How should we study the effects of psychedelic drugs
A lecture by Dr. Enzo Tagliazucchi followed by Q&A
10th of February 2022
at 17:00 UTC // 18:00 CET // 14:00 AST // 12:00 EST // 9:00 PST
The paradigm of cognitive neuroscience is the most widely adopted to investigate the relationship between the human brain and behavior. We build theories around functions such as "attention", "memory", "decision-making", and design experiments to investigate how they could be computed by networks of interconnected neurons. But is it possible to study psychedelic drugs and their effects from this perspective? In the next few years, shall we expect to develop a cognitive neuroscience of the psychedelic state? I will present some of my thoughts on this matter, discussing topics such as correlations between neuroimaging data and subjective reports, the potential scientific uses of microdosing, natural language processing as a tool to investigate the subjective effects of psychedelic drugs, the need to develop new and original methods for the quantitative characterization of human behavior, and the possibility of replacing concepts from cognitive
science with the computational analysis of very complex human behaviors, among others.