MAPS Grants $10K to Beckley Psilocybin/Brain Imaging Study

On Sept. 29, we wired $10,000 USD in grant money to help fund a British study that aims to discover how psilocybin works in the brain. The study investigators, Robin Carhart-Harris, Ph.D., Richard Wise, Amanda Feilding and David Nutt, Ph.D., will use brain imaging to measure the effects of psilocybin on brain activity and connectivity at rest, during attentional processing and during autobiographical recollection. The researchers will measure increases and decreases in activity induced by the drug in different regions of the brain. The study is part of the Beckley Foundation/Imperial College Psychedelic Research Programme, and is supported in part by $10,000 grants from both MAPS and the Heffter Research Institute. Researchers, already armed with an understanding of functional and effective connectivity, hope the study will reveal network relationships between different brain regions and show whether activity in certain regions is exerting a causal or driving influence over activity in others. The researchers hope to address the hypothesis that psilocybin lowers repression and facilitates autobiographical recollection. If this hypothesis is supported, it will: 1) indicate that psilocybin can facilitate the recollection of memories, 2) offer a biological explanation for how this occurs, and 3) indicate how psilocybin might be useful as an adjunct to dynamic psychotherapy.