Tonini G, Montanari C.
“Effects of Experimentally Induced Psychoses on Artistic Expression”.
Confinia neurol.. 1955;15(4):225.
As the years have passed. by, the scope of studies on experimentally induced psychoses has become increasingly extensive. More substances have been found to be capable of inducing, in normal subjects, psychopathological symptoms~ usually of the dissociative type, bearing a resemblance to those observed in mental patients. During the last ten years the most important of these substances, bulbocapnine, mescaline and the amphetamines, have been joined by the amides of lysergic acid one of these, LSD 25, is marked by the fact that it acts on administration of extremely small doses Stoll, W. A.. There is an extensive literature describing the effects of these drugs, based on observation of the behaviour and recording of the utterances of the subjects intoxicated.
The conclusions arrived at by the various authors who have studied this subject are not identical, however their physiopathological inferences have been reached along different lines of reasoning and are based on different types of experimental study. Disagreement prevails on two points in particular. One point concerns the relationship between the manifestations induced by these drugs and those observed in psychoses, especially schizophrenia: is there a true analogy between the clinical condition and that produced experimentally? The other important problem is concerned with the comparative study of the psychopathological effects of the above substances. Once a difference in the individual response to these particular toxic agents has been admitted, the question should be put whether these substances might not have a specific pharmacological action.
The present paper was written with a view to contributing to the solution of these problems, especially by studying the pictures produced during intoxication with these drugs by a painter, G. S., head of the artistic department of occupational therapy attached to our Hospital. These pictures provide a concrete, visible material, which is perhaps more effective than written records, which, as they are largely based on introspection by the subject studied, are often subject to alterations induced by the mnemic recall of the symptoms. For it is a fact that a work of art reflects a character, an ability to respond to one's environment or, conversely, to one's own mental life, so that it expresses every state of mind of the artist, however transient. In the work of art all essentially 'mental' qualities are reflected, ranging from the most simple such as perception and psychomotor activity to the most elevated and complex qualities which determine the philosophy of life of the individual.
The experimental studies reported in this paper were done on a 30-year-old, physically normal subject, showing no evidence of mental abnormality. His character and temperament are exceptionally wenbalanced, so that they do not appear to conform to the customary conception of the artist's personality. He is modest, simple and somewhat timid in his interpersonal relationships, possibly as a result of his rather difficult childhood he has a very definite and personal style of painting, however. His way of feeling and manner of reasoning, which have also shaped his attitude to life, are slightly primitive. His instincts and emotions undoubtedly dominate his reasoning, without suppressing the latter, however tuned to his surroundings, he is susceptible to every manifestation of life.
The experiments were always conducted in such a way as to allow the subject as much freedom as possible he was not aware of the specific action of the drugs administered to him. He frequently drew spontaneously during the various intoxications, without having been requested to do so the accompanying illustrations are reproductions of these original drawings which were in vivid pastel. The following drugs were administered in succession, at intervals of about a fortnight: mescaline sulphate, lysergic acid diethylamide LSD 25 and monoethylamide LAE 32, and d-desoxyephedrine hydrochloride methedrine alone and combined with mescaline or LSD 25 respectively.
|Notes # : (auch LAE-Erw.A)