Paradigm Lost: Psychedelics in Science and Therapy

In cooperation with the Amsterdam Psychedelic Research Association

02jun2018 10:00 - 18:00


After nearly 50 years of academic prohibition, a renewed interest for psychedelics in the scientific and medical communities is driven by state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques and striking clinical applications. What more can psychedelics tell us about brain function? How can altered states of consciousness yield therapeutic benefits? Join the symposium to find out!

On June 2nd, the Amsterdam Psychedelic Research Association (APRA) invites you to our first multidisciplinary symposium on contemporary psychedelic research. Five international speakers from universities in Oxford, London, Paris, Berlin and the Netherlands, will share their most recent findings and perspectives for the future of this field. The main goal of this symposium is to provide the audience with a selection of different perspectives and approaches to the contemporary research on psychedelics across neurosciences and psychiatry, ranging from theoretical and fundamental aspects to clinical applications. We use the generic designation 'psychedelic' here loosely, as an umbrella term to indicate substances and practices that show intriguing promise for therapy and scientific value, but have suffered an impaired research development because of their legal status or psychoactive effects. Most notably, this definition includes classical serotonergic psychedelics (e.g. psilocybin, LSD), cannabis, MDMA; but also non-pharmacological means to induce altered states of consciousness (e.g. Ganzfeld experiments).

About the speaker

Dr. Selen Atasoy, (University of Oxford), researches brain dynamics in consciousness, sleep, meditation, psychedelic states as well as in psychiatric disorders. She will discuss findings from fMRI analysis of LSD and placebo conditions within the mathematical framework of 'connectome harmonics'.

Christopher Timmermann, (Imperial College London) currently leading a study on the neurophysiological and subjective effects of DMT, in the pioneering Psychedelic Research Group of Prof. David Nutt and Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris.

Dr. Timo Torsten-Schmidt, (Freie Universitat Berlin) focuses on the mental representation of consciousness content, and mechanisms underlying altered states of consciousness. Developer of the 'Altered States Database', an open-science platform with data from hundreds of psychophysiological reports of altered states of consciousness. (

Dr. Tijmen Bostoen, (Leiden University Medical Center) Dutch psychiatrist conducting the first clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in the Netherlands. He will discuss psychedelics' mechanisms of action in relation to clinical applications.

Martin Fortier, (Insititut Nicod, Université; Paris-Sorbonne) will conclude the symposium with a talk on the anthropological, cognitive, and philosophical implications of psychedelic research.

Marco Aqil (moderator), (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) Theoretical Physics BSc, Biomedical Mathematics MSc student, Amsterdam Psychedelic Research Association founder.

Location: SPUI25