Sunday, April 21 • 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Behavioral, Neurochemical, and Pharmaco-EEG Profiles of 2C-B in Rats
2C-B (4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenylethylamine) is a synthetic phenylethylamine, first synthesized by A. Shulgin in the 1970s. Shulgin also described its psychedelic and entactogenic properties in a human study for the first time. Later, the compound became popular as an adjunct to psychotherapy as well as a recreational drug. Even though this compound has gained its popularity over decades we have had almost no knowledge about its pharmacology, potential toxicity or safety until recently. This led us to perform several preclinical experiments with this compound and to compare them to the effects of well-known hallucinogens and MDMA (3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine; ecstasy). 2C-B is structurally closely related to its amphetamine congener and powerful hallucinogen DOB (2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromoampheatmine) and to mescaline. However, the duration of its effects as well as pharmacokinetics is much shorter than that of DOB and also shorter compared to mescaline or MDMA. Acute toxicity in rodents seems to be relatively small since very high doses of the drug were well tolerated in our experiments. In behavioral experiments, 2C-B shows a profile more similar to hallucinogenic compounds than to MDMA. Further behavioral studies with antagonists and agonists of various receptors showed its mechanism of action is related mainly to the activation of serotonin and dopamine systems. Serotonin 5-HT2A/C and D2 receptor antagonists showed the most pronounced effects in these experiments, again indicating its similarity to hallucinogenic compounds. Findings from brain microdialysis revealed 2C-B induces a release of serotonin, dopamine and glutamate in different brain areas and also indirectly showed that 2C-B might act as an inhibitor of monoaminooxidase (IMAO). These effects could be linked to its entactogenic potential. Taken together, 2C-B is closely related to hallucinogenic drugs and also shares some of the effects of entactogens like MDMA. In my presentation I will show and discuss data from our animal studies with 2C-B and compare it with findings from hallucinogens and MDMA. This work was supported by the projects VG20122015075, NT/13897, RVO-PCP/2012 and VG20122015080.
Sunday, April 21 • 9:45 AM – 10:30 AM
Communicating the Unspeakable: Linguistic Phenomena in the Psychedelic Sphere
Psychedelics can enable a broad and paradoxical spectrum of linguistic phenomena from the unspeakability of mystical experience to the eloquence of the songs of the shaman or curandera. Interior dialogues with the Other, whether framed as the voice of the Logos, an alien communication, or communion with ancestors and spirits, are relatively common. Sentient visual languages are encountered, their forms unrelated to the representation of speech in natural language writing systems. This research constructs a theoretical model of linguistic phenomena encountered in the psychedelic sphere for the interdisciplinary field of altered states of consciousness research (ASCR). The model is developed from a neurophenomenological perspective, Neurophenomenology relates the physical and functional organization of the brain to the subjective reports of lived experience in altered states as mutually informative, without reducing consciousness to one or the other. Michael Winkelman’s work in shamanistic ASC takes this approach, which in turn builds on the biogenetic structuralism of Charles Laughlin, John McManus, Eugene d’Aquili, and Francisco Varela. Varela extended his biological and neuroscientific work to encompass a dialogue between science and spirituality. Neuroscientist Oliver Sacks finds linguistic hallucinations are not unusual, and have multiple etiologies, including but not limited to the ingestion of psychoactive substances. Consciousness is seen as a dynamic multistate process of the recursive interaction of biology and culture, thereby navigating the traditional dichotomies of objective/subjective, body/mind, and inner/outer realities that problematically characterize much of the discourse in consciousness studies. The research presents case studies of individuals who have explored these linguistic phenomena in depth, examining the types of language formation, the uses to the individual of such symbolic systems, and their ideas as to the meaning of the phenomena. This work supports the idea that language and consciousness are co-evolutionary processes.
Diana Reed Slattery is a novelist, scholar, psychonaut, and video performance artist. She completed her Ph.D. work in psychedelics and language in 2010 at the University of Plymouth, UK.
Sunday, April 21 • 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Gaultheria Insipida: A Female Psychedelic Plant from the Andes
Sunday, April 21 • 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Towards Authenticity: Practical Psychointegration with Setting, Tools, and Vision
Sunday, April 21 • 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
The Phenomenology and Sequelae of MDMA-Assisted Therapy: A Pilot Study
Sunday, April 21 • 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Creativity, Cosmology, and Communion: A Buddhist View on the Sacred Significance of Psychedelics
Sunday, April 21 • 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
In Search of Entheogenic Molecules: Phytochemical Analysis from the DMT-Nexus
Sunday, April 21 • 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM
A Phenomenologically Grounded Ethnographic Study of the Life-world of Ecstasy Users
This is a phenomenologically grounded ethnographic study of the life-world of ecstasy users in the socio-cultural contexts of raving and clubs in Sydney, Australia. The thesis espouses existential-phenomenology as a framework for describing and understanding these experiences. I argue against and reject the widespread mechanistic-materialist paradigms that inform bio-medical and bio-psychological interpretations of drug-use and non-ordinary states of consciousness.
As an alternative to these dominant reductionist perspectives I draw on a holistic organismic approach and the application of phenomenology to ethnographic field research. More specifically, my exploration of the experiences of ecstasy is based upon a dialogal phenomenology which enabled me to generate a processual morphology of the varieties of ecstasy experience and the users’ mode of being-in-the-world. Through this endeavour I also argue for a phenomenological foundation of the study of drug-use and non-ordinary states of consciousness in general.
Continuing Education (CE) credit is available for psychologists, social workers, MFTs, and nurses. More information is available at the Spiritual Competency Resource Center.