Erowid References Database
“Are Hallucinogens Psychoheuristic?”.
NIDA Research Monograph. 1994;146.
One of the hallmarks of hallucinogenic drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and mescaline is the extreme variability of the effects produced in human subjects that are not only dose dependent but also heavily influenced by the mental set, or expectation, of subjects and the environmental setting that surrounds them (Faillace and Szára 1968; Freedman 1968; Osmond 1957). This variability is also reflected in the names that have been suggested for hallucinogens in the past, for example, psychotomimetic, psycholytic, psychedelic, mysticomimetic, cultogenic, and entheogenic (Freedman 1968; Osmond 1957; Ruck et al. 1979; Szára 1961).
Is another name for hallucinogens really needed? This chapter argues that the names used in the past have largely lost their usefulness and may be even misleading, and that recent advances in the neurosciences and cognitive sciences have created opportunities for using hallucinogens as tools in attacking the supreme mystery: How does the brain work? In this quest, the author starts with a brief review of the past 35 to 40 years of use of these drugs in which several distinct trends, referred to as eras, can be distinguished. Although the eras are overlapping, some with clear beginnings and fading trails, others survive today to some extent in different contexts.
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