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February 1956

Electrophysiological Analysis of Psychotogenic Drug ActionI. Effect of LSD on Specific Afferent Systems in the Cat

Author Affiliations

New York With the Technical Assistance of Desmond Callan, A.B.

From the Laboratory of the Department of Neurological Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;75(2):122-131. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330200016002

The clinical effects of agents which produce transient toxic psychotic behavior in man have been described and studied intensively.* Recently biochemical alterations similar to those described in chronic schizophrenics have been produced following the administration of one of these agents LSD.† The structural similarity of certain psychotogenic agents to various degradation products of epinephrine also reported to be psychotogenic‡ has given impetus to the concept, not new,8 that the so-called functional psychoses result from endogenous metabolic disturbances. It is beyond the scope of this paper to evaluate the validity of this hypothesis.

To the neurophysiologist the psychotogenic agents offer a special challenge. The biophysical symbols of chemical events which are studied may provide some clues as to the possible mechanism by which these drugs alter the functional activity of the brain. In this and in the subsequent paper investigations of the effects of LSD on the evoked electrocortical