Study Shows LSD’s Effects On Language

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) can affect speech and language. A study published in the academic journal “Language, Cognition and Neuroscience,” links the consumption of the psychedelic substance to the loss of connections between the self and the environment, a case that is common among those with certain psychiatric illnesses.

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a semi-synthetic drug which combines both natural occurring and man-made substances to alter the sense and cause hallucinations.

Researchers who studied how LSD seems to affect the mind’s semantic network, had participants placed under placebo and under the influence of LSD, one week apart. Participants were asked to name a sequence of pictures.

Dr. Neiloufar Family, from the University of Kaiserslautern, the study’s lead author, explains how LSD changes the way words and concepts are stored:

people under LSD made more mistakes that were similar in meaning to the pictures they saw.”

Researchers gathered some errors from the picture naming; when under the influence of LSD, people tend to name car as bus or train.

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Dr. Neiloufar explains further how the study could help in understanding the neurobiological basis of semantic network activation.

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.”

- Neiloufar Family, David Vinson, Gabriella Vigliocco. Semantic activation in LSD: evidence from picture naming, Language, Cognition and Neuroscience (2016).

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