The First Brain Scans of People High on LSD Reveal Some Predictable Things - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

The First Brain Scans of People High on LSD Reveal Some Predictable Things

You turn into a baby.

Noted LSD enthusiast Timothy Leary in 1969. (Photo: Dr. Dennis Bogdan/CC BY-SA 3.0)

LSD is a drug which has been enjoyed for decades in the United States of America, generally by bored teenagers, experimental collegians, and, on occasion, responsible adults. 

So it was surprising then that researchers, who published their findings Monday, were the first to follow through on an idea that has probably occurred to approximately every LSD user in history: What, exactly, happens to my brain on drugs?

It turns out, the researchers found after scanning the brains of users high on the drug, you are a baby. Or, more precisely, thinking like one: “free and unconstrained.”

“In many ways, the brain in the LSD state resembles the state our brains were in when we were infants,” Robin Cahart-Harris, a co-author of the study, tells Reuters. “This also makes sense when we consider the hyper-emotional and imaginative nature of an infant’s mind.”

Yes, this does make a lot of sense.