Your new anti-depression medication: LSD
This study is particularly interesting in that it investigates the role of the human brain’s default-mode network in mental time travel. As it turns out, those of us with an active DMN are more likely to reflect on the past and hence wax romantic about what is not present, a reliable marker of depressed states.
Psychedelics appear to deactivate the DMN, forcing users to stay in the present moment. Ironically, the DMN has been championed in Flow states, in which the experiencer is also in the throes of “ego dissolution,” the term LSD researchers employ regarding the deactivation of the DMN. Flow states apparently shut down the brain’s central executive mode (the other major mode) in its own form of ego destruction. There’s even a style of introspection associated with the DMN: nondirective meditation. Also known as ‘mind wandering,’ this study showed a positive link between activation of the DMN with emotional processing and memory retrieval. This form of meditation is not simply daydreaming, though that too is pertinent: