During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Oscar Janiger, a professor at the University of California conducted experimental therapy using LSD. “My interest was focused more on an attempt to define the nature of the LSD experience as a special state of consciousness,” he later wrote of the experiments.
During one famous experiment, called the Nine Drawings Experiment, he had an artist take a dose of LSD and draw nine portraits to examine the effects of LSD on a person’s artistic and creative ability. The results were incredibly fascinating.
The portrait artist took two 50-microgram doses of LSD. Each dose was separated by one hour. After that, he had the artist draw nine portraits of himself over the course of eight hours. The artist was never named. Even now, psychiatrists are interested in his research. “Even 45 years after I started my studies, no scientific consensus has emerged clearly defining the core elements of the LSD state,” says Professor Andrew Sewell, a professor of psychiatry at Yale who researched Professor Janiger’s work.
“Nor has research illuminated the specific mechanisms by which LSD can be used to stimulate creativity. It is my hope that this follow-up study to my research will help in some small way to encourage and make possible further research with LSD so that my initial explorations are a beginning and not an end.”