An extremely exciting article above about the scientific studies being done on the psychedelic of LSD. Some of the finer points of the article are below.
“The Beckley/Imperial Research Programme hope these collective findings may pave the way for these compounds being one day used to treat psychiatric disorders. They could be particularly useful in conditions where negative thought patterns have become entrenched, say the scientists, such as in depression or addiction.
Dr Carhart-Harris explained: Normally our brain consists of independent networks that perform separate specialised functions, such as vision, movement and hearing — as well as more complex things like attention. However, under LSD the separateness of these networks breaks down and instead you see a more integrated or unified brain.
Dr Carhart-Harris added: Our brains become more constrained and compartmentalized as we develop from infancy into adulthood, and we may become more focused and rigid in our thinking as we mature. In many ways, the brain in the LSD state resembles the state our brains were in when we were infants: free and unconstrained. This also makes sense when we consider the hyper-emotional and imaginative nature of an infant’s mind.
Our results suggest that this effect underlies the profound altered state of consciousness that people often describe during an LSD experience. It is also related to what people sometimes call ‘ego-dissolution’, which means the normal sense of self is broken down and replaced by a sense of reconnection with themselves, others and the natural world. This experience is sometimes framed in a religious or spiritual way — and seems to be associated with improvements in well-being after the drug’s effects have subsided.”