More benefits of a club drug long scorned by critics of renegade rave culture have been uncovered by a recent study. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is already expected to become a clinical treatment for ailments including post-traumatic stress disorder in the U.S. by 2021. According to new research, the substance also promotes "social processing" activities like cooperation and relationship building.
Researchers belonging to King’s College London linked the drug - commonly pressed into pills and sold on the black market as "ecstasy" - to brain functions related to "social processing." The term broadly applies to behaviors that enable an individual interface with society, and a failure to do so is symptomatic of a wide range of disorders.
The scientists made their findings while monitoring test subjects while they played the classic game of prisoner's dilemma. Whereas those who took a placebo made decisions out of self-interest, participants dosed with MDMA exhibited more willingness to cooperate for the collective good as long as they deemed other participants trustworthy.
Interestingly, MDMA did not affect how trustworthy subject found one another. "We asked people what they thought of their opponent and, surprisingly, MDMA did not alter how trustworthy they thought the other players were," said Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience professor Mitul Mehta. "Untrustworthy players were rated as low on the scale, whether on MDMA or placebo, and trustworthy players were given equally high ratings."
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Participants in the study were also more likely to rebuild relationships following a breach of trust.
H/T: Your EDM