Ayahuasca appeared to cause a decrease in conventional convergent thinking but enhance creative divergent thinking
A psychedelic brew known as ayahuasca may help people “think outside the box,” according to a new study published in the journal Psychopharmacology. But more research is needed.
Ayahuasca has been used in the healing ceremonies of indigenous Amazon tribes for centuries. The psychoactive drink is traditionally prepared using plants which contain beta-carbolines such as harmaline and tryptamines like DMT.
Researchers led by K. P. C. Kuypers of Maastricht University visited two spiritual ayahuasca-using groups to investigate the drug’s effect on divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking describes the process of generating many possible solutions to a problem.
Convergent thinking, on the other hand, refers to the process of narrowing down potential solutions to find one correct answer.
“Creative divergent thinking can enhance and strengthen psychological flexibility by allowing individuals to generate new and effective cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strategies on their own which helps them to adopt adaptive interpretations and coping styles,” the researchers explained.