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Social Reward Learning and Critical Periods

MDMA and Social Reward Learning

This study by Gul Dolen and colleagues investigated the effects of MDMA on social reward learning in mice. The findings showed that MDMA could reopen a critical period for social reward learning via an oxytocin-dependent mechanism. This has significant implications for understanding how psychedelics might be used to treat social impairments in conditions like autism.

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Psychedelics Reopen the Social Reward Learning Critical Period

Conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the study found that different psychedelics such as MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ibogaine, and ketamine reopen these critical periods for varying durations, from 48 hours to several weeks. These findings suggest that psychedelics could potentially be used to treat conditions like depression and PTSD by enhancing social learning and brain plasticity.

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