Popularized by Ayelet Waldman's book A Really Good Day, microdosing LSD (ingesting LSD in such minuscule amounts that its psychedelic effects aren't felt) is said to improve cognitive function and relieve pain and depression. At least that is what microdosers claim. Of course this isn't backed by science, since acid was made illegal in 1968 and researching the controlled substance is almost impossible.
But researcher Amanda Fielding, who once drilled a hole in her head in the name of consciousness exploration and who now runs the Beckley Foundation for psychedelic research, is planning a study to see if these microdosing claims are legitimate.
According to Motherboard:
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As the first scientific trial to investigate the effects of microdosing, Fielding's study will consist of 20 participants who will be given low doses—10, 20 and 50 micrograms of LSD—or a placebo on four different occasions. After taking the acid, the brains of these subjects will be imaged using MRI and MEG while they engage in a variety of cognitive tasks, such as the neuropsychology staples the Wisconsin Card Sorting test and the Tower of London test. Importantly, the participants will also be playing Go against an AI, which will assess the players' performance during the match.
By imaging the brain while it's under the influence of small amounts of LSD, Fielding hopes to learn how the substance changes connectivity in the brain to enhance creativity and problem solving. If the study goes forward, this will only be the second time that subjects on LSD have had their brain imaged while tripping.