Finally a decent study into LSD

Skip to main contentSubscribe

Live Science is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

LSD alters consciousness by breaking down barriers in the brain

By Yasemin Saplakoglu – Staff Writer 10 days ago

“LSD did not change the layout of the roads, but it did change the traffic.”

A colorful illustration of the concept of a brain on psychedelics.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

LSD may alter consciousness by freeing the brain from its natural barriers, allowing neurons that wouldn’t normally interact, to have unusual conversations, brain scans show.Advertisement

Investigating how “mind-altering” substances such as LSD can change the brain can be a “powerful method for interrogating and understanding” how the mind meets the brain, the authors wrote in the study, first reported by PsyPost

The brain is made up of 86 billion neurons that communicate with each other over a network of connections. With limited space in the skull, not every neuron has a direct connection to every other neuron, and each person’s brain is wired a bit differently. But neuroscientists have created maps that roughly sketch out which brain regions tend to be more or less connected to each other, in the average person.

Related: 3D images: exploring the human brain

Inside Your Brain: $22.99 at Magazines Direct

What does it really mean to be conscious? Why do we have cognitive biases when the facts contradict us? And why do some people see the world in a totally different way? In “Inside Your Brain”, you’ll explore the answers, chart the life of a pioneering neurosurgeon and relive some of the most bizarre experiments ever conducted in the endless quest to understand the brain.VIEW DEALPsychedelic Psilocybin For Depression Treatment? of 01:0101:0101:01 PLAY SOUND

“If you think of brain structure as roads, brain function is the traffic,” said lead author Andrea Luppi, a doctoral candidate in the cognition and
consciousness imaging group at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. In other words, this underlying infrastructure creates limits on which brain regions can exchange information. “LSD did not change the layout of the roads, but it did change the traffic,” Luppi told Live Science in an email.Advertisement

To figure this out, Luppi’s colleagues at Imperial College London recruited 20 healthy volunteers who had all previously used psychedelic drugs. Each volunteer underwent two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans, two weeks apart. Before one of the scans, they were given salty water as a placebo, and before the other they were given 75 micrograms of LSD dissolved in salty water. The participants closed their eyes and rested as their brains were scanned. They later completed a subjective evaluation of their experience.

Not surprisingly, the scans revealed deep changes in the way the brain communicates. 

LSD temporarily reorganized the traffic of the brain, triggering communication between regions that don’t normally interact. Instead of traveling well-worn superhighways, brain signals took circuitous routes through tiny backroads to distant locales in the brain. 

“LSD changes the parts of our brain that can chat,” Luppi said. Specifically, the change in traffic temporarily altered the way the brain takes in and categorizes information from the outside world. They also found that the effects of the drug on brain function were not constant over the entire duration of the psychedelic experience. 

These new communication patterns were correlated with feelings of bliss, complex imagery and a phenomenon known as ego dissolution, or losing one’s sense of self. RELATED CONTENT

— Inside the brain: A photo journey through time

— 10 interesting facts about heroin

— 7 ways marijuana may affect the brain

Under the influence of LSD, “the brain is free to explore a variety of functional connectivity patterns that go beyond those dictated by anatomy — presumably resulting in the unusual beliefs and experiences reported during the psychedelic state,” the authors wrote. Understanding how exactly psychedelics affect brain function “may hold further promise for our understanding of the therapeutic effects,” the authors wrote. Advertisement

This isn’t the first time researchers have found that psychedelics change brain connectivity; magic mushrooms, which contain psilocybin, can also create a hyperconnected brain, Live Science previously reported.

And psychedelic drugs including psilocybin, MDMA and ayahuasca have shown promise in treating mental health disorders, Live Science previously reported

The findings were published on Feb. 15 in the journal NeuroImage.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Feb. 25 to provide additional institutional affiliation details for Luppi, and to clarify that his colleagues at Imperial College London recruited patients.

Originally published on Live Science.MORE ABOUT…Is an electric car better for the planet?LATESTFDA clears Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency useSEE MORE LATEST

MOST POPULARWhy does Christianity have so many denominations?

By Donavyn CoffeyFebruary 27, 2021READ MOREGiant crack frees a massive iceberg in Antarctica

By Yasemin SaplakogluFebruary 26, 2021READ MOREMedium-size dinos are missing from the fossil record. Here’s why.

By Laura GeggelFebruary 26, 2021READ MOREPerseverance is a tiny pale speck on Mars in this orbiter’s eerie photo

By Mindy WeisbergerFebruary 26, 2021READ MOREPirate attacks linked to destructive fishing

By Patrick PesterFebruary 26, 2021READ MOREQuick guide: COVID-19 vaccines in use and how they work

By Nicoletta LaneseFebruary 26, 2021READ MOREHidden scenes in ancient Etruscan paintings revealed


Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today.Contact me with news and offers from other Future brandsReceive email from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsorsNo spam, we promise. You can unsubscribe at any time and we’ll never share your details without your permission.MOST READMOST SHARED

  1. 1COVID-19 vaccines: What does 95% efficacy actually mean?
  2. 2Vampire squid fossil ‘lost’ during the Hungarian Revolution rediscovered
  3. 3Humpback whale survives 4-hour attack by gang of orcas
  4. 4Cosmologists create 4,000 virtual universes to solve Big Bang mystery
  5. 5Giant 14-foot-long crocodile found with human remains in stomach

Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site.

© Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036.

Published by technofiend1

Kazan- Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: