A new study has revealed that hallucinogenic drugs are capable of providing a ‘higher level of consciousness’ within humans.
The study, conducted by scientists from The University of Sussex, The University of Auckland, and Imperial College London, measured the consciousness levels of humans after taking three hallucinogenic substances.
The substances in question, namely LSD, ketamine and psilocybin (the active substance in magic mushrooms), were given to several participants, whose brain activity was measured using a specialised technique known as Magnetoencephalography (MEG).
After taking the drug, each participant was then asked to give a brief summary of their experience while under the influence – with some claiming to have found a ‘profound inner peace’. Others claimed that ‘the experience had a spiritual or mystical quality’.
At the same time as the initial experiment, some participants had been handed a placebo drug – which would acted as the barometer for the researchers to measure the levels of consciousness against.
After comparing the brain levels of the participants who took the drug against those who did not, scientists noted instances of ‘increased signal diversity’ across all the participants who had taken the drug.
Specifically, 100 percent of all participants who took ketamine had a stronger state of consciousness than those who did not – along with similarly high scores of 86 and 93 percent respectively for psilocybin and LSD.
The study claimed: ‘We have demonstrated, for the first time, that measures of neural signal diversity that are known to be sensitive to conscious level, are also sensitive to the changes in brain dynamics associated with the psychedelic state.
‘We found that the psychedelic state induces increased brain-wide signal diversity as compared to placebo, across a range of measures and three different psychedelic compounds.’