketamine for depression, so this is all Gül's field of research.

Gideon Lichfield: Right, exactly. And recently there have been some major strides in legalizing these drugs around the world. Australia just approved psychedelics for treating some mental health conditions, and here in the US, the FDA recently issued some draft guidance for clinical studies of psychedelics. So governments are catching up to the benefits they could have, too.

Lauren Goode: OK, so does this mean that we should consider incorporating these more frequently into our traditional therapy?

Gideon Lichfield: Well, so, using them for psychotherapy is just the start. Gül's idea is that these drugs are basically like keys for unlocking and rewiring your brain that you could use any time you need it, like if you are recovering from an injury or a stroke, or if you're making a big change in your life, for example.

Lauren Goode: There are risks associated with psychedelics too, right?

Gideon Lichfield: Yes, although people are starting to understand a lot better the ways in which it's safe to use them, and there's a lot of experimentation going on and using them for therapy. I think the bigger concern is simply that psychedelics are a really powerful tool and people might not know how to use them responsibly. But at any rate, this is why I wanted to talk Gül. She's fascinating, she thinks about all of these issues—and that conversation with her is right after the break.

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[Music]

Gideon Lichfield: Gül Dolen, welcome to Have a Nice Future.

Gül Dölen: Thank you very much for having me.

Gideon Lichfield: Let's start with you and your background. You studied philosophy and neuroscience and linguistics, and then you became very interested in psychedelic research, and this all feels like a pretty unusual combination for a scientist. Do you meet a lot of people like yourself?

Gül Dölen: We don't all openly talk about it, but I would say that a large percentage of neuroscientists got interested in psychedelics, for example, when they saw the similarity between the serotonin molecule and the LSD molecule, because I think many of us started in neuroscience because we were interested in the really big questions, like, what is consciousness? What is theory of mind? How do I know my own mind compared to other people's minds? And we all, early in our thinking, started trying to understand this from as many different perspectives, and I think, at the time, I was really interested in these big questions, and I thought actually that I might become a philosopher rather than a neuroscientist. But I remember when I saw that similarity I thought, OK, this molecule is able to induce a different type of consciousness, a different understanding of the world, and, to me, is very good evidence that, in fact, everything that we think of as consciousness, or being here in the world, or theory of mind really just comes down to molecules. And I was immediately drawn to that focus on molecules because of the psychedelics.

Gideon Lichfield: But even if neuroscientists like you now are interested in using psychedelics to better understand these big questions, like what consciousness is, it can't always have been an easy sell to other colleagues, or maybe funders. Did people have a negative view of psychedelics? Did you have to educate them about these things?

Gül Dölen: When I first started working on this about 10 years ago it definitely got a lot of pushback—people didn't understand why we would wanna do this. They would say, "Well, that's never gonna happen." But I have to say in the last three or four years—especially with the successes of the clinical trials—there has been, I think, much more acceptance of this idea, much more enthusiasm for the idea, and it's been much easier to sort of convince people.

Gideon Lichfield: And why is that? Why is there more enthusiasm now?

Gül Dölen: We have this general idea from a lot of clinical research that psychedelics from a broad range of sub-categories of psychedelics—that includes LSD and ibogaine, and psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine—this is the sort of broad umbrella category of psychedelics, is how I'm gonna use the term. And we know that it doesn't matter which category they're coming from, they all have these remarkable therapeutic effects. And I think the reason that people are so excited about psychedelics is this idea that it's not like a next-generation Prozac or a next-generation Tylenol for headache, these are drugs that, when you take them, you can have a big experience and potentially be cured after one, maybe two or three, doses but of a lifetime cure. The best evidence that we have for that is some of the clinical trials for MDMA for PTSD and Ketamine for depression and psilocybin for depression. Those are the three areas where we've made the most progress in terms of demonstrating clinical efficacy. But the other thing that's come out of those studies is that the ones that seem to be having this curative type of effect are really the clinical trials where the patients have been using the psychedelics in combination with psychotherapies.

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Gideon Lichfield: Let's also talk about one of your most famous papers when you fed MDMA to an octopus. And of course that study went viral, because why wouldn't it? But why of all possible animals did you choose the octopus? And what did you learn from that?

