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Title: Low-dose LSD and the stream of thought: Increased Discontinuity of Mind, Deep Thoughts and abstract flow
Authors: Wießner, Isabel
Falchi, Marcelo
Fontes, Fernanda Palhano Xavier de
Maia, Lucas Oliveira
Feilding, Amanda
Ribeiro, Sidarta Tollendal Gomes
Mota, Natália Bezerra
Araujo, Draulio Barros de
Tófoli, Luís Fernando
Keywords: LSD;Lysergic acid diethylamide;Resting state cognition;Mind-wandering;Free association;Forward flow;Abstract thinking;Semantic analysis
Issue Date: 28-Oct-2021
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Citation: WIEßNER, Isabel; FALCHI, Marcelo; PALHANO-FONTES, Fernanda; MAIA, Lucas Oliveira; FEILDING, Amanda; RIBEIRO, Sidarta; MOTA, Natália Bezerra; ARAUJO, Draulio B.; TÓFOLI, Luís Fernando. Low-dose LSD and the stream of thought: increased discontinuity of mind, deep thoughts and abstract flow. Psychopharmacology, [S. l.], out. 2021. Doi: Disponível em: . Acesso em: 28 out. 2021.
Portuguese Abstract: Rationale: Stream of thought describes the nature of the mind when it is freely roaming, a mental state that is continuous and highly dynamic as in mind-wandering or free association. Classic serotonergic psychedelics are known to profoundly impact perception, cognition and language, yet their influence on the stream of thought remains largely unexplored. Objective: To elucidate the effects of LSD on the stream of thought. Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, 24 healthy participants received 50 μg lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or inactive placebo. Mind-wandering was measured by the Amsterdam Resting State Questionnaire (ARSQ), free association by the Forward Flow Task (FFT) for three seed word types (animals, objects, abstract words). ARSQ and FFT were assessed at +0 h, +2 h, +4 h, +6 h, +8 h and +24 h after drug administration, respectively. Results: LSD, compared to placebo, induced different facets of mind-wandering we conceptualized as “chaos” (Discontinuity of Mind, decreased Sleepiness, Planning, Thoughts under Control, Thoughts about Work and Thoughts about Past), “meaning” (Deep Thoughts, Not Sharing Thoughts) and “sensation” (Thoughts about Odours, Thoughts about Sounds). LSD increased the FFT for abstract words reflecting an “abstract flow” under free association. Overall, chaos was strongest pronounced (+2 h to +6 h), followed by meaning (+2 h to +4 h), sensation (+2 h) and abstract flow (+4 h). Conclusions: LSD affects the stream of thought within several levels (active, passive), facets (chaos, meaning, sensation, abstractness) and time points (from +2 h to +6 h). Increased chaos, meaning and abstract flow at +4 h indicate the utility of a late therapeutic window in psycholytic therapy.
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