April 25-30, 2016 - Tucson, ARIZONA

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort





April 30, 2016

PL 10 - Scale and Connectivity

8:30 am to 10:40 am



Robin Carhart-Harris

Imperial College, London

After completing his PhD at the University of Bristol in 2009, Robin moved to Imperial College London, where he has worked for the last few years on the brain effects of LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and MDMA, conducting some pioneering brain imaging studies of these drugs. Most recently he has completed the first phase of a clinical trial looking at the potential of psilocybin to treat major depression.


Psychedelic drugs in neuroscience and psychiatry

Abstract:   This talk will describe the results of a series of brain imaging studies with psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and LSD. The case is made that underlying the psychedelic-state induced by these drugs is an increase in the level of entropy of cortical activity, i.e. cortical activity becomes less predictable or more disordered. The case is also made that this change in brain activity recapitulates the quality of brain activity observed during infancy, explaining overlaps between the psychology of both states. Potential applications of psychedelics in psychiatry are also discussed, and some preliminary data on the efficacy of psilocybin as a treatment for depression are presented.