Gül Dölen: Octopuses are very, very different from us. They're more similar in genetic relatedness to like a slug, and yet they are able to do some fairly remarkable complex behaviors. There's evidence that they can manipulate their environment with incredible dexterity, and this enables them to develop cognitive processing for abstractions and things like theory of mind that, every time any human researcher says, “Oh this is a human-only phenomenon,” then somebody will come and find some weird animal that also does it. So this very famous neuroscientist, J. Z Young, actually wrote a book called A Model of The Brain. And in it he argued that if we wanna understand complexity—if we wanna understand how to build really complex behaviors from synapses and circuits and molecules—rather than looking at a brain that's very similar to ours, like a primate or a monkey brain, what we really should be doing is going from an animal that is maximally different from ours. And I got interested in octopuses because a lot of technical advances have made it seem possible that we can study them soon with the same level of sophistication as other animals. And just as a sort of first experiment, a proof of concept, we wanted to know whether or not we could give them the same sort of behavioral testing arena and whether they would roam around with it. And we thought, well, OK, we're working on psychedelics anyway—might as well test the psychedelic.

Gideon Lichfield: OK, so your goal was just to study octopus brains because they're so different and interesting, and the idea of using psychedelics to do that was more like, “Hey why not?”

Gül Dölen: I gotta tell you, when we did this experiment I was pretty sure it wasn't gonna work, they're just so different from us. Octopuses are asocial, so the vast majority of the 300 or so species that we know about, they'll kill each other if you put them in the same tank. They're really asocial, so I really thought, “There's no way this is gonna work.”

Gideon Lichfield: But the experiment did work—what did you find out?

Gül Dölen: So the main thing we learned is that, despite the fact that these brains are very different from ours, that they respond to MDMA in basically the same way, and so even though an octopus is asocial, even though it doesn't have a cortex, or an amygdala, or a nucleus accumbens, or any of the other brain regions that we thought are so important for MDMA's ability to encode pro-social behavior, the octopuses, when we gave them MDMA, they went from being asocial and avoiding the chamber that had the other octopus in it, to being social and preferring to spend most of their time in that chamber.

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Gideon Lichfield: Right, and so what that tells us is that MDMA has an effect at some very basic level of brain chemistry.

Gül Dölen: Yeah, so it basically says, look, the ability of MDMA to mimic serotonin is evolutionarily old. It tells us that serotonin has been involved in encoding social behavior for a long, long time. And it also tells us that an octopus brain—even though octopuses are asocial—they must have a neural circuit that enables them to encode social behavior but that normally, except under these very small windows of reproduction time, they suppress those social behaviors. So then the neural circuitry for sociality must exist, and MDMA—through its ability to mimic serotonin—is unlocking that.

Gideon Lichfield: So, in other words, social behavior is a very, very old adaptation and different species have ended up using it or switching on and off in different ways.

Gül Dölen: That's right.

Gideon Lichfield: And now you specifically study these things called critical periods. Can you explain why you find them so interesting?

Gül Dölen: I think that the whole world is excited about psychedelics, but I can tell you that neuroscientists have been excited about critical periods since 1935 since they were first described. And the reason is because critical periods are windows of time when the brain is especially sensitive to things in its environment that are important for that stage of development, and during those windows of time, the brain is especially malleable and able to learn from its environment. Probably most people are familiar with the critical period for learning a second language or your first language. The first language you learn as a child, you learn it easily without really having to work on it. But if you try and learn another language as an adult, you have to practice and you have to study, and you'll always have an accent—and that's because there's a critical period for language. And so neuroscientists have known that trying to understand what a critical period—how it forms, why it forms, would be hugely beneficial for therapy, because we've had this intuition that part of the reason that we're so terrible at curing brain diseases is that by the time we get around to correcting whatever the underlying problem is, the relevant critical period has closed.

Gideon Lichfield: In your lab you study critical periods in mice, and you've been doing this research showing that when you give different psychedelics to mice it opens a critical period for learning for a certain length of time, and then it closes. So let's suppose then that you could do these kinds of studies in humans and show that adults can take psychedelics and it can open up their critical periods. What would the implications then be for psychedelic-assisted therapy?

Gül Dölen: Right. So we actually think that this is the explanation for why MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is working for PTSD. What we think is that when people take psychedelics in this therapeutic context, what the therapeutic context is doing is letting the mind find the problem that it's needing to solve in a free wander kind of way. And then after the drug effects have worn off, so the next day, there will be another therapy session and several follow-up sessions where the patients will be encouraged to talk about the insights that they had when they were on the psychedelics and integrate their experiences into the way that their life is upon return from this big journey.

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Gideon Lichfield: And then what are some of the other potential applications of this? One can think of both great ideas and also dystopian scenarios—like I know there have been cult leaders who've used psychedelics and to help brainwash people—but it also makes me think that maybe we'd be able to learn Kung Fu more easily, like Neo in the Matrix. But, realistically speaking, what could come out of a better understanding of how long critical periods are open and how they work?

