Erik Davis reports on the latest in psychedelic research

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6 Responses to “Erik Davis reports on the latest in psychedelic research”

  1. miasm says:

     There is ‘no’ human experience.

  2. Pokemon Otis says:

     What a bunch of totally unscientific gobbeldygook this is:

    “Perhaps what we see in extraordinary psychedelic experience is the temporary establishment of a circuit in which a variety of worlds link up and begin to resonate, so that neurons, cultural narratives, the lords of the forest, the serpent twists of DNA and the make-believe of ‘something like’ are inextricably woven together in a multidimensional matrix that reverberates in a rainbow display as sacred as it is profane.” 

    As far as I know, the serious scientific community doesn’t consider that hallucinogenic research “calls into question strict materialism.”

    • wysinwyg says:

      Allow me to translate from “hippy” to “soulless materialist atheist” for you:

      “Perhaps what we see in extraordinary psychedelic experience is the temporary cessation of the confirmation bias and rationalization that characterize normal operation of the mind (confirmed by scientific experiment) allowing concepts and themes that were in tension or outright contradiction under the prevailing cognitive regime to be juxtaposed in ways previously thought impossible allowing one to make sense of what one once thought was senseless.” 

      I am also a soulless materialist atheist.  I wasn’t making fun of you, I was making fun of the usual criticisms of materialism.  The hard problem of consciousness is still the biggest challenge for a materialist worldview and that’s really what’s in play under the “mind over matter” medicinal properties of psychedelics.  I’m fairly confident the problem can be resolved within a materialist framework but it’s good to consider arguments to the contrary if only to keep ourselves thinking about the issue instead of reacting on the basis of our preexisting biases.

    • Itchy_Robot says:

      all he is saying is that we have to take into consideration all of the above… that none of them or all of them are possibly influencing the psychedelic trip.

  3. feetleet says:

    Are the test subjects college age? Has anyone considered that amphetamine, nootropic and phenethylamine use might complicate any neuro study in that demographic? Ketamine and other NMDA antagonists, anecdotally, have a restorative effect regarding short- and long-term MDMA-induced depression, for example.  Can’t speak to the actual mechanism, though. 

    If depression is self-reported, how can we know the difference between homeostatic and chemically self-induced blues? And for christ’s sake, why would we START with ketamine. There’s a little-known OTC antagonist called “Robitussin,” already…I’m not against enjoyment or soul searching. Positing ketamine as ‘good for you’ – indirectly – might even be correct/true. But it might only be ‘good’ for a very narrow group of depressives. I’m anything but puritan, but if we’re talking about an actual health regimen, I just can’t afford to trip balls with my morning coffee.  

  4. Spinningmind says:

    While you may not feel Davis “plunges” into woo-woo he certainly goes on a pleasant little snorkeling trip through it.

    He attributes desires to insubstantial spirits and claims that material molecules causing mystical experiences is some sort of paradox that researchers need to grapple with rather than a basic premiss of biology and psychology for some time.

    Subjective emotional experiences are extremely important and useful but calling them “poetic fact” doesn’t change them into a different kind of stuff.

    And, “reductionist researchers of powerful psychedelic effects must still squirm before God”. Seriously?

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