Study: LSD Enhances Emotional Response To Music

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Study: LSD Enhances Emotional Response To Music

With the support for psychedelic assisted therapy on the rise, scientists are now looking into the ways psychedelics affect our perceptions. The current focus is on music.

Drugs and music have a long and deep relationship; drugs inspire musical creation, enhance its appreciation, and are even guided by it during a trip. Well, a little late to the party, science is beginning to investigate the link between music and LSD, and they are finding all sorts.

The most recent research in the field has established that LSD causes a much stronger emotional response to music. For anyone that has ever tripped on LSD, this is going to be extremely obvious. LSD is not only a drug whose trip is shaped and guided by music, it also allows us to see and feel things within the music that we would not have otherwise felt.


So, why is science bothering to confirm something we already know? Well, they aren’t doing it to prove us right. No, things go a little deeper. Music has been shown to have therapeutic value, so exploring how the brain responds to it in varying states can help give us an insight not only into the way the brain works, but into how music can be further harnessed to our benefit. For example, psychedelic-assisted therapy is coming on in leaps and bounds, helping those suffering from such conditions as PTSD, addiction, depression, as well as those dealing with traumatic life events. Music is often used during this therapy, and by understanding the interaction better, we may be able to find ways to enhance it.


The actual research, should you wish to read up on it more, was published in the journal Psychopharmacology. In the study, ten healthy volunteers were asked to attend two sessions, spending some time listening to music in each. In one session the participants were given a placebo, in the other, they were given LSD. Upon questioning the participants after each session, it was concluded that the emotional response to the music was far greater when tripping on LSD than when given a placebo. Participants used words like “wonder”, “power”, tenderness” and “transcendence” to describe the emotional experience.

As mentioned, this study doesn't reveal anything new or ground-breaking for anyone who has ever tripped on LSD. But in the grander scheme of LSD based research and psychedelic-assisted therapy, it is another stepping stone on the road to understanding.



Written by: Josh
Writer, psychonaut and cannabis aficionado, Josh is Zamnesia’s in-house expert. He spends his days nestled out in the countryside, delving into the hidden depths of all things psychoactive in nature.

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