A new study shows that LSD makes the brain’s neuronal pathways less rigid. It allows different regions of the brain to communicate with each other in ways that are less dependent on the physical structure of the brain than usual.
Under the influence of LSD, the mind has a way of coloring outside the lines, so to speak. By enabling its user to make mental connections they wouldn’t otherwise have made, LSD sometimes gives rise to “lightbulb moments” that literally change the world.
For example, molecular biologist Francis Crick was under its influence when he deciphered the double-helix structure of DNA, and Dr. Kary Banks Mullis has credited LSD with helping him invent a Nobel Prize-winning method of isolating and testing DNA. “Would I have invented PCR if I hadn’t taken LSD?” he asked. “I seriously doubt it.”
It seems that there’s a physical component to all this: The lead author of this study, Andrea Luppi, PhD, has noted that this is the opposite of what happens during anesthesia.