Famously re-synthesized by Shulgin in 1965, MDMA is one of the most popular recreational drugs in the world. It isn't without risk, however, much of which relates to dose and mistaken identity (so test to confirm that it is actually MDMA). It has a huge list of street names, including adam, doves, E, ecstasy, flip, happy pill, love drug, love pill, molly, party drug, roll, ShabuShabu, Shabu and XTC. Ref: www.DrugUsersBible.com
Famously re-synthesized by Shulgin in 1965, MDMA is one of the most popular recreational drugs in the world. It isn't without risk, however, much of which relates to dose and mistaken identity (so test to confirm that it is actually MDMA). It has a huge list of street names, including adam, doves, E, ecstasy, flip, happy pill, love drug, love pill, molly, party drug, roll, ShabuShabu, Shabu and XTC. Ref: www.DrugUsersBible.com

The Science of MDMA with Ben Rein

Dominic Milton Trott, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

Can MDMA make you a better person? Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly learn about the neuroscience of empathy, psychopathy, and MDMA in the brain with neuroscientist Ben Rein, PhD.

What is the scientific definition of empathy? Learn about empathogens like MDMA and how they work on neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Why are MDMA and Meth so close chemically yet so different? Discover empathy as a spectrum and individuals’ salience for others’ emotions. Can you change how empathetic you are?

Can MDMA increase empathy enough to overcome an individual’s racism? What does it mean to have high EQ? We talk about how neuroscientists talk about empathy and the two types of empathy: cognitive and emotional. Can psychopathy be impacted by MDMA? We discuss how issues and use of drugs in the empathy system could affect free will. What is the adaptive function of empathy?

Is social media desensitizing us to violence? We explore how our empathy systems get impacted by social media and the news. Can the empathy system be shut down? Is there a way to increase our capacity for empathy? Plus, we discuss the moral implications of increasing someone’s empathy through medication.

Thanks to our Patrons Jason Hostens, John Lewis, Maria Dorman, Alejandro Reynoso, Radiel Cardentey, Amir Littman, Allan Rayer, Whitney, Tom Stidham, and Christopher Becks for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

In This Episode

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