Science of Magic Mushrooms

Monday 06 March 2023

Doors 19:00 • Start 19:30

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  • 18+

Please note: This show is unreserved seating.

Magic mushrooms are naturally occurring fungi which contain psychoactive component psilocybin. They have a complex ancient and modern history. In the past they have been used in rituals and ceremonies carried out by indigenous communities.

Now they are back in the spotlight as recent scientific studies have shown positive effects of psilocybin administration in a range of conditions such as depression, anxiety and addiction. This talk is going to explore the mechanisms of action of magic mushrooms in the brain and their current applications in modern psychiatry. What makes these compounds unique, how do they change our brain function, and how do they improve mental health?

Doors open at 7pm, talk starts at 7.30pm – come down early to grab a good seat!

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Maria Balaet is a computational neuroscientist at Imperial College London who specialises in large scale cognitive testing. Her work focuses on understanding how cognitive processes such as memory, attention, problem solving and language differ in people who consume drugs (such as psychedelics) recreationally or suffer from neurological and psychiatric disorders. She is currently running an online study where people can play brain games while they are under the influence of psychedelics to help scientists understand how their abilities are affected.