It has been speculated that leading tech company Apple Inc. would cease to exist had it not been for its creator and deceased CEO Steve Job’s experimentation with hallucinogens and psychedelic drugs, specifically LSD. Before his death, Jobs credited LSD for many of his creative developments that led to Apple and, most prominently, the iPhone. Now a new study has surfaced proving that lysergic acid diethylamide — commonly referred to as the drug acid — actually does boost your creativity.
David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacolgy at Imperial College in London, and a team of researchers, including University of Kaiserslautern post-doc Dr. Neilourfar Family, recently conducted a study that explored the relationship between acid and language.
During the study, 10 participants were given LSD and a placebo one week apart and were asked to name a sequence of pictures.
“Results showed that while LSD does not affect reaction times, people under LSD made more mistakes that were similar in meaning to the pictures they saw,” Family explained to Science Daily, using the example of people using the word “bus” or “train” when they were shown pictures of a car.
According to Family, the results indicate LSD has an effect on the mind’s semantic networks, which refers to how words and concepts are stored in relation to each other. LSD enhances the network’s activation, which results in more words from the same family or category coming to mind. Based on the study’s findings, increased activation of semantic networks can cause subconscious thoughts or concepts to come to the surface.
Family says the results will help the progression of medicine for people dealing with depression and mental disabilities.
"These findings are relevant for the renewed exploration of psychedelic psychotherapy, which are being developed for depression and other mental illnesses. The effects of LSD on language can result in a cascade of associations that allow quicker access to far away concepts stored in the mind,” Family continued. “Including a hyper-associative state may have implications for the enhancement of creativity.”