Gül Dölen: There are critical periods for motor learning, language learning, reorganizing the visual system during development, and in that case, if that's true—if these are what neuroscientists have been looking for almost a century, these master keys for unlocking critical periods—then, as you say, we should be able to really change the brain in lots of different ways that people aren't doing yet. So most of the clinical trials are focused on neuropsychiatric disease but what this insight really suggests to us is that we should be able to branch out now and look at neurological diseases, traumatic brain injury, and stroke because those motor learning critical periods—people have thought if we could reopen those, that would be a great way to get into that. And so those are the ideas that we're testing right now.

Gideon Lichfield: And the idea for some of this research, I know, came to you during the pandemic when you were spending a lot of time alone, and you've talked about how that seemed to shift the way that you were thinking. Do you feel like suddenly being isolated during the pandemic itself was a kind of opening of a critical period, or is that not a good analogy?

Gül Dölen: Actually, from the critical period literature before we knew about psychedelics, the way to open critical periods has been to do deprivation. So visual deprivation, auditory deprivation, sensory deprivation—and you can even interpret some of the motor learning stroke studies as motor deprivation—and all of those deprivation techniques reopen critical periods. But those are not really particularly clinically useful, but when I went into pandemic lockdown within about a month, I just started feeling really out there, feeling sort of disconnected from my usual scientist’s way of doing things, more flowy and hearty—the way that I see all my artist friends get into a vibe. And I've always just been jealous of that, [laughter] and I'm like, “I wanna be in that vibe. That sounds great.” And suddenly I was there, and it occurred to me that maybe this similarity between deprivation-induced techniques for reopening critical periods, this sort of mystical experience of this artistic creative type of feeling that I'm having and the types of mystical experiences that people describe on psychedelics, maybe the common denominator between these two things is a critical period reopening.

Gideon Lichfield: I feel like once I've read about critical periods I start seeing them everywhere—I've been to Burning Man and to other similar kinds of festivals, and regardless of taking any psychedelics or not, this thing happens there where, because I'm in a completely different context—in a community that encourages dropping inhibitions and different social rules—something shifts after a couple of days and I start to become more open, more empathetic, less self-judgmental and so on. And those effects can last for a few days after the event is over. And, as I say, it's not necessarily that I've taken anything, but just something in the context shifts my behavior, so it's tempting to say, “Oh, maybe that was a critical period.”

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Gül Dölen: Well, actually, no, I think you're actually on to something. One of the ideas that I have about why we have these sort of ready-made mechanisms for reopening critical periods is that if you think about what critical periods are used for, they are used during development to learn your environment, because there are just way more things that we need to learn to be able to navigate the world than there are genes available to encode all of those behaviors, and so we learn from our environment, but eventually, once we get used to our environment, once we've learned, it's stable. Things aren't gonna change that much—this table is gonna be a table—and so once we learn those rules and they're stable, then the critical period closes because being in that kind of altered state where you're noticing everything, it's just not very efficient, right? Habits get a bad name, but they actually help you navigate the world, and if you want a good example of what it looks like to be inefficient because your critical periods are still open, like, try to get out the door on a snow day with three-year-olds—it's brutal. They are just like, you know, putting on the shoes and where's the keys and socks and just—they're just all over the place because they haven't picked up the habits to efficiently guide that activity.

Gideon Lichfield: It's interesting. So this podcast is all about how we navigate a very rapidly changing world, and it sounds like you're describing a future where, potentially, people have access in an easier way than going on a meditation retreat for a month, to getting back that beginner's mind when they need it. In some ideal world, we are able to recognize at what points in life we need to develop new habits, and could use psychedelic-assisted therapy of some form or another to put us in that right frame of mind for when we need to undergo a life change of some kind.

Gül Dölen: I think that's the plus side and it's definitely the potential, and it's got a lot of people excited to think about it that way. As somebody who's in translational neuroscience and really focused on disease, I'm thinking of it in disease states, but certainly I can imagine a new computer comes out and your grandma, she uses it as a cutting board, maybe that's, [laughter] right, that's just not gonna be required anymore. You just take some psychedelics and then you'll be able to understand how to use your new computer the same way as like, [laughter].

Gideon Lichfield: Here, Grandma, just take these mushrooms and then you'll become a computer design wizard—brilliant [laughter].

Gül Dölen: Yeah, exactly [laughter].

Gideon Lichfield: Then, to look at the negative side for a second, it does feel worrying, if this becomes a tool that is used for brain-washing in various settings a lot more easily.

