Draulio Barros de Araujo

Draulio Barros de Araujo
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte | IIP · Brain Institute

Ph.D

About

167
Publications
66,863
Reads
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3,359
Citations
Introduction
Work as a professor of neuroimaging at the Brain Institute, Natal, Brazil. Since 2006 his research has focused on using functional neuroimaging methods (EEG and fMRI) to investigate the acute and lasting effects of the psychedelic Ayahuasca. Our research group has been also involved in clinical trials testing the antidepressant effects of Ayahuasca.
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - July 2019
University of California, Santa Barbara
Position
  • visiting scholar
July 2009 - present
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2002 - July 2009
Universidade de São Paulo
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
March 1998 - April 2002
University of São Paulo
Field of study
  • Physics applied to medicine and biology
August 1995 - August 1997
Universidade Federal do Ceará
Field of study
  • Applied physics
January 1991 - July 1995
University of Brasília
Field of study
  • Physics

Publications

Publications (167)
Article
The hallucinogenic brew Ayahuasca, a rich source of serotonergic agonists and reuptake inhibitors, has been used for ages by Amazonian populations during religious ceremonies. Among all perceptual changes induced by Ayahuasca, the most remarkable are vivid "seeings." During such seeings, users report potent imagery. Using functional magnetic resona...
Article
Full-text available
The experiences induced by psychedelics share a wide variety of subjective features, related to the complex changes in perception and cognition induced by this class of drugs. A remarkable increase in introspection is at the core of these altered states of consciousness. Self-oriented mental activity has been consistently linked to the Default Mode...
Article
Full-text available
The entropic brain hypothesis holds that the key facts concerning psychedelics are partially explained in terms of increased entropy of the brain's functional connectivity. Ayahuasca is a psychedelic beverage of Amazonian indigenous origin with legal status in Brazil in religious and scientific settings. In this context, we use tools and concepts f...
Article
Ayahuasca is an Amazonian botanical hallucinogenic brew which contains dimethyltryptamine, a 5-HT2A receptor agonist, and harmine, a monoamine-oxidase A inhibitor. Our group recently reported that ayahuasca administration was associated with fast-acting antidepressive effects in 6 depressive patients. The objective of the present work was to assess...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Recent open-label trials show that psychedelics, such as ayahuasca, hold promise as fast-onset antidepressants in treatment-resistant depression. Methods: To test the antidepressant effects of ayahuasca, we conducted a parallel-arm, double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial in 29 patients with treatment-resistant depression. P...
Preprint
Full-text available
The physical basis of consciousness is one of the most intriguing open questions that contemporary science aims to solve. By approaching the brain as an interactive information system, complex network theory has greatly contributed to understand brain process in different states of mind. We study an non-ordinary state of mind by comparing resting-s...
Article
Full-text available
RationaleStream of thought describes the nature of the mind when it is freely roaming, a mental state that is continuous and highly dynamic as in mind-wandering or free association. Classic serotonergic psychedelics are known to profoundly impact perception, cognition and language, yet their influence on the stream of thought remains largely unexpl...
Article
The therapeutic use of classical psychedelic substances such as d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) surged in recent years. Studies in rodents suggest that these effects are produced by increased neural plasticity, including stimulation of the mTOR pathway, a key regulator of metabolism, plasticity, and aging. Could psychedelic-induced neural plasti...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In this paper, we investigate how dispositional attentional quality is present, and its correlation with measures of well-being, in university student’s naïve in meditation practice. Methods: A total of 40 students (20 females) were asked to fill self-reported measures of stress, anxiety, affect, and dispositional mindfulness. Results:...
Article
Psychedelics acutely impair cognitive functions, but these impairments decline with growing experiences with psychedelics and microdoses may even exert opposing effects. Given the recent evidence that psychedelics induce neuroplasticity, this explorative study aimed at investigating the potential of psychedelics to sub-acutely change cognition. For...
Article
Background: Controversy surrounds psychedelics and their potential to boost creativity. To date, psychedelic studies lack a uniform conceptualization of creativity and methodologically rigorous designs. Aims: This study aimed at addressing previous issues by examining the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on creativity using multimodal...
Chapter
Ayahuasca, the vine of the souls in Quechua, is a psychedelic brew with a few formulations that most often include the bark of a liana in the Malpighiaceae family (Banisteriopsis caapi), with leaves from a shrub in the coffee family Rubiaceae (Psychotria viridis). Mixed with water and boiled for hours or days, it produces a brownish-colored liquid...
Article
Full-text available
Background Molecular biomarkers are promising tools to be routinely used in clinical psychiatry. Among psychiatric diseases, major depression disorder (MDD) has gotten attention due to its growing prevalence and morbidity. Methods We tested some peripheral molecular parameters such as serum mature Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (mBDNF), plasma...
Article
Full-text available
