Honors (Un)common Read: Psychedelic Neuromedicine

IDH 2930

Information and Contact: Dr. Lou Ritz

This course is based on the book “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence” by Michael Pollan, which presents a review of the use of psychedelic drugs throughout human history, including in religious practices in various cultures and the US countercultural movement of the 1960s. In recent years, clinical trials have been conducted at major universities in the United States, supported by funding from the U.S. government, to evaluate the impact of psychedelic drugs on vexing psychiatric illnesses.

The course will require a mature perspective on drug use. Students can expect to participate in frank discussions around the effects of psychedelic drugs under a variety of conditions. The course does not in any way advocate the casual use of psychedelic or other drugs.

Course topics will be as far-ranging as spirituality, therapeutic treatments, the history of medicine, history of the 1960’s counter-culture, brain neurotransmitters, brain circuits of our “self”, mental health, psychiatric illnesses, and consciousness.