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Gül Dölen: Yeah, for sure. I think that's my biggest worry, is that, there's so much enthusiasm right now for psychedelics that I think that we need to be respectful of the fact that these drugs are very powerful, and that we're only just beginning to understand how they work. So some of our data shows that, in a mouse, how long the acute subjective effects last is proportional to how long the critical period open state stays open, so we can roughly translate in that into human, but at the minimum, MDMA and psilocybin is keeping it open for two weeks, ketamine for four days or so. LSD three weeks, ibogaine four weeks plus. And so these are a really long time to be in that vulnerable state where you might be susceptible to being manipulated, susceptible to being sort of in that child-like state of vulnerability. These are potentially things that could have nefarious applications as well.

Gideon Lichfield: If you try to cast your mind 30 years ahead, what's the best possible future you can imagine in a society that has embraced psychedelics in this way and is putting them to good use?

Gül Dölen: Yeah, so for me, the most exciting possibility is that in 30 years time, when you have a stroke or a brain injury or a sports injury, when you go to the hospital to get your initial diagnosis, as soon as you go into physical therapy you're getting physical therapy plus psychedelics. And there are roughly 400,000 people a year in the United States who have a stroke that they don't recover from, and so that they don't recover—

Gideon Lichfield: That's a huge number.

Gül Dölen: It's a huge number, and that's just in the United States. The stroke numbers are actually much higher in other countries, and so as our patient population gets older, more people are surviving stroke, but they're having to live with these long-term debilitating consequences. And so, in my mind, the best case scenario is that those patients will get to recover full function. That's the hope.

Gideon Lichfield: Obviously, in the US, psychedelics are still illegal in most states. There seems to be a move towards greater acceptance, but obviously a lot of legal hurdles still. How do you see that developing? Are you worried that we might fall back to a period of greater prohibition again?

Gül Dölen: I see definitely the trend towards legalizing is taking hold in Portland, Denver, Oakland. It's starting to happen. I do have some concerns about full legalization right away, just because of the history. I think that the way that message gets out to people is, is that these are essentially harmless drugs, and I just want to make sure that as we do this, we impress upon people that they are powerful drugs, and that if they're not used properly, if they're just used kind of willy-nilly, or if we don't really understand exactly what they're doing, and you're taking them and re-exposing yourself to your traumatizing—whatever event it was—or you're allowing yourself to be manipulated by bad people who don't have your best interest at heart. I think as we move forward, we need to be careful to not set in a signal that legalization equals these are harmless, you can drink them like water or iced tea or whatever.

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Gideon Lichfield: What keeps you optimistic or gives you cause for hope?

Gül Dölen: The reason that I like science so much is that in the best possible scenario, it's people working together, and I have some pretty phenomenal collaborators, people just wanna stay up all night and have beers and fight about retro-transposable elements and that to me is—it's exciting, it's fun, and it makes me feel reinvigorated to why I do this, and again, I study social brain. So it's the social part of it that really matters.

Gideon Lichfield: Gül Dölen, thank you so much for joining me on Have a Nice Future.

Gül Dölen: Alright, thank you so much for having me.

Lauren Goode: So Gideon, I know that some of this has been at the forefront of the conversation in the circles that we spend time in it, particularly here in the Bay Area, amongst the techy crowd and people who are very into self-experimentation and opening their minds and finding creative avenues.

Gideon Lichfield: Everyone we know is going on a psychedelic retreat some weekend or other—

Lauren Goode: Right, a lot of people have been to Burning Man, and I actually know someone who did a guided trip, and while he was on a trip, wrote himself a note, and it was all about his job, he was very unhappy in his job, and he said that afterwards once he had sobered up, if he read the note and it still resonated with him, he was going to quit and embark on a new journey, and he actually did that, and he's much, much happier. It has made me really curious about the potential for these psychedelics, it also seems like there's great potential here for people who are suffering from very serious PTSD. How open are you to some of the ideas that Gül has presented here, and what do you think is still the biggest barrier to this becoming more widely accepted as a form of treatment?

Gideon Lichfield: So it's clear from talking to friends and from reading about people's experiences that if you use psychedelics in a safe setting with someone who can guide you through the experience and help you process it afterwards, that it can be really, really beneficial. And it's helping people deal with trauma and understand themselves better and get through what might have previously taken years of therapy, and the problem is that the legal framework is still catching up to this, so there is a risk, I think, of an explosion in the psychedelic use in settings that might not be that safe or with people who are not that well trained, and that some people as a result have bad experiences, there does seem to be a small risk with certain mental health issues that psychedelics could trigger a psychotic break, for example, and I think if more of those kinds of cases happen, there's the risk of a backlash.

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Lauren Goode: So essentially you could fry your brain. And you could hear when I say things like "fry your brain” that I am a child of the '80s who grew up watching the egg crack and simmer in the frying pan.

