For the first time, researchers succeeded in showing, which processes LSD puts in a brain in gear. A huge breakthrough for Neuroscience, the lead researcher even with the discovery of Higgs Bosons equating. To understand how LSD on the brain acts is very important according to researchers, that the therapeutic effect of psychedelic Drugs can be better understood - people with mental illness - such as depression or dependencies.

Brain on LSD in MRI

David Nutt, Professor für Neuropsychopharmakologie am Imperial College in London, has observed together with his colleague Robin Carhart-Harris and his team the first time in the history of science the human brain under the influence of LSD in an MRI. The resulting images provide an unprecedented transparency about the effects of LSD. Thus, they show, for example,, that the strong hallucinogenic effects not only on the visual cortex (in the city) is limited, but extends to the whole brain. The communication of usually not in composite interacting brain areas will be activated by the substance. This could provide an answer, why LSD triggers the intense trips and the loss of personal identity leads - with correspondingly great danger. For this purpose the researchers said Robin Carhart-Harris:

Normally, the brain of independent networks is composed, meet the various special functions, For example, consider the, Movements or listening - but also more complex things like attention. If we take LSD, break these networks together and the brain combines into one whole.

The team led by Professor Nutt has human subjects scanned among others in a magnetic resonance imaging under the influence of the psychedelic drug LSD. Recruited were twenty healthy volunteers, who were ready for the science 75 microgram (0,075 milligram) to let inject LSD. Parallel part of the test persons was a Placebo administered. The team used three different brain imaging techniques, Arterial Spin Labeling, MRI and magnetoencephalography, to figure, what in the brains of subjects was really going on.

Brain on LSD in MRI

So the scientists found, that the visual processing of the participants no longer limited only to the visual cortex at the base of the brain - all kinds of regions contributed to the, what participants saw, which is quite strange, since they had their eyes closed. In addition to the connection will not interacting with each other brain regions, were also regions, which together are the composite otherwise, separated from each other. According to Nutt have the neurosciences 50 waiting for this moment years. The experiment was made possible through a crowdfunding campaign. The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences released.
(© Bilder Imperial/Beckley Foundation)