Scientists at Imperial College London have proven what LSD users have long suspected: the psychedelic drug “frees the brain to become less compartmentalized and more like the mind of a baby.” Their findings were published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.
“In many ways, the brain in the LSD state resembles the state our brains were in when we were infants: free and unconstrained,” said Robin Cahart-Harris, the scientist who led the study. “This also makes sense when we consider the hyper-emotional and imaginative nature of an infant’s mind.”
“For the first time, we can really see what’s happening in the brain during the psychedelic state, and can better understand why LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) had such a profound impact on self-awareness,” said David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology who worked with Carhart-Harris on the project.
“This could have great implications for psychiatry.”
The study “involved 20 healthy volunteers, each of whom received both LSD and a placebo, and all of whom were deemed psychologically and physically healthy. All the volunteers had previously taken some type of psychedelic drug.”
During controlled experiments, the volunteers were either given an injection of 75 micrograms of LSD or a placebo. Gee, imagine how much it would suck to be part of this study and get the placebo. Then, their brains were scanned using various techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG).