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New scientific study explains why that track was so sick while you were tripping

Researchers explore serotonin levels and the appreciation of new music

  • Sydney Megan Jow
  • 26 January 2017

A new study published today by Current Biology explores and explains why seemingly mundane experiences can be perceived as profound or to have great meaning under the effects of LSD.

The case, led by Katrin Preller, begins with the observation: “A core aspect of the human self is the attribution of personal relevance to everyday stimuli enabling us to experience our environment as meaningful”.

Researchers took brain scans from three groups of subjects, one whom had been given LSD, one whom took an LSD placebo and one whom had not ingested any type of mind-altering substance. During these scans, each participant listened to a song that had significant personal meaning and a jazz song that was of easy-listening but had no particular value.

Preller’s study reported that those who had taken LSD found the “control” jazz track to be more meaningful than those who had not. Furthermore, brain scans revealed that with LSD, receptors perceived the meaningless piece of music to have significance similar to the song that each subject had emotional ties with.

The findings showed that because of the drug’s effect on serotonin levels, those properly tripping appreciated new music more.

[Via: Current Biology]

Sydney is Mixmag’s US Digital Content Editor. Follow her on Twitter here

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