Center for MINDS Logo Horizontal
Dr. Bruce Damer published an article in Lucid News that weaves the history of psychedelic research (and unseen aspirations) with the modern era and through the work of MINDS—forging the “fourth path” for psychedelic research into creativity and problem solving in science, tech, design, leadership, and more.

Lucid News, Dr. Bruce Damer

A preliminary study exploring the impact of psychedelics on creative problem-solving in 27 professionally employed males found that, when administered in a structured setting with preparation, psychedelics appear to enhance creative problem-solving, especially during the “illumination phase.” The effects on increased creativity were observed to last for several weeks after the session.
Dr. James Fadiman, Dr. Sam Gandy, and Dr. David Luke join Psychedelics Today podcast host Kyle Buller to discuss Dr. Fadiman’s past research and Gandy and Luke’s new paper, “Psychedelics as potential catalysts of scientific creativity and insight.”
A study using a double-blind, placebo-controlled design showed that psilocybin can differentially affect creative thinking, with an immediate increase in spontaneous creative insights but a decrease in task-based creativity, and a rise in novel ideas seven days later. This change in creativity is linked to connectivity within the default mode network, as shown by ultrahigh field multimodal brain imaging, suggesting psychedelics may be a useful tool to explore creativity and its underlying neural mechanisms.
Despite theories that accumulated knowledge should spur major advances in science and technology, a large-scale analysis of research papers and patents over six decades reveals a contrary trend: papers and patents are increasingly less likely to make disruptive breakthroughs. This decline in innovation is not due to changes in the quality of published science or citation practices, but rather suggests a fundamental shift in the nature of science and technology, potentially linked to a narrowing use of previous knowledge.
This article discusses how the brain networks involved in creativity can be affected by psychedelics. The authors propose a model to study how psychedelics induce flexible thinking, which includes brain networks, neurotransmitters, and personal factors.
This study investigated the impact of LSD on creativity in 24 healthy volunteers using a range of tasks and creativity assessments. Results showed LSD influenced creativity through three phenomena: increased novelty and originality (‘pattern break’), decreased utility and convergent thinking (‘disorganization’), and enhanced symbolic thinking and ambiguity (‘meaning’), suggesting LSD might aid in psychedelic-assisted therapy by shifting cognitive focus towards new ideas.
The article proposes that the dream, hypnagogic and psychedelic states share common features that make them conducive to supporting some aspects of scientific creativity and examines the putative underlying neurophenomenological and cognitive processes involved.
This article suggests that spending time in natural environments enhances creativity through two mechanisms: attention restoration and mind wandering. It proposes that nature experiences facilitate a balance between external focus and internal mind wandering, improving attention control and creativity, and calls for research to explore these effects and their underlying processes.