Psychedelics cause a higher state of consciousness in new study – New York Daily News


New research shows that psychedelic drugs like LSD really can elevate the mind to a higher state of consciousness, something a few of us, like The Beatles, have been saying all along.


Complex activity in the brain, what scientists call “neural signal diversity,” increased in people under the influence, proving that psychedelics really do take the mind to a higher, potentially smarter, place. This is the first time such a display of movement and intricacy inside a drugged mind was shown to be greater than that of a sober, alert person.


“During the psychedelic state, the electrical activity of the brain is less predictable and less integrated than during normal conscious, wakefulness,” said Anil Seth, one of the researchers from the University of Sussex in the U.K.

The diagram printed in the study of three different brains - each on one of the three tested substances: LSD, ketamine or psilocybin - showed the neural activity of each.

The diagram printed in the study of three different brains – each on one of the three tested substances: LSD, ketamine or psilocybin – showed the neural activity of each.

(University of Sussex)


A diagram printed in the study of three different brains – each on one of the three tested substances: LSD, ketamine or psilocybin – showed the neural activity of each. On ketamine, brain activity is active and dispersed all over. On LSD, it was concentrated to one half of the brain and psilocybin focused on a very small section.

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Brain imaging technology showed that each drug also generated more tiny magnetic fields and that brain connections were more random, as was expected of a high person. The scientists are excited about this new discovery and its potential for understanding creativity and hallucinations, exploring the different levels of consciousness and creating new medications to treat psychological disorders.


“People often say they experience insight under these drugs and when this occurs in a therapeutic context, it can predict positive outcomes,” said researcher Robin Carhart-Harris. “The findings may help us understand how this can happen.”

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