“People are noticing that when they take sub-perceptible doses, that that’s helping them get in this zone at certain tasks like writing or solving a problem.” This means that in order to achieve peak performance it’s best to take a dose so small that you feel literally nothing; if you’re tripping even a tiny bit, you’ve had too much.
Personally, I’m more interested in boosting creativity than treating an emotional disorder, so I decided to go sub-perceptible, and took 10 micrograms of LSD every third day for 30 days.
What Was It Like?
Despite the recent avalanche of media articles raving about how microdosing is helping to create a preposterously productive and cataclysmically creative workforce, I can't say either I or my employer received much noticeable benefit in that regard. I didn't develop an equanimous appreciation for the more boring aspects of my job, nor did I make a particularly outstanding contribution to the success of the organization during my microdosing month. All in all, my experience of reality was pretty much the same as every other month I've spent on this planet, although the results of my cognitive tests paint a rather different picture.
Effects On Creativity
Austin explains that “[through] the practice of microdosing, you’re re-training or just training your brain to think in different ways over a long period of time.” And while there hasn't yet been any studies conducted into how microdosing alters brain activity, research with larger doses of psychedelics has shown that these substances produce a magnificent proliferation of connectivity throughout the brain, sparking more flexible patterns of cognition that may lead to enhanced creativity.
It is therefore believed that as people microdose over a period of time, their brain becomes increasingly adept at entering flow states, causing creativity levels to rise gradually.
To monitor this, I used the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, and found that although I didn’t feel any more flamboyant as the month went on, my creativity scores did increase. This is particularly apparent in my responses to the Incomplete Figures Task, which involves drawing a complete picture from a random line drawn on a page (in red below) in a set period of time. The score is then calculated based on originality, storytelling, richness of imagery, humor, and a range of other factors.
Depressingly, this miserable potato thing smoking a pipe was all my brain could squeeze out at baseline.
A week in and my scores were on the rise.
I whipped out my Attenborough on day 10, as the storytelling began to get more articulate.
Day 15 brought a cabaret of questions.
Things took a dark turn towards the end of the month.
And by day 30 my pictures were worth a thousand words.