The University of California, Berkeley announced yesterday their plans to launch a new center that will be dedicated to psychedelics research and education.
According to a press release, researchers at the facility will use psychedelic substances to study cognition, emotion and perception and their biological behavior bases in the human brain. The new facility will also be putting resources into ensuring that the public is informed about this field of research that is rapidly advancing.
The UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics will begin its studies with psilocybin, which is a psychedelic compound that is found in magic mushrooms. This study is partially and anonymously funded by a $1,250,000 donation from an anonymous source.
A founding member of the new center, David Presti, a Berkeley neuroscientist said that this was the best time to start the center, as the renewal in interest of clinical and basic science with regard to psychedelics has captured the attention of many people.
This research is meant to complement other similar studies that are being carried out in other psychedelics research institutions such as the one being carried out in John Hopkins University.
Michael Silver, a Berkeley neuroscientist and the director of the new center, stated that some of the studies that had been conducted had produced impressive results, especially in cases that were previously resistant to conventional methods of treatment. This indicates that psychedelic substances may be an alternative treatment for people suffering from various mental health disorders.
Additionally, researchers from the facility will be collaborating with the Graduate Theological Union to develop an interactive learning program on both spirituality and psychedelics. This will involve the training of individuals to become facilitators who will assist in psychedelic ceremonies. This training program will examine the contemplative, cultural as well as the spiritual care aspects of psychedelics.
An assistant professor of the Graduate Theological Union, Sam Shonkoff stated that the training of the facilitators was an essential part of the project.
Researchers will experiment using various psychedelic substances in an attempt to find possible therapeutic applications of the substances for mental health disorders. The researchers also plan to study how visual hallucinations work in the human brain as well as the long-term effects of using these psychedelic substances.
With activists across the country calling for the decriminalization of entheogenic substances, the launching of this research center could not have come at a better time. This timing is exactly what has encouraged companies like Cybin Corp. to invest heavily in developing psychedelics products.
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