What does LSD do to your brain? Well we might have an answer for that. Scientists found that the brains of adults on LSD look like the mind of a baby.
A Brain on LSD Looks like a Baby’s Brain
LSD and babies, though it might seem farfetched at first, babies are tripping their way through infancy. If we consider what the world looked like to us even as children, it wouldn’t be a stretch to find correlations between that imaginative, emotionally sensitive state and the psychedelic experience. However, now that science has proved that to be true, it suddenly puts babies in a totally different light. We come into this existence tripping.
Returning to a childlike state is not a new concept or desire amongst adults. We admire the innocence, wonder, and symbolism of childhood. To have a “beginner’s mindset” is a concept that spoken about frequently in regards to approaching psychedelics or even the creative process in general. Many iconic films feature a child as their star. They tend to take us on imaginary, epic journeys about coming of age, and a child’s mission to save innocent, imaginary worlds. We’re tripping!
A Return to Innocence
As we become older, however, our brains become compartmentalized and fixed in their patterning. Depending on the individual, the way our brains function can lead to disfunction, obviously. Psychedelics have shown to get people out of their constrained ways of thinking about themselves and the world around them. In the case of depression, studies show that psychedelics such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, and MDMA break the loop of negative thinking and facilitate new patterns. Furthermore, research has shown that ayahuasca makes neuron babies in the brain. In other words, our world may be reborn on psychedelics.
In terms of psychedelic research, LSD is one of the lesser examined drugs thus far due to the length of the trip, which makes it difficult to use in the context of psychotherapy, and its enduring stigma from the 50s and 60s. More and more, however, LSD is making a comeback. There are people microdosing LSD with success, although we cannot say that is for certain from a scientific perspective, and the benefits of LSD are quite promising for mental health issues. It was, after all, originally created as an antipsychotic medication.
Study at the Imperial College in London
Nevertheless, the researchers at the Imperial College in London scanned the brains of people on LSD and found that they looked like a baby’s mind. They describe that the adult brain works in separately on different tasks, but LSD leads to a more unified system.
“In many ways, the brain in the LSD state resembles the state our brains were in when we were infants: free and unconstrained,” Robin Cahart-Harris said, head researcher of the study. Furthermore, the LSD experience seemed to improve the wellbeing of the person long afterward. Thus, returning to a state of babyhood might have long-term benefits for our mental health overall.