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LSD makes you think like a baby

Engadget Engadget 12/04/2016 Daniel Cooper
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Researchers at Imperial College London believe that they know what effect LSD has on the human brain. After pumping test subjects full of the stuff and shoving them in an MRI, the team learned that the drug makes our brains behave similarly to that of a baby. In order to understand this, imagine that your mind is the single floor of an office, with cubicles running as far as the eye can see. Each cubicle is responsible for different jobs, such as memory, balance and hearing, only talking to each other on the annual company retreat. LSD is like a disgruntled former employee, temporarily smashing down the plyboard dividers and forcing everyone to collaborate.

Breaking down the organizational structure of our mind is what's responsible for the crazy hallucinations some users experience. Normally, seeing is governed by the visual cortex, but the drug essentially lets everyone in the office have a go at running the projector. It's not just recreational, either, since the team believes that LSD could have the power to transform the lives of people with depression or addiction.

Both of those conditions are akin to setting up extra cubicles in your mental office -- ones that either compel you to think sad thoughts or consume a specific chemical. Treatment with LSD may help those affected to kick down those particular offices and move forward with their lives. It's also thought that users of LSD experience an improvement in their mental wellbeing when they're finished. Maybe Timothy Leary was right all of these years, and not just about video game design.

PNAS

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