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Psychedelics and Our Sense of Self: Implications for the Treatment of Depression

June 30, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


June 30, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm



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Recent years have seen a burgeoning scientific interest in the neurobiology of altered states of consciousness induced by psychedelic drugs (e.g. such as psilocybin, LSD, and DMT), also driven by renewed and growing evidence of their beneficial clinical effects in some psychiatric disorders.

At the core of the psychedelic experience is the dissolution of the phenomenological self or ego alongside a feeling of oneness and unity with all that exists, and a sense that one’s everyday identity has dissolved into a timeless “ultimate” reality.

In this presentation, internationally renowned expert Franz X. Vollenweider will discuss recent research strategies with psychedelics. He will discuss advances in identifying molecular, cellular and system-based correlates of psychedelic-induced alterations of the sense of self, emotion processing, imagery and social interaction.

Furthermore, Franz will discuss some recent advances in the clinical applications of psychedelic drugs in psychiatric disorders such as depression.

We will cover:

  • The role psychedelic drugs can play in the treatment of mental health disorders
  • How psychedelic drugs can achieve therapeutic effects through altering emotions and sense of self
  • Recent strategies with psychedelic and advances to identify molecular, cellular and system-based correlates of psychedelic- induced alterations of a sense of self

Speaker Information:


Franz X. Vollenweider

Professor of Psychiatry
University of Zürich