teaches neurobiology, psychology, and cognitive science at the University of California in Berkeley, and worked for many years in the clinical treatment of addiction at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.
Psychedelics produce a variety of interesting and powerful effects on the brain and mind, including intensification of thoughts and feelings, alterations of sensory perception, and loosening of psychological defenses. As such, psychedelics probe the connection between brain physiology and consciousness, among the most mysterious and exciting arenas in contemporary science. In their plant and fungal forms, psychedelics have been used for millennia for medicinal and spiritual purposes.
The human brain is the most complex object in the known universe, and the study of its structure and function is one of the most rapidly developing fields in contemporary science. Yet many great mysteries remain, including understanding the brain processes involved in memory, perception, mental illness, and arguably the greatest unanswered question in all of science: How are consciousness and mind related to the physical processes within the brain?