Answers to how our brains make meaning, with the help of a little LSD
We all have particular experiences or particular things — a favorite song, for example — that mean much more to us than others. Now, researchers who’ve studied how perceptions of meaning change when people take the psychedelic drug known as LSD have traced that sense of meaningfulness to particular neurochemicals and receptors in the brain.
The findings add to our fundamental understanding of the human experience. They also point to potentially new targets for drugs to treat psychiatric illnesses or phobias, which come with abnormalities in the attribution of personal relevance to particular sensory experiences or cues, the researchers say.