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Pioneering research

In the last decade, a number of research groups in Europe and the Americas have conducted studies into the safety and effectiveness of psychedelics for conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the Imperial Centre for Psychedelic Research is the first to gain this level of stature within a major academic institution.

When delivered safely and professionally, psychedelic therapy holds a great deal of promise for treating some very serious mental health conditions.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris

Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research

Ours was the first Centre in the world to investigate the brain effects of LSD using modern brain imaging and the first to study psilocybin – the active compound in magic mushrooms – for treating severe depression. These studies have laid the groundwork for larger trials that are now taking place around the world. Other pioneering work from the group includes breakthrough neuroimaging research with psilocybin, MDMA and DMT (the psychoactive compounds found in ecstasy and ayahuasca respectively).

Earlier this year the group began a new trial directly comparing psilocybin therapy with a conventional antidepressant drug in patients with depression – a study for which they are still recruiting volunteers. Building on this, they also plan to begin another new trial next year to explore the safety and feasibility of psilocybin for treating patients with anorexia.

Dr Carhart-Harris adds: “It may take a few years for psychedelic therapy to be available for patients, but research so far has been very encouraging. Early stage clinical research has shown that when delivered safely and professionally, psychedelic therapy holds a great deal of promise for treating some very serious mental health conditions and may one day offer new hope to vulnerable people with limited treatment options.”


If you are a student interested in conducting research with our Centre, please see the page join our research team.

Research publications

Citation

BibTex format

@article{Rajpal:2019:10.3389/fphy.2019.00163,
author = {Rajpal, H and Rosas, De Andraca FE and Jensen, HJ},
doi = {10.3389/fphy.2019.00163},
journal = {Frontiers in Physics},
title = {Tangled worldview model of opinion dynamics},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphy.2019.00163},
volume = {7},
year = {2019}
}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

TY  - JOUR
AB - We study the joint evolution of worldviews by proposing a model of opinion dynamics, which is inspired in notions fromevolutionary ecology. Agents update their opinion on a specific issue based on their propensity to change – asserted by thesocial neighbours – weighted by their mutual similarity on other issues. Agents are, therefore, more influenced by neighbourswith similar worldviews (set of opinions on various issues), resulting in a complex co-evolution of each opinion. Simulationsshow that the worldview evolution exhibits events of intermittent polarization when the social network is scale-free. This, in turn,triggers extreme crashes and surges in the popularity of various opinions. Using the proposed model, we highlight the role ofnetwork structure, bounded rationality of agents, and the role of key influential agents in causing polarization and intermittentreformation of worldviews on scale-free networks.
AU - Rajpal,H
AU - Rosas,De Andraca FE
AU - Jensen,HJ
DO - 10.3389/fphy.2019.00163
PY - 2019///
SN - 2296-424X
TI - Tangled worldview model of opinion dynamics
T2 - Frontiers in Physics
UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphy.2019.00163
UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/73872
VL - 7
ER -