Almost 78 years after Lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as LSD or 'acid' was first synthesized, the profound impact of the psychedelic substance on the brain has been captured with the help of brain scans.
The experiment which was conducted with the help of volunteers, who agreed to be injected with a small dose of the substance, gave scientists a new insight into the effects of the drug on the brain.
Here's an image.
(Credit: Imperial/Beckley Foundation)
The Guardian reported that:
The brain scans revealed that trippers experienced images through information drawn from many parts of their brains, and not just the visual cortex at the back of the head that normally processes visual information. Under the drug, regions once segregated spoke to one another.
David Nutt, a former drugs advisor, and senior researcher on the study, told the newspaper that â€śThis is to neuroscience what the Higgs boson was to particle physics. We didnâ€™t know how these profound effects were produced. It was too difficult to do. Scientists were either scared or couldnâ€™t be bothered to overcome the enormous hurdles to get this done.â€ť
Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, was quoted as saying:
"We observed brain changes under LSD that suggested our volunteers were 'seeing with their eyes shut' -- albeit they were seeing things from their imagination rather than from the outside world. We saw that many more areas of the brain than normal were contributing to visual processing under LSD -- even though the volunteers' eyes were closed. Furthermore, the size of this effect correlated with volunteers' ratings of complex, dreamlike visions."