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April 11, 1966

Drugs and Phantasy: The Effects of LSD, Psilocybin and Sernyl on College Students

JAMA. 1966;196(2):195. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100150141056

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This book attempts to set down, almost verbatim, the verbalizations of three subjects given LSD, psilocybin, sernyl, and a placebo. The drugs were administered in a single-blind fashion under conditions of sensory monotony, namely, listening to "white noise" and looking at a glazed white dome for three hours.

What the authors hoped to achieve was to eliminate the extraneous factors of setting and set and to study the drug effects alone. Even in the restricted environment, this was hardly possible, for the subjects brought with them into the drug sessions their own many variables. Moods varied from week to week, and the nonrandomized order in which the four drugs were administered influenced certain aspects of each drug experience.

The effects of LSD and psilocybin reflect the reports in the literature. Emotional lability, mental confusion, changes in ego boundaries, and the well-known colorful perceptual alterations are mentioned. Sernyl tends to evoke

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