A comparative look at the neural mechanisms of serotoninergic and anticholinergic hallucinogens: From molecular to cognitive levels

Monday, December 10, 18:15 - 19:45, University of Zurich, KOL-F-118

Martin E. Fortier, PhD Candidate
Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), Paris

Drawing upon the pharmacological, neuroscientific and psychological literature published in the last decades, I will put forward two cross-level models accounting for the main effects of respectively serotoninergic (e.g., LSD and psilocybin) and anticholinergic (e.g., scopolamine and Ditran) hallucinogens. I will show the fruitfulness of the comparative approach proposed here to better understand the diversity of hallucinogenic experiences and their specific etiological underpinnings. Overall, it will be argued that neat mappings can be made between levels – from neurochemistry and cortical microcircuitry to brain networks, and from brain networks to psychology.