Luminous: Your Brain on Shrooms

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Can neuroscience explain what happens to the brain on psychedelics? And even if we map the brain while it’s tripping, does that tell us why these experiences can be so transformative? 

We’ll talk with some of the pioneers in psychedelic research — from Amanda Feilding’s boundary-busting work to Robin Carhart-Harris’ theory of the “entropic brain.” Also, renowned neuroscientist Christof Koch goes down the rabbit hole on 5-MeO-DMT, also known as toad venom.  

Exploring consciousness on toad venom

Kristof Koch

Neuroscientist Christof Koch has pioneered the scientific investigation of consciousness. Recently, he had a mind-blowing experience — both terrifying and ecstatic — with 5-MeO-DMT,  also known as toad venom.

The godmother of the European psychedelic revival


In the years when psychedelic science had been shut down, Amanda Feilding helped jump-start research into altered states of mind. Today, she’s in her 80s and remains active in psychedelic research with her Beckley Foundation.

How therapeutic psilocybin could help heal long-buried trauma

David Nutt

David Nutt believes psychedelics will revolutionize the treatment of mental disorders. A neuropsychopharmacologist at Imperial College London, he says psychedelic therapy can help people resolve their buried traumas.

Magic mushrooms and the ‘entropic brain’

Robin Carhart-Harris

For years, Robin Carhart-Harris dreamed of using brain scans to study people on LSD. He’s gone on to conduct pioneering research on psilocybin, and he’s formulated a theory of the “entropic brain” to explain what happens during psychedelic experiences.

Original Air Date: July 15, 2023

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