Many people spontaneously use the word (or sound) “Um” in conversation, a phenomenon which has prompted a considerable volume of academic attention (some of which we discussed recently). A question arises though, can someone be induced to say “Um” by chemical means – say with the use of a powerful anaesthetic? Like, for example Ketamine? [Note: Ketamine is often used as a veterinary tranquilliser, and as an illicit recreational drug under monikers like ‘Special K’ and ‘Cat Valium’]
 Authors James Semple and John Brown were representing the pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline which ‘supported’ the study.
 The “high dose” (0.27 mg/kg) was significantly less than the usual ‘anaesthetic dose’ (1 – 4.5 mg/kg) – presumably it had to be, otherwise the subjects might have had considerable difficulty in saying anything.
 Please comment below if you know of any other studies in which substances have been shown to influence the number of “ums” a person produces – e.g. cannabis, Dry Martini, dark bitter-chocolate truffles, etc etc.