Scientists in Switzerland dosed test subjects with LSD to investigate how patients with severe mental disorders lose track of where they end and other people begin. Both LSD and certain mental disorders, most notably schizophrenia, can make it difficult for people to distinguish between themselves and others. And that can impair everyday mental tasks and social interactions, said Katrin Preller, one of the lead authors of the study and a psychologist at the University Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich. By studying how LSD breaks down people's senses of self, the researchers aimed to find targets for future experimental drugs to treat schizophrenia. "Healthy people take having this coherent 'self' experience for granted," Preller told Live Science, "which makes it difficult to explain why it's so important." Depression, she said, also relates to the sense of self. Whereas people with schizophrenia can lose track of themselves entirely, people with depression tend to "ruminate" on themselves, unable to break obsessive, self-oriented patterns of thought.
Read More: Live Science