The Science of Psychedelics

Tuesday 05 September 2023

Doors 18:30

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Psychedelic drugs have a tumultuous history. Indigenous communities have used them for healing and visionary experiences for thousands of years. More recently, they were discovered by the Western society and became central to social and artistic movements in the 1960’s… before being banned worldwide.

Now psychedelics are back in the spotlight and entering the mainstream, with clinical trials exploring their therapeutic use for mental health disorders like depression, anxiety and addiction. Groundbreaking science has uncovered that these substances have effects on the brain, affecting connectivity patterns that govern day-to-day functioning.

This talk will cover the key findings coming from contemporary research with psychedelics, and hint at what is next in store for psychedelic science and the potential impact on society at large…

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.