14/04/2016 5:08 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Why LSD Distorts Your Reality

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Engraving illustration of a woman and space montage.

Researchers from New Zealand and Europe have discovered the psychedelic drug LSD connects a part of the brain associated with ego to the part that looks at outside stimuli -- effectively making everything you see seem like a part of yourself.

Under the guidance of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam, volunteers were given LSD and then had their brains scanned to show activity in these two regions.

Researcher Enzo Tagliazucchi said a study of the brain on drugs was a study of reality itself.

"There is 'objective reality' and then there is 'our reality',"Tagliazucchi said.

"Psychedelic drugs can distort our reality and result in perceptual illusions. But the reality we experience during ordinary wakefulness is also, to a large extent, an illusion."

Tagliazucchi said completely sober people relied on brain illusions to function normally.

"We know that the brain fills in visual information when suddenly missing, that veins in front of the retina are filtered out and not perceived, and that the brain stabilizes our visual perception in spite of constant eye movements.

"So when we take psychedelics we are, it could be said, replacing one illusion by another illusion.

"This might be difficult to grasp, but our study shows that the sense of self or 'ego' could also be part of this illusion."