Scientists are learning that MDMA is way more than just a party drug. New research suggests that the substance can offer therapeutic benefits, and according to a recent report, heighten social processing. Specifically, a new study says MDMA can make people more cooperative and forgiving in social situations.


According to a team from King’s College London, the drug affects the way in which people interact with others. Those who struggle with “social processing,” a term linked to such relationships, may become more in tune with others with the help of MDMA. Currently, problems with social processing are “recognized as a fundamental difficulty in a range of psychiatric conditions and are not treated effectively by current medications.”

While the findings are amazing, the study in itself is quite interesting. Participants were asked to play the famous psychological game “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” which is all about competing or cooperating with another person. When given a dose of MDMA, people were more likely to take the cooperative route, but only with trustworthy players. Also, they were more willing to rebuild relationships even after a breach of trust took place during gameplay.

Professor Mitul Mehta from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, an expert close to the research project explains, surprisingly, “MDMA did not alter how trustworthy they thought the other players were.”

Instead, “MDMA increased activity in the superior temporal cortex and mid-cingulate cortex” which are “important in understanding the thoughts, beliefs and intentions of other people.” Rather than altering the decision-making process altogether, MDMA specifically had an impact on brain activity when processing the behavior of others.

 

Source: Metro UK