Archival audio clip: This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs.

Lauren Goode: Part of the "don't do drugs" campaign that was across all the TV channels.

Archival audio clip: Any questions?

Lauren Goode: But it seems like there is the risk in using psychedelics that you could unlock something in your brain that might be hard to come back from.

Gideon Lichfield: I don't know if it would be hard to come back from. I think it could unlock a traumatic experience that you would then need more help dealing with, but I will say that the vast majority of cases that I've heard of seem to only be positive, even when people have a really frightening experience on psychedelics, being able to process it afterwards and understand what it meant is all you need to recover from it.

Lauren Goode: How do you feel about the idea that our brains are a lot more malleable than we actually give them credit for, particularly as older, oldish—well not old, but older adults, that's kind of surprising to me to think that all we would have to do is, I don't know, slip something under our tongue, and all of a sudden we would have the brain of a 6-year-old again.

Gideon Lichfield: Yeah, it's both an exciting prospect and a rather terrifying one. My god, what was my 6-year-old self doing? But no, I love the idea that it could be switched on and off voluntarily and that you could choose to say, I wanna learn a new skill, I want to reframe my relationship to my job, I want to reexamine my life choices and how I'm going to get some help from a psychedelic in doing that.

Lauren Goode: Typically on this show, I think I'm more of a skeptic, but on the upside, the idea of using psychedelics in a medical context, thinking about stroke patients, regaining motor function, that is pretty revolutionary.

Gideon Lichfield: And just the figure that she quoted of 400,000 stroke patients in the US every year, and think what proportion of them never fully recover, it would be a huge difference if you could help their brains retrain after a stroke.

Lauren Goode: Let's assume for a moment that this does become a little bit more mainstream for medical use cases, are we also going to get to the point where you walk into some really serene shop in one of the major cities sometimes soon, and you go up to the counter, and you ask for a very specific strand of hydroponic psilocybin—I don't even know if that's a thing, I'm making it up. But in the way that people—

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Gideon Lichfield: I'm sure it will be if it isn't already. No, totally, I think we're gonna get a hydroponic organic psilocybin encased in artisanal, ethically sourced chocolate harvested from the Western-facing slopes of some mountain in Nicaragua, and it's gonna be very expensive. And somebody with a very snooty head, who's gonna be standing there at the shop explaining to you which kind of psilocybin you should be using—I have no question any of this will happen. It's basically inevitability.

Lauren Goode: OK, and then what happens then? Are we just all tripping all day long?

Gideon Lichfield: Are we all—

Lauren Goode: I can't wait to go cover the next AI conference, just totally on a trip.

Gideon Lichfield: I suspect that at any conference you go to, a good proportion of the people are already microdosing.

Lauren Goode: That's true.

Gideon Lichfield: I think we're kind of there already.

Lauren Goode: How do you feel about this future?

Gideon Lichfield: I'm very excited for this future. I think most of us could probably benefit from some psychedelics in our life. I think getting rid of some of the paranoia around them, helping people see them not as party drugs but as therapeutics, teaching them to use them safely and to get through difficult periods in life. I know it sounds a little arbitrary, but I honestly think the world could be a much better place if a lot more people were doing them.

Lauren Goode: I think for people who are suffering from real trauma and post-traumatic stress disorders and serious depression, that if there is another tool in their tool kit for them to safely face some of those issues, then I think it's great. I'm also a fan of this idea of critical periods, I think we could all use more of them in our lives, not to navel-gaze forever, and think that life should just be one long creative channel, although that would be incredible. I think we have to have realistic expectations around that, but yes, if it helps us live our lives better, happier and to spend more meaningful time with the people around us, then you know what, we should all be the octopus.

Gideon Lichfield: We should all be the octopus. That's our show for today. If you want to learn more about Gül Dölen's work on critical periods, you can read the story about her by Rachel Nuwer in WIRED, a link to that piece will be in the episode's description.

Lauren Goode: Thank you for listening. Have a Nice Future is hosted by me, Lauren Goode.

Gideon Lichfield: And me, Gideon Lichfield. If you like the show, you should tell us, leave us a rating and a review wherever you get your podcasts.

Lauren Goode: And don't forget to subscribe so you can get new episodes every week. You can also email us at nicefuture@wired.com. Tell us what you're worried about, what excites you, any questions you have about the future, and we'll try to answer them with our guests.

Gideon Lichfield: Have a Nice Future is a production of Condé Nast Entertainment, Danielle Hewitt from Prologue Projects produces the show, our assistant producer is Arlene Arevalo, production assistance and engineering is by Benjamin Frisch.

Lauren Goode: See you back here next Wednesday and until then have a nice future.

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