A recent study published in the “Consciousness and Cognition” journal has found that language produced while an individual is under the influence of LSD shows decreased semantic coherence and increased entropy levels. In layman’s terms, this means that people were more likely to move from one topic to another and have more disorganized speech while under the influence of LSD.
Entropy was developed by physicists to quantify lost energy in mechanical systems. However, researchers have found that this measure of randomness and uncertainty in a system can also be used to measure spontaneous activity in brain networks.
Study author Enzo Tagliazucchi, who is als the director of the Consciousness, Culture and Complexity Lab and a professor at the University of Buenos Aires, stated that a few years ago, it was proposed that the effects of psychedelic substances were brought about by increased disorganization of patterns of brain activity. He noted that the hypothesis was strongly supported by neuroimaging experiments in people, which led to speculation that increased entropy levels could also have an effect on natural language production. This is what prompted the researchers to study whether psychedelic substances had a disorganizing effect on natural speech.
For their study, the researchers recruited 20 healthy participants who either received a dose of placebo or a dose of LSD before undergoing magnetoencephalography (“MEG”) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (“fMRI”) scans at a neuroimaging laboratory. Each participant had to visit the lab twice, with each visit being two weeks apart. In addition to this, each participant was interviewed by the researchers regarding their feelings and thoughts during the experience.
The researchers then used computer algorithms to conduct an analysis of the participant’s speech patterns, which led them to the discovery that in comparison to those under the influence of placebo, participants under the effects of LSD scored higher on speech disorganization. The researchers also found that while the latter group tended to use more words while under the influence of LSD, their vocabulary was relatively smaller.
In their report, the researchers note that the order of dosing was randomized, adding that the study had some limitations, including the fact that the participants could easily make out whether they had consumed the placebo or LSD. This, the researchers explained, changed the participants’ attitude toward the experiment. They note that subjects tend to speak more while under the influence of LSD in comparison with those under the effects of the placebo.
The diverse (both good and potentially adverse) effects of psychedelic compounds such as LSD may explain why sector players including Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF) prefer to concentrate their R&D efforts on developing medicinal formulations to be administered under the watchful eye of trained medical professionals.
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