Experimental Studies of Mescaline

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Image retrieved from cuteanimalsonline.com on March 20th, 2014.

Like LSD, mescaline has been given to animals to observe its effects. In Psychedellic Drugs Reconsidered, Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar summarize some of the findings: Under the influence of both LSD and mescaline, Siamese fighting fish move slowly, as if they were in a trance Guppies swim until they hit the wall of the aquarium. When spiders are given mescaline, they weave irregular webs. Monkeys that have been given a variety of hallucinogens, including mescaline, show evidence of fear and disorientation under hallucinogens.
A controlled study of the effects of mescaline on human subjects was carried out in 1992 by a team of researchers led by Leo Hermle working in Germany. The subjects were twelve volunteers, most of whom were physicians. Each of the subjects was given 0.5 gram of mescaline sulfate with some liquid and then was assessed for reactions within four hours after taking the drug. While the subjects were under the influence of the drug, their scores on psychiatric rating scales were elevated, suggesting that they were experiencing temporary psychological disturbances. The subjects' scores were especially high on a subscale called thought disorders, which suggests that their thinking processes were disrupted by the drug. There were also increases on scales dealing with such symptoms as delusion, anxiety, and depression.
The researchers gave the subjects a test that is believed to be sensitive to brain functioning. In the test, two images were quickly flashed in front of the subjects. One image was that of a clearly defined face: the other image was that of a partial defined face, called a nonface. The subjects had to pick out the clearly defined face as fast as possible. Under the influence of mescaline, the test results suggested, there was a temporary decrease in the normal functioning of the right hemishpere of the brain.

pp. 42-43 Drug Library Hallucinogens Paul R. Robbins, Ph.D. (1996)