First-Ever LSD Microdosing Study Will Pit the Human Brain Against AI


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“I found that if I was on LSD and my opponent wasn’t, I won more games.”

By Daniel Oberhaus | MOTHERBOARD

Amanda Fielding used to take lysergic acid diethylamide every day to boost creativity and productivity at work before LSD, known as acid, was made illegal in 1968. During her downtime, Fielding, who now runs the Beckley Foundation for psychedelic research, would get together with her friends to play the ancient Chinese game of Go, and came to notice something curious about her winning streaks.

„I found that if I was on LSD and my opponent wasn’t, I won more games,“ Fielding told me over Skype. „For me that was a very clear indication that it improves cognitive function, particularly a kind of intuitive pattern recognition.“

An interesting observation to be sure. But was LSD actually helping Fielding in creative problem solving?

A half-century ban on psychedelic research has made answering this question in a scientific manner impossible. In recent years, however, psychedelic research has been experiencing something of a „renaissance“ and now Fielding wants to put her intuition to the test by running a study in which participants will „microdose“ while playing Go—a strategy game that is like chess on steroids—against an artificial intelligence.

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