The Effects of Microdosing LSD on Behaviour in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)


  • Ethan Hagen MacEwan University


The use of LSD for different forms of mental health treatment of has begun to increase. Therefore, there is a need for scientific evidence as to the effectiveness of this drug. Previous research using the Zebrafish has shown that low doses (5-100 µg/l) had little to no effects on the behaviour of the fish. In this study we used a camera-based video tracking software system to record and analyze the movement patterns of zebrafish after repeated LSD exposure and after 7 days of withdrawal. We used 30-minute small doses (1.5 µg/l, 15 µg/l, 150 µg/l, and control) for a duration of 10 days. and a withdrawal period for 7 days after the final dose of the fish. Testing occurred after 10 days of repeated dosing and again after withdrawal. The open-field and novel object approach tests were used as they are established anxiety-like behaviour paradigms. There was no significant difference to the levels of anxiety within any of the fish after their dosing cycle. There was a significant difference in anxiety-like behaviour after the withdrawal period. These results show that there is likely no or very little effects on anxiety with microdosing at the doses used after 10 days, but there is a possibility of a withdrawal effect.

Department: Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Trevor Hamilton