Psychedelic Medicines and the Nature of Consciousness
Psychedelics produce a variety of complex effects on the brain and mind, including intensification of thoughts and feelings, alterations of sensory perception, and loosening of psychological defenses. In their plant and fungal forms, psychedelics have been used by humans for millennia for medicinal and spiritual purposes. After many years of quiescence, human research with psychedelics has returned to mainstream science. This has profound implications for the future practice of psychotherapy and other clinical interventions, and for deepening understanding of the nature of mind and consciousness, certainly one of the most mysterious and important topics in contemporary science.
David Presti teaches neurobiology, psychology, and cognitive science at the University of California in Berkeley, worked for many years in the clinical treatment of addiction at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and teaches neuroscience to Tibetan monastics in India.