The Beckley/Imperial Psychedelic Research Programme will soon undertake the world’s first scientific investigation into the effects of microdosing on mood (including depression, anxiety, and vitality), cognitive functions, creativity and general wellbeing.
Led by Amanda Feilding, this unprecedented and highly original study will, alongside a standard battery of cognitive tasks and mood and wellbeing surveys, use the ancient Chinese game of Go to measure the unique type of cognitive enhancement that microdosing is anecdotally reported to produce: insight. Performance in this game relies largely on intuitive pattern recognition and participants will compete against a Go-playing AI, which will assess their performance using the standardised Go ranking system. Mood and cognitive function will be measured with well-established methods and the latest brain imaging technology will reveal the neurological mechanisms behind the effects of microdosing. The safety and tolerability of LSD microdosing will also be evaluated.
This study will be supplemented by research with the Beckley/Maastricht Programme, which will investigate the short-term effects of various sizes of LSD microdose on creativity, cognitive flexibility, and wellbeing.
Outside of the lab, the Beckley/Imperial team are also conducting the world’s first placebo-controlled, self-blinded study of microdosing. Recruiting participants from around the world who already microdose, or who are about to start, the study uses an innovative new procedure to mimic important aspects of the blinding process, improving on previous survey studies of microdosers by diminishing the role of the placebo effect. To watch the study video and learn more, click here.
Microdosing involves taking tiny amounts of psychedelic substances in order to produce subtle changes in cognitive function without altering perception. Extensive anecdotal reports suggest that microdosing with LSD can improve mood, enhance cognition, increase productivity, and boost creativity. But so far, no rigorous scientific research has been done to investigate these effects or to assess the safety of this practice.
With little or no inclination for governments or pharmaceutical companies to finance research into psychedelic medications, studies such as this depend entirely on private donors and institutions.
Psilocybin for Depression
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