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Less fear: How LSD affects the brain

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Psychedelic LSD trip | by J-Zegarra

Scientists at the University of Basel have shown that LSD reduces activity in the region of the brain related to the handling of negative emotions like fear. The results, published in the scientific journal Translational Psychiatry, could affect the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety.

Hallucinogens have many different effects on the psyche; among other things, they alter perception, thought, and temporal and emotional experience. After the Basel-based chemist Albert Hofmann discovered lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in the 1940s, there was a huge amount of interest in the substance, particularly in psychiatry. It was hoped, for example, that it could provide insights into the development of hallucinations, and studies were conducted on its effectiveness on illnesses such as depression or alcohol dependency. In the 1960s, LSD was declared illegal worldwide, and medical research on it came to a standstill.

In the last few years, however, interest in researching hallucinogens for medical purposes has been revived. Psychoactive substances such as LSD, particularly in combination with psychotherapies, could offer an alternative to conventional medication. It is now known that hallucinogens bind to a receptor of the neurotransmitter serotonin; how the changes of consciousness influence the activity and connectivity of the brain, however, is not yet known.

LSD alters brain activity

Researchers at the University Psychiatric Clinics (UPK) and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University Hospital Basel (USB) have now conducted a study into the acute effect of LSD on the brain. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the brain activity of 20 healthy people after taking 100 micrograms of LSD. During the MRI scan, the participants were shown images of faces portraying different emotional states such as anger, joy or fear.

Professor Stefan Borgwardt and his team showed that the depiction of fear under LSD led to a notably lower level of activity in the amygdala – an area of the brain that is believed to be central to the processing of emotions. This observation could explain some of the changes in emotional experience that occur after taking hallucinogens.

Less fear after taking LSD

In a second step, the researchers, together with clinical pharmacologists at the University Hospital Basel, examined whether the subjective experience altered by LSD is associated with the amygdala. This appears to be the case: the lower the LSD-induced amygdala activity of a subject, the higher the subjective effect of the drug. “This ‘de-frightening’ effect could be an important factor for positive therapeutic effects,” explains Doctor Felix Müller, lead author of the study. The researchers presume that hallucinogens may cause many more changes in brain activity. Further studies will investigate this, with a particular focus on their therapeutic potential.

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Stefan Borgwardt
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3 Comments
  1. NotJustus says

    Someone give Alex a triple hit of LSD. Hes so out of touch when he blasphemes but even taking the name of God on his lips. Alex repent or shut up. You are your own worst enemy. You cant g..d.. this or that and claim to be right with God. You cant say rebellion against authority is obediance to God. Gos sent you the tyrant to whip you into shape. You cant call your fellow man a scum, and call upon God in your next sentence. Unless your God is Satan. Satan is the original slanderer. You slander mercilessly. I cant direct decnt human beings directly to you. Foul mouthed you are

  2. NotJustus says

    Anyone else absolutely sick and tired of Alex boasting the claiming he’s not boasting. When an expert comes on, Alex wont let him finish his thought. Today it was Cernovich trying to give some breaking news, but Alex keeps interrupting with stuff grandizing himself. Alex wont let the expert speak. Alex has Pieczneks number. Pie winds up to deliver his load, but Alex butts in and we never do learn what Pie was going to say. Alex interrupts everyone usually to boast himself.

  3. Cory says

    I love info wars. I really do. I watch it everyday. Its the only tab open on my internet browser. Alex Jones has done a really great thing. I think any intelligent adult can see the work and effort put in by this man and the effect its had on the world. And its growing. Lots of people who do nothing to contribute to the solution come here and other sites to attack a man trying his hardest to save children and YOUR way of life (and ultimately a bunch of other people who work at infowars who have families and are fighting for them too). They have names, these people. They go home and kiss their kids goodnight. They’re trying really hard to help as much as they can. Alex is human. He says things out of passion for the desire to stop bad people from doing bad things. If he says certain men are scum and then something about god, don’t get upset. Its a frustration. He doesn’t want anyone to die, but he knows that the bad people want lots of others to die, so it gets to him. What he’s doing is really hard. REALLY hard. And look what he’s turned it into.

    Just stop and think about it for one second. What WOULDN’T you know if it wasn’t for Alex Jones? Imagine if we had 100 more of him running TV studios all over the world. We’d be in a much better world, if only because it would be much harder for the bad people of the world to do what they do because there would be more flashlights on them.

    Instead of bashing a man who’s honestly kind of on his own in this, maybe get a degree in journalism and video production and get out there and help. If you dont like Alex Jones thats fine, but help someone. Because as it turns out, the truth is, there really are a few thousand people who run the world and they’re old money who don’t care about you and want to control every facet of your life. There ARE pedophiles everywhere. There ARE military bases everywhere sticking US guns in the faces of countries who are upset we’re there. Terrorism IS created by the elite to further global governance. Can’t you see it? Isn’t it obvious?

    Really? You can’t tell the difference this man and his team is having in the world? You’re attacking the man who has done more than any other in modern history to help bring to light the bad things in the world. The reasons why you’re so restricted in what you do, where you go, the money taken from you, the right to defend yourself, your freedom.

    You’re either a shill, or you’re hopelessly blind. Either way there’s hope because you’re going to eventually figure all of this out and realize what he’s trying to do and what’s really going on. And a large part of the information you read that helps you reach that conclusion, because the truth is the truth, is going to come from Alex Jones and people like him, whether you like it or not. Watch the mainstream news and follow his reports along side ANY story they put out and you’ll start to see the extent of the illusion.

    I can’t even imagine what the world looks like if every piece of information you got was ACTUALLY the truth. This food is good for you, but this one isn’t. You’re sad because life is hard so here’s some help in a natural way, not you’re depressed because pfizer/glaxosmith-kline says you have a mental illness so take this pill on a monthly charged basis to ‘fix’ you.

    The problems of the world come down to two things. All the depression and famine and hatred and terrorism. All of it…comes down to finite resources and the will to consolidate them in the hands of the few (think about it…how many wars have been fought over air? Zero…because its everywhere and infinite). And the second reason is there are people who are psychopathic. Its indentified as having the inability to empathize or feel remorse towards others. And there are a lot of people who have this genetic disposition that tend to gravitate towards positions of authority and wealth. Combine that with the libido effects of testosterone and you have a potent enemy. They only see the end justifying the means. Although there’s more to it than this simply of course, it really does come down to these two factors as an underlayment to what we see.

    What am I doing about it? I start school in September. I’m 41 years old. I’m taking journalism and video production. I hope to be the next Alex Jones. He wants help. He’s asking for help. He NEEDS help. I’m tired of watching and doing nothing about it. I’m terrified to change my life like this and stick my neck out there. But you can’t unknow what you know. Seeing just how big the problems are in the world but knowing that most of it comes from a handful of jerks makes it somehow possible to fix. I imagine we’re all trying to squeegee slime coming from the back of a truck bed and it just never stops coming. Meanwhile if you were to look around the side of the truck box you’d see there are a few individuals holding up the box causing it to slide towards you in the first place. Cut the legs and arms off these people so that the truck bed drops flat so you dont have to keep squeegeeing. Then you can take a breath and finally clean the truck bed properly. Get the source. Don’t attack the person who’s trying to give you the knowledge to look AROUND the truck bed to see that someone was in fact holding it up in the first place.

    Globalism is an idea only. And its one designed over decades to do one thing……give everything to the ruling families of this world….and nothing to your kids when you’re gone. I can’t look at myself in the mirror knowing I did nothing anymore. Its time to fight.

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