It so happens to be the case that LSD and various other psychedelic drugs change the brain completely as far as the level of consciousness is concerned.
Brain scans have shown that many people who take LSD and other psychedelic drugs tend to alter their level of consciousness in a permanent manner.
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When healthy volunteers received LSD, ketamine or psilocybin (which is found in magic mushrooms) they tended to have more random brain activity than their normal counterparts who didn’t take the drugs. The effects of the drugs were very potent. They seemed to alter the mind.
Besides the transformation in brain activity, there were many strange occurrences on a physical level. These included sensations of floating in space and intense inner peace.
Also time seemed to lose its importance and became subject to distortion. Finally, all sense of having a self was lost. The activity of the neurons in the brains of the subjects as they took the drugs was noted down by the researchers.
Such measurements showed that when the people were asleep their neuronal activity was different from what it was when they were awake.
The neuronal activity while asleep was more predictable than while awake. While the level of consciousness goes up while under the influence of these drugs, it also moves in the opposite direction.
The neural activity becomes rather haphazard. Up until now, decreases as compared to the baseline of the normal waking state were seen.
The current research has occurred 74 years after the world’s first official LSD trip was experienced by the scientist Albert Hoffman. It was a strange, bizarre, terrifying and pleasurable trip that Hoffman took where colors exploded and he felt like he was about to die.
The brain scans of the people who took LSD showed that the parts responsible for perception rather than language and movement were most influenced by the powerful drug.
There is a mixture of the senses in a manner of synaesthesia. A deeper and richer consciousness is experienced as a result. These mind-opening drugs have been compared to hippie culture and mystical mumbo jumbo.
Thus what many hippies learned over 40 years ago in the swinging 60s generation has been explored in a more scientific and rational manner today.
These drugs may play an important role in the future as regards the cure for certain mental diseases such as depression. Yet the researchers will have to proceed with caution since they have many weird and frightening side effects too.
This research is published in the journal Scientific Reports.