LSD and other hallucinogenics have profound effects on consciousness. They alter a person’s sensations – sometimes quite dramatically – and produce a feeling of insight and understanding. Typically people report that they feel as though some true and deep meaning is being revealed.
The brain mechanisms that lead to this alteration in experience are not known because, along with the 40-year ban on the use of hallucinogenics their use in scientific research was also restricted.
In 2005 the Beckley Foundation initiated a study in association with Dr. Matt Baggott at the University of California, Berkeley that aimed to investigate both the safety of using LSD in scientific research using human subjects, and to measure, using Electroencephalography (EEG), how changes in consciousness brought about by LSD alter the way in which brain areas communicate with each other.
In April 2007, we were the first to gain ethical approval to use LSD with human participants since prohibition ended all such research decades ago. It is also the first neuroscientific research on LSD in the modern era. In 2008 Amanda Feilding, with the help of Albert Hoffman, obtained the LSD that would be used in this study.
Research to date has proceeded slowly due to unforeseen circumstances of the principal investigator.
Some preliminary results have been obtained and will be posted shortly.