Less fear: How LSD affects the brain
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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.