Groundbreaking First-Ever Study Reveals Effects of LSD on the Brain
McCarton Ackerman - The Fix
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April 14, 2016
Tripping on LSD could unlock child-like creativity (The Guardian)
A groundbreaking new study has visually shown just how the human brain is impacted by LSD.
CNN reports that researchers at Imperial College London used brain scanning and other techniques to obtain the new findings. The scientists recruited 20 volunteers for the study, all of whom were in good health and had previous experience taking psychedelics. Participants were given the drug, as well as a placebo, then had their brains imaged inside an fMRI scanner in order to visualize their brain activity.
The scientists said in a statement that the LSD-impacted brains showed an “explosion of communication.” They explained that “under normal conditions, information from our eyes is processed in a part of the brain at the back of the head called the visual cortex. However, when the volunteers took LSD, many additional brain areas - not just the visual cortex - contributed to visual processing.” This is due to the fact that blood flow to visual regions also increased after consuming LSD, which the researchers believe result in the hallucinations associated with taking the drug.
The study could have potential implications not only for future research on the subject, but also for LSD to eventually become a viable option for treating addiction and depression, among other disorders. LSD is currently classified in the U.S. as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical benefits.
...Other studies have also shown that LSD can provide meaningful medical benefits. In November 2014, Swiss researchers found that the drug can permanently stop “end-of-life” anxiety in terminally ill patients.
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