Using fMRI to Investigate the Effects of Psilocybin on Brain Activation and Blood Flow

This talk will describe the history and progress of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) project investigating the effects of intravenous psilocybin on brain activation and blood flow. It will describe how the project began, its present status, what researchers are investigating, what they expect to find and what they have found so far. The project is part of a broader initia- tive to test and develop the validity of abstract constructs of relevance to the psychedelic state (e.g., the ego, the unconscious mind, primary process thinking and the mystical-type experi- ence). The talk will include preliminary data from subjects scanned before and during the administration of psilocybin (2mg i.v.) and placebo (saline, i.v.) using the fMRI technique for measuring cerebral blood flow, arterial spin labelling (ASL).

This video is from Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century, a conference taking in place in San Jose, California on April 15-18, 2010. The conference was organized by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in collaboration with the Heffter Research Institute, the Council on Spiritual Practices, and the Beckley Foundation.

Medical doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals can earn Continuing Medical Education/Continuing Education (CME/CE) credits by viewing these videos through the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) at

This video was produced by Teal Sievers of Living Dream Films (

To learn more about MAPS or to support our work, visit

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