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How do Psychedelics Work?

May 25, 2022 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm EDT

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Are you interested in the foundational texts and topics that have shaped psychedelic use and research today? Join hosts Alex Criddle and Ava for a monthly series on these fundamental ideas and texts that have shaped psychedelia.

Neuroscientists Robin Carhart-Harris and Karl Friston have proposed a neurological framework for understanding how psychedelics work called the REBUS Model: Relaxed Beliefs Under Psychedelics. They integrate their ideas of the entropic brain and the free-energy principle within the framework of predictive coding, theorizing that psychedelics alter the weighting of certain priors by injecting chaos into the system. Meanwhile, neuroscientist Andrew Gallimore suggests that we can understand how psychedelics work through the Integrated Information Theory of consciousness. How did we get here from the initial research of the 50s and 60s, which proposed that psychedelics mimicked the psychotic state of schizophrenics?

In this salon we’ll be exploring how psychedelics work, why psychedelics affect some people less than others, and if there is a way to make the psychedelic experience more replicable for different people.

Questions we will explore:

  • What is the REBUS model? What are the implications for everyday experience? Are there other ways of promoting relaxed beliefs without exogenous substances?
  • What are the benefits of the REBUS model vs. IIT of consciousness?
  • Why do psychedelics affect some people more than others?
  • How can we replicate a specific psychedelic experience or the effects of one in multiple people?

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May 25, 2022
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm EDT
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Alex Criddle
Ava Huang