Levels of Explanation in Psychedelic Psychiatry

April 18, 2024 - April 19, 2024
University of Adelaide; Monash Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies

Melbourne 3000

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


University of Adelaide
Monash University
Monash University

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The use of psychedelic drugs to treat psychiatric disorder is becoming an accepted part of clinical practice. Clinical trials are proceeding and psychedelics have been approved as treatment for some conditions. We know a lot about molecular and synaptic mechanisms and there is a rich and comprehensive body of phenomenological evidence about their effects on conscious experience. However precisely how these mechanistic changes produce these phenomenological effects is still not known. For example how is it the case that a psychedelic experience produced by a serotonin 5-HT2A agonist can alleviate anxiety and distress in a patient with terminal illness?  Terms like “insight” “reset”  “ ego dissolution”  which are commonly used to describe or explain results of psychedelic treatment are really placeholders for a full neurocognitive theory with predictive and explanatory power. It remains a possibility that patients’ reports do not accurately reflect the underlying causal nature of the phenomenon

As with many psychiatric conditions ethical and political questions psychedelics raise cannot really be resolved absent a comprehensive explanation.

This conference addresses these issues from a variety of perspectives, clinical, psychiatric, neuroscientific and philosophical with contributions from researchers who work at the intersection of these disciplines.

This event will be in-person only, with no virtual elements. Registration is necessary as spaces are limited and cannot be guaranteed. If no spaces are available, you will added to a waitlist and notified if any become available.

Organised in partnership by the University of Adelaide Department of Philosophy and the Monash Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies


Elizabeth Fisher (Monash University) - Increased optimistic engagement with psilocybin: Computational modelling of behaviour in rats

Dr. Claire Foldi (Monash University) - Targeting cognitive function to treat anorexia nervosa: Insights into the effects of psilocybin in animal models

Dr. Lena Oestreich (The University of Queensland) - Microstructural white matter changes in healthy, psychedelic-naïve humans after subthreshold and fully active doses of psilocybin

Assoc Prof Adeel Razi (Monash University) - Neural mechanisms of altered states of consciousness under psychedelics

Prof Philip Gerrans (The University of Adelaide) - What exactly dissolves in the experience of ego dissolution?  A neurocognitive account 

Dr. Chris Letheby (The University of Western Australia) - How to end the mysticism wars in psychedelic science

Ass't Prof Ruben Laukkonen - The power of insight: Psychedelics and the emergence of new beliefs

Dr. Paul Liknaitzky (Monash University) - Paideiadelic: The conjectured role of acute psychedelic experience in clinical training 

Prof Jon Jureidini (The University of Adelaide) - Evidence-based or demand-based medicine?

Assoc Prof Nin Kurkin (The University of Western Australia) - Psychedelics and environmental virtues

Dr. Riccardo Miceli (The University of Queensland) - The phenomenology of time and psychedelic-assisted therapy

Prof Olivia Carter (The University of Melbourne) - Hallucinogen Perceptual Persisting Disorder (HPPD) in the context of psychedelics in psychiatry

Dr. Raphael Milliere (Macquaire University) - Beyond the unary model of the psychedelic state: The curious case of 5-MeO-DMT

Prof Susan Rossell (Swinburne University) - TBA

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April 17, 2024, 12:00pm +10:00

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Deakin University

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Custom tags:

#psychedelics, #Psychiatry, #consciousness, #monash