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Baggott MJ, Siegrist JD, Galloway GP, Robertson LC, Coyle JC, Mendelson JE. 
“Investigating the Mechanisms of Hallucinogen-Induced Visions Using 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine MDA: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Humans”. 
Plos One. 2010 dec 2.

The mechanisms of drug-induced visions are poorly understood. Very few serotonergic hallucinogens have been studied in humans in decades, despite widespread use of these drugs and potential relevance of their mechanisms to hallucinations occurring in psychiatric and neurological disorders. Methodology/Principal Findings

We investigated the mechanisms of hallucinogen-induced visions by measuring the visual and perceptual effects of the hallucinogenic serotonin 5-HT2AR receptor agonist and monoamine releaser, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine MDA, in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. We found that MDA increased self-report measures of mystical-type experience and other hallucinogen-like effects, including reported visual alterations. MDA produced a significant increase in closed-eye visions CEVs, with considerable individual variation. Magnitude of CEVs after MDA was associated with lower performance on measures of contour integration and object recognition. Conclusions/Significance

Drug-induced visions may have greater intensity in people with poor sensory or perceptual processing, suggesting common mechanisms with other hallucinatory syndromes. MDA is a potential tool to investigate mystical experiences and visual perception.
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