Due to their unique effects on consciousness, psychedelics offer the opportunity to investigate the neuropharmacological mechanisms underlying alterations in perception and cognition. Furthermore, renewed interest in the potentially beneficial clinical effects of psychedelics warrants a better understanding of their underlying neuropharmacological mechanisms. However, major knowledge gaps remain regarding the neurobiology of psychedelics in humans. This talk will elucidate how LSD and Psilocybin modulate brain connectivity and subjective effects via agonistic activity on the serotonin 2A receptor in humans. In particular, psychedelic-induced alteration in brain connectivity are characterized by a synchronization of sensory functional networks and dis-integration of associative networks. Furthermore, our studies have shown that LSD changes thalamic gating to the cortex. Additionally, psychedelics have been shown to be powerful modulators of social processing and behavior. These new results provide insight into the mechanisms potentially underlying clinical efficacy of these substances and inform novel treatment approaches.
Taking entheogens can be like air travel: people do it all the time, it’s usually fine, but when it’s not fine, it’s sometimes very bad. We’ve been there. And that’s where an experienced guide can make the difference in the outcome.
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