Home Discussion Forum what are the functions of the human pineal gland?

what are the functions of the human pineal gland?

from a scientific perspective, why is the pineal gland associated by many cultures with precognative abilities, and expanded consciousness?

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  1. Some think it creates DMT, which is essentially a drug that induces hallucinations…
    But it is thought to induce dreams and messed up imagines in peoples heads.
    However, there is no direct evidence for this.

  2. he pineal gland (also called the pineal body or epiphysis) is a small endocrine gland in the brain. It is located near the center of the brain, between the two hemispheres, tucked in a groove where the two rounded thalamic bodies join. A recent review of the pineal and its secreted hormone, melatonin, is available
    The pineal gland was originally believed to be a “vestigial remnant” of a larger organ (much as the appendix is now thought to be a vestigial digestive organ). It was only after the 1960s that scientists discovered that the pineal gland is responsible for the production of melatonin, which is regulated in a circadian rhythm. Melatonin is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan, which also has other functions in the Central Nervous System. The production of melatonin by the pineal gland is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light (Axelrod, 1970). The retina detects the light, and directly signals and entrains the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Fibers project from the SCN to the paraventricular nuclei (PVN), which relay the circadian signals to the spinal cord and out via the sympathetic system to superior cervical ganglia (SCG), and from there into the pineal gland.
    The pineal gland is large in children, but shrinks at puberty. It appears to play a major role in sexual development, hibernation in animals, metabolism, and seasonal breeding. The abundant melatonin levels in children is believed to inhibit sexual development, and pineal tumors have been linked with precocious puberty. When puberty arrives, melatonin production is reduced. Calcification of the pineal gland is typical in adults.
    Pineal cytostructure seems to have evolutionary similarities to the retinal cells of chordates (Klein, 2004). Modern birds and reptiles have been found to express the phototransducing pigment melanopsin in the pineal gland. Avian pineal glands are believed to act like the suprachiasmatic nucleus in mammals (Natesan et al., 2002).
    Reports in rodents suggest that the pineal gland may influence the actions of drugs of abuse such as cocaine [1] and antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac)[2]; and contribute to regulation of neuronal vulnerability[3]. In addition, it has been proposed by Rick Strassman that the pineal gland is responsible for manufacture of endogenous dimethyltryptamine (DMT) although this is only speculation. There are some who believe DMT has a role in dreaming and possibly near-death experiences and other mystical states, and, although not proven, it was hypothesized in 1988 by Jace Callaway that DMT is connected with visual dreaming. Dr. Strassman expanded upon this theory in his book: DMT: The Spirit Molecule. However, significant (or any?) DMT production by the pineal gland has not been reported in the refereed scientific literature (PubMed search as of July 24, 2006).


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