Neuroepistemology of drug-induced exceptional experiences

EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES - 20th Annual Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Conference
Friday 7 - Saturday 8 September 2018 | Regents University, Regents Park, London |
www.bps.org.uk/cep/exceptionalexperiences

This conference will explore exceptional experiences such as mystical, spiritual, psychic, NDE and other 'anomalous' experiences. It will also address experiences engendered through the use of psychedelics. Such experiences can involve a sense of interconnectedness, a wider sense of self, a sense of peace, joy, bliss, awe and/or wonder and may be perceptually intense. In some cases they appear to offer exceptional knowledge. In many instances such exceptional experiences have a positive transformative effect on the experient.

The conference will look at accounts of exceptional experience, positive aspects of altered states, recent research on what is happening in the brain in altered states such as meditation and the benefits of exceptional experience, seen for example in recent work on the potential therapeutic benefit of various psychedelics in addressing depression. All welcome.

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Neuroepistemology of drug-induced exceptional experiences
Milan Scheidegger, MD, PhD, MA HPK

Psychoactive plants have been used in ritualistic contexts throughout human history to induce exceptional experiences for therapeutic and psychospiritual purposes. Nowadays, in the context of the renaissance of psychedelic research, psychoactive drugs could serve as promising epistemological tools for the scientific exploration of altered states of consciousness. In this talk, I will give an overview about how drug-induced exceptional experiences can be explained from the perspective of contemporary neuroscience. In particular, advanced neuroimaging technologies provide exciting novel insights into the brain dynamics underlying pharmacologically induced altered states of consciousness. Beyond shaping social and cultural evolution, psychedelic states also raise profound philosophical questions about the nature of subjective experience and the creation of meaning in living systems. Interfaces between different epistemological perspectives such as pharmacology, neuroscience, biosemiotics, philosophy of mind, and deep ecology will be explored.

Transformations of Consciousness

A Totnes Consciousness Café Special Event: The Royal Seven Stars Hotel, The Plains, Totnes, UK
Wednesday 5th September, 7:00 arrival, for 7:30 to 10:00 pm


Dr Milan Scheidegger on ‘Mind in Nature: Towards a Molecular Epistemology of Consciousness’

The interfaces between mind, brain, consciousness and nature, remain exciting unresolved frontiers in science and philosophy: What is the nature of the human mind and how does conscious experience and meaning emerge in living systems? In the context of the renaissance of psychedelic research we are currently facing a paradigm shift in the understanding of consciousness. As Freud’s dream theory deepened the psychoanalytic understanding of the unconscious, psychoactive compounds could nowadays serve as promising epistemological tools for the scientific exploration of consciousness. Psychoactive plants have been used in ritualistic contexts throughout human history for shamanic, therapeutic and psychospiritual purposes. Beyond shaping social and cultural evolution, psychedelic states of consciousness also raise profound philosophical and existential questions about the nature of subjective experience and the creation of meaning in the universe. This transdisciplinary talk provides an integral approach of understanding the nature of human existence from its molecular basis up to the level of phenomenal consciousness. Interfaces between different epistemological perspectives such as pharmacology, neuroscience, biosemiotics, philosophy of mind, and deep ecology will be explored.

Milan Scheidegger (University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich) has an academic background in medicine, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychiatry. His MD-PhD degree was in functional and molecular neuroimaging at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering (University and ETH Zurich). He is currently researching the neurobiology and pharmacology of altered states of consciousness. He investigates the potential of psychedelics such as ketamine, psilocybin, ayahuasca and DMT to facilitate therapeutic transformation. On his ethnobotanical expeditions to Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, he has explored the traditional use of psychoactive plants in indigenous rituals.

Entry: £8:00 

Booking:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transformations-of-consciousness-a-totnes-consciousness-cafe-special-event-tickets-47989168896

Exploring the antidepressant effects of ketamine: Insights from multimodal neuroimaging

CINP World Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology, Vienna 2018.
19.06.2018 | 09:45 – 11:30 | Austria Centre Vienna

Understanding the mechanism of action of ketamine-like drugs in mood disorders and their implementation in the clinic
Chair Dr Jennifer Phillips, The Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research, Canada
Co-Chair Prof Richard Frey, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Speaker 1 Dr Gerard Sanacora, Yale University School of Medicine, USA,
Molecular and cellular mechanisms for the rapid-onset of antidepressant-like effects

Speaker 2 Dr Milan Scheidegger, Zürich University Hospital for Psychiatry, Switzerland,
Exploring the antidepressant effects of ketamine: Insights from multimodal neuroimaging

Speaker 3 Dr Bashkim Kadriu, National Institute of Mental Health, USA,
Behavioural, peripheral, and central nervous system biomarkers for treatment response of ketamine-like drugs

Speaker 4 Dr Jennifer Phillips, University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research, Canada,
Cumulative and sustained effects of ketamine on depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation in treatment-resistant depression

75 Jahre LSD: Wohin führt die Reise?

75 Jahre LSD - Eine Jubiläumsveranstaltung zum 75. Jahrestag der LSD-Entdeckung
Donnerstag, 19. April 2018, 8:30 - 19:15, Hotel Hofmatt, Basel

Podiumsdiskussion: LSD, wohin führt die Reise?

Moderation: Claudia Müller-Ebeling

Peter Gasser (CH), Psychiater, Psychotherapeut, Präsident der Schweizerischen Ärztegesellschaft für Psycholytische Therapie (SÄPT), Leiter von LSD-Studien in der Schweiz

Milan Scheidegger (CH), Arzt, Forschung mit Psychedelika

Catherine Ritter (CH), Ärztin, Mitarbeiterin BAG Sektion Öffentliche Gesundheit

Roger Liggenstorfer (CH), Leiter des Nachtschatten Verlags, Mitbegründer verschiedener drogenpolitischer Organisationen und Initiativen

Mind in Nature: Towards a Molecular Epistemology of Consciousness

PROJECT 325: Interfaces and beyond
PROJECT 325 is a transdisciplinary retreat, taking place in Wartburg near Lake Constance, Switzerland, 15th-18th February 2018.

The interfaces between mind, brain, consciousness and nature, remain exciting unresolved frontiers in science and philosophy: What is the nature of the human mind and how does conscious experience and meaning emerge in living systems?

In the context of the renaissance of psychedelic research we are currently facing a paradigm shift in the understanding of consciousness. As Freuds dream theory deepened the psychoanalytic understanding of the unconscious, psychoactive compounds could nowadays serve as promising epistemological tools for the scientific exploration of the molecular epistemology and phenomenology of consciousness. Psychoactive plants have been used in ritualistic contexts throughout human history for shamanic, therapeutic and psychospiritual purposes. Beyond shaping social and cultural evolution, psychedelic states of consciousness also raise profound philosophical and existential questions about the nature of subjective experience and the creation of meaning in the universe.

This transdisciplinary talk provides an integral approach of understanding the nature of human existence from its molecular basis up to the level of phenomenal consciousness. Interfaces between different epistemological perspectives such as pharmacology, neuroscience, biosemiotics, philosophy of mind, and deep ecology will be explored. This journey into remote territories advocates an attitude of epistemological humility: Reality turns out to be an ever-changing dance of possibilities that transcends the conceptually misleading distinctions between mind and matter that pervade the history of rationalistic thought.