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Right Hemisphere Involvement in Mescaline-Induced Psychosis (1989)

Seems to be causally associated with primary right hemisphere striato-limbic hyperactivity

  1. Calliope
    Psychiatry Research, 29:335-336

    G. Oepen, M. Fuenfgeld, A. Harrington, L. Hermie, and H. Botsch

    In a pilot study involving six male healthy volunteers (mean age = 37.5), ingestion of 0.5 mg mescaline sulphate led to a florid psychedelic experience and striking changes in hemispheric dynamic balance. The nature and intensity of this artificial psychosis was assessed throughout the experiment using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) at 1/2 hour, 1 1/2 hours, 3 1/2 hours, and 7 hours after drug intake. After each such psychiatric assessment, subjects were required to perform a visual half-field task on a three-channel tachistoscope: a face/ nonface decision task with known right hemisphere affinity. Exposure time was 60 ms. The subjects had to press a lever ipsilateral to the target stimulus with their index fingers as fast as possible. The run consisted of 36 cards: 12 targets in the left visual field (LVF), 12 in the right visual field (RVF), and 12 bilateral nontargets (for details, see Oepen et al., 1987). At the peak of the schizophreniform psychosis, brain metabolism for each subject was investigated using 99m-Tc-HMPAO SPECT with a rotating gamma camera. The brain "maps" produced were then compared with earlier maps produced under control conditions before the subject's participation in the task.