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LSD could make you more creative

A new study has found that the psychedelic alters the semantics of the brain, tapping into words and ideas from deep within the subconscious

Research into the properties of LSD has been delving deeper into the mysterious, mind-altering psychedelic. One study found that it was great for improving “psychological wellbeing”; another showed it to make men act more “peaceful and compassionately” and that it helped make the brain more “complete”. We’ve also watched people try to build IKEA furniture while tripping out – a mammoth task, sober or not. Now, according to a new study, LSD could further enhance people’s creativity, as subconscious thoughts are increasingly activated by the drug.

Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, an American journal, looked into how Lysergic acid diethylamide affected speech and language. The drug has been utilized in clinical trials as well as recreationally since the 1960s when it was first discovered. The drug is known for the visual hallucinations and potential delusions when ingested orally.

10 participants in the study were given LSD and a placebo pill one week apart, and asked to identify a series of pictures.

“Results showed that while LSD does not affect reaction times,” Neiloufar Family, the study’s lead author and postdoctoral researcher at Germany’s University of Kaiserslautern said in a statement. “People under LSD made more mistakes that were similar in meaning to the pictures they saw.”

As Medical Daily reports, the semantics of the mind were greatly affected. For example, participants who were shown an image of a car while on LSD identified it as a bus or train. More words related to the original subject were bought to the forefront of the subject’s mind as the drug activated more of the subconscious.

Family continued: “These findings are relevant for the renewed exploration of psychedelic psychotherapy, which are being developed for depression and other mental illnesses. The effects of LSD on language can result in a cascade of associations that allow quicker access to far away concepts stored in the mind.”

“Inducing a hyper-associative state may have implications for the enhancement of creativity,” she said.