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    Levels of Explanation in Psychedelic Psychiatry

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    Event description

    The use of psychedelic drugs to treat psychiatric disorder is becoming an accepted part of clinical practice. Clinical trials are proceeding and psychedelics have been approved as treatment for some conditions. We know a lot about molecular and synaptic mechanisms and there is a rich and comprehensive body of phenomenological evidence about their effects on conscious experience. However precisely how these mechanistic changes produce these phenomenological effects is still not known. For example how is it the case that a psychedelic experience produced by a serotonin 5-HT2A agonist can alleviate anxiety and distress in a patient with terminal illness?  Terms like “insight” “reset”  “ ego dissolution”  which are commonly used to describe or explain results of psychedelic treatment are really placeholders for a full neurocognitive theory with predictive and explanatory power. It remains a possibility that patients’ reports do not accurately reflect the underlying causal nature of the phenomenon

    As with many psychiatric conditions ethical and political questions psychedelics raise cannot really be resolved absent a comprehensive explanation.

    This conference addresses these issues from a variety of perspectives, clinical, psychiatric, neuroscientific and philosophical with contributions from researchers who work at the intersection of these disciplines.



    This event will be in-person only, with no virtual elements. Registration is necessary as spaces are limited and cannot be guaranteed. If no spaces are available, you will added to a waitlist and notified if any become available.

    Organised in partnership by the University of Adelaide Department of Philosophy and the Monash Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies


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