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Kasamatsu & Hirai (1999) - Neurotransmitter serotonin

Aim: How sensory deprivation affects the brain.
Procedure: Researchers studied a group of Buddhist monks who went on a 72-hour pilgrimage to a holy mountain in Japan. On the mountain, monks did not consume food or water and did not speak. They were exposed to the cold, late autumn weather. After 48 hours, they began having hallucinations, often seeing ancestors or feeling a presence by their sides. Researchers took blood samples before and after monks went to the mountain.
Findings: They found serotonin levels increased in monks’ brains. Higher levels were activated in hypothalamus and the frontal cortex resulting in hallucinations.

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