The comprehension of the pathophysiology of the major depressive disorder (MDD) is essential to the strengthening of precision psychiatry. In order to determine the relationship between the pathophysiology of the MDD and its clinical progression, analyzed by severity of the depressive symptoms and sleep quality, we conducted a study assessing diffe...
Preprint
Full-text available
We address the general problem of how to estimate an entropy given a Pearson correlation matrix. Most methods currently in use inject a degree of arbitrariness due to the thresholding of correlations. Here we propose an entirely objective method of entropy estimation that requires no thresholding. Let $\boldsymbol{R}$ be an $N\times N$ Pearson corr...
Chapter
Depression is a mood disorder with profound negative effects on the individual’s quality of life and augmented suicidal risks. Despite substantial progress in the development of new antidepressants that have been made in the last decades, remission rates are modest, around 50% after the first treatment. Besides, antidepressants usually take about 2...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Psychological distress in University settings has grown and became a public health concern. In this context, contemplative practices such as mindfulness have been proposed as a strategy to help students on stress management. Methods: Forty university students (20 female), aged between 18 to 30 years (mean = 24.15; SD = 3.56), with no pr...
Article
Full-text available
O objetivo principal da mecânica estatística é relacionar a física microscópica regida pelas leis de Newton, ou então pela mecânica quântica, com a física macroscópica regida pelas leis da termodinâmica. Conceitos macroscópicos, tais como a temperatura, que não fazem sentido do ponto de vista microscópico, surgem na mecânica estatística como propri...
Article
Full-text available
Lucid dreaming (LD) began to be scientifically studied in the last century, but various religions have highlighted the importance of LD in their doctrines for a much longer period. Hindus’ manuscripts dating back over 2,000 years ago, for example, divide consciousness in waking, dreaming (including LD), and deep sleep. In the Buddhist tradition, Ti...
Article
Background Ayahuasca is a traditional Amazon brew and its potential antidepressant properties have recently been explored in scientific settings. We conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled trial of ayahuasca with treatment-resistant depression patients ( n = 28) and healthy controls ( n = 45). Aims We are evaluating the blood inflammatory biom...
Article
Full-text available
Pranayama refers to a set of yoga breathing exercises. Recent evidence suggests that the practice of pranayama has positive effects on measures of clinical stress and anxiety. This study explored the impact of a Bhastrika pranayama training program on emotion processing, anxiety, and affect. We used a randomized controlled trial design with thirty...
Article
Background Neuroimaging studies have just begun to explore the acute effects of psychedelics on large-scale brain networks’ functional organization. Even less is known about the neural correlates of subacute effects taking place days after the psychedelic experience. This study explores the subacute changes of primary sensory brain networks and net...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep disturbance is a symptom consistently found in major depression and is associated with a longer course of illness, reduced response to treatment, increased risk of relapse and recurrence. Chronic insomnia has been associated with changes in cortisol and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, which in turn are also changed in m...
Preprint
Full-text available
Psychedelic agonists of serotonin receptors induce neural plasticity and synaptogenesis, but their potential to enhance learning remains uncharted. Here we show that a single dose of d-LSD, a potent serotonergic agonist, increased novel object preference in young and adult rats several days after treatment. d-LSD alone did not increase preference i...
Article
Full-text available
Suicide is a major public health problem. Given increasing suicide rates and limitations surrounding current interventions, there is an urgent need for innovative interventions for suicidality. Although ayahuasca has been shown to target mental health concerns associated with suicidality (i.e., depression and hopelessness), research has not yet exp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Neuroimaging studies have just begun to explore the acute effects of psychedelics on large-scale brain networks’ functional organization. Even less is known on the neural correlates of subacute effects taking place days after the psychedelic experience. This study explores the subacute changes of primary sensory brain networks and networ...
Article
What is the relationship between creativity, curiosity, and schizotypy? Schizophrenia-spectrum conditions and creativity have been linked to deficits in filtering sensory information, and curiosity is associated with information-seeking. This raises the possibility of a perception-based link between all three concepts. Here, we investigated whether...
Preprint
Full-text available
Open problems abound in the theory of complex networks, which has found successful application to diverse fields of science. With the aim of further advancing the understanding of the brain's functional connectivity, we propose to evaluate a network metric which we term the geodesic entropy. This entropy, in a way that can be made precise, quantifi...
Article
Full-text available
Hearing aids (HAs) are an effective strategy for auditory rehabilitation in patients with peripheral hearing deficits. Yet, the neurophysiological mechanisms behind HA use are still unclear. Thus far, most studies have focused on changes in the auditory system, although it is expected that hearing deficits affect a number of cognitive systems, nota...
Data
Supplementary Figure 1: pure tone audiometry for each frequency tested with headphones in the control group. Supplementary Figure 2: pure tone audiometry for each frequency tested with headphones for the group of patients before (PB) and after (PA) HA use. Supplementary Figure 3: pure tone audiometry for each frequency tested in free field, for pat...
Article
Full-text available
Major depression is a highly prevalent mood disorder, affecting about 350 million people, and around 30% of the patients are resistant to currently available antidepressant medications. Recent evidence from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) supports the rapid antidepressant effects of the psychedelic ayahuasca in treatment-resistant depression. T...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Mirror therapy (MT) is becoming an alternative rehabilitation strategy for various conditions, including stroke. Although recent studies suggest the positive benefit of MT in chronic stroke motor recovery, little is known about its neural mechanisms. Purpose: To identify functional brain changes induced by a single MT intervention in is...
Preprint
Full-text available
Major depression is a highly prevalent mood disorder, affecting about 350 million people, and around 30% of the patients are resistant to currently available antidepressant medications. Recent evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial supports the rapid antidepressant effects of the psychedelic ayahuasca in treatment-resistant depression....
Preprint
Full-text available
The incidence of major depression in adolescents, aged between 15 to 18 years, reaches approximately 14%. Usually, this disorder presents a recurrent way, without remission of symptoms even after several pharmacological treatments, persisting through adult life. Due to the relatively low efficacy of commercially available antidepressant, new pharma...
Article
Full-text available
Dimethyltryptamines are entheogenic serotonin-like molecules present in traditional Amerindian medicine recently associated with cognitive gains, antidepressant effects, and changes in brain areas related to attention. Legal restrictions and the lack of adequate experimental models have limited the understanding of how such substances impact human...
Preprint
Recent open label trials show that psychedelics, such as ayahuasca, hold promise as fast-onset antidepressants in treatment-resistant depression. In order to further test the antidepressant effects of ayahuasca, we conducted a parallel-arm, double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial in 29 patients with treatment-resistant depression. Patients...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Ayahuasca is a plant tea containing the psychedelic 5-HT2A agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine and harmala monoamine-oxidase inhibitors. Acute administration leads to neurophysiological modifications in brain regions of the default mode network, purportedly through a glutamatergic mechanism. Post-acutely, ayahuasca potentiates mindfulness ca...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Ayahuasca is a plant tea containing the psychedelic 5-HT2A agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and harmala monoamine-oxidase inhibitors. Acute administration leads to neurophysiological modifications in brain regions of the default mode network (DMN), purportedly through a glutamatergic mechanism. Post-acutely, ayahuasca potentiates m...
Article
Evidence suggests that somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) may decrease the degree of spasticity from neural drives, although there is no agreement between corticospinal modulation and the level of spasticity. Thus, stroke patients and healthy subjects were submitted to SES (3 Hz) for 30' on the impaired and dominant forearms, respectively....
Preprint
Full-text available
Dimethyltryptamines are hallucinogenic serotonin-like molecules present in traditional Amerindian medicine (e.g. Ayahuasca) recently associated with cognitive gains, antidepressant effects and changes in brain areas related to attention. Historical and technical restrictions impaired understanding how such substances impact human brain metabolism....
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a non-invasive technique that allows the detection of specific cerebral functions in humans based on hemodynamic changes. The contrast changes are about 5%, making visual inspection impossible. Thus, statistic strategies are applied to infer which brain region is engaged in a task. Howeve...
Article
Functional neuroimaging studies have shown that actual situations of uncertain or distant threats increase the activity of forebrain regions, whereas proximal threats increase the activity of the dorsal midbrain. This experiment aimed at testing the hypothesis that brain activity elicited by imagined scenarios of threats with two different magnitud...
Chapter
Despite reports of apparent benefits, social and political pressure beginning in the late 1960s effectively banned scientific inquiry into psychedelic substances. Covert examination of psychedelics persisted through the 1990s; the turn of the century and especially the past 10 years, however, has seen a resurgent interest in psychedelic substances...
Article
Full-text available
The updating of prospective internal models is necessary to accurately predict future observations. Uncertainty-driven internal model updating has been studied using a variety of perceptual paradigms, and have revealed engagement of frontal and parietal areas. In a distinct literature, studies on temporal expectations have also characterized a time...
Data
Statistical significant clusters associated with the contrast [non-periodic < periodic] using a random-effect model (blue-green scale). The statistical maps are projected onto a 3D surface rendering of the standard normalized brain of one subject (Top) and onto the normalized anatomical volume (Bottom). The posterior cluster corresponds to the post...
Data
Additional supporting information was added to the online version of article. Supplementary table 1 contains detailed information related to the analysis of clinical scales (Fugl Meyer, ARA-t and Barthel).