Abramson HA, Jarvik ME, Kaufman MR, Kornetsky C, Levine A, Wagner M.
“Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25): I. Physiological and perceptual responses”.
J. Psychol.. 1955;39:3.
26 non-psychotic adults were given 25-225 mcg. LSD orally and placebos (tap water). A questionnaire containing 47 items indicating the physiological and perceptual responses to LSD was subjected to statistical analysis. In view of the results obtained, it appears evident that previous studies on LSD in normal subjects need reevaluation in terms of placebo dosage. A suitable evaluation of responses to LSD cannot be made without the use of a placebo control group. The characteristic feature of items which elicit positive responses under LSD is that they are related to autonomic functions, especially to autonomic functions said to be elicited by anxiety. The symptoms elicited by placebos are mostly depressive symptoms.
The following conclusions were drawn:
1. Symptoms most significantly related to the ingestion ot 50 micrograms of the drug are (in order of decreasing significance): unsteadiness, dream-like feeling, paraesthesias, inner trembling, pressure in ears, difficulty in focusing vision, weakness, lightness of limbs, lips drawn back as if smiling, dizziness, drowsiness, sensitivity of skin, and peculiar feeling of limbs. Less significant, but probably related, are: increased salivation, increased appetite, sweating, cold, and fatigue.
2. Symptoms most significantly related to the ingestion of 100 micrograms of the drug are (in order of decreasing significance): things moving about subjects, unsteadiness, paraesthesias, weakness, dream-like feeling, illness, nausea, dizziness, sensitivity of skin, peculiar feeling of limbs, inner trembling, sweating, lightness of limbs, blurred eyesight, difficulty in focusing vision, and objects seeming too far away. The less significant but probably related symptoms are: feeling of choking, numbness of lips, difficulty in breathing, cold, pressure in ears, and alteration of shapes and colors.
3. There may be differences in subjective severity and quality of the symptoms which are reported under both drug levels, however, several symptoms discriminate between 50 and 109 micrograms in that they received a greater percentage of response under the high dose. These are: feeling of illness, heaviness of limbs, nausea, funny taste in mouth, objects seeming too far away, and anxiety.
4. There is a significant correlation of .83 between the relative position of symptoms, according to frequency of positive response, for the two drug groups.
5. The average number of symptoms, out of 47 suggested ones, under zero dosage is about 3, under 25-75 micrograms it is approximately 10; and under 100-225 micrograms it is about 14. The differences among the three groups are all statistically reliable at better than the .01 level of significance.
6. The peak effect under zero dosage occurs in the first 1/2 hour, and that of the low dose between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 hours after the drug. The peak for the high dose was 1 1/2 hours after the drug and the effect is longer lasting than for either of the other groups. These statements are based on group results and individual variability is not considered here.
7. The number of symptoms a subject reports under the low dose correlates with the number he reports under the high dose. Although the average number of symptoms increases, he maintains his relative position with the group. There is also a relationship as high as .66 and .60 between subjects' relative position under zero and under low and high doses of LSD-25, respectively. This indicates a fairly high degree of predictability of the number of responses to the drug on the basis of the number of responses under the placebo.
8. The reliability of responses to the questionnaire has been found high. ? correlation as high as .77 was obtained in comparing the total number of symptoms reported at two separate testings under the same dosage.
9. The number of symptoms reported and the subject's body weight have been shown either to be unrelated or not related in the expected direction.