At the Psychedelic Science 2013 conference held in Oakland, CA in April 2013, Heffter founder Dave Nichols and Heffter Zurich researcher Franz Vollenweider presented this in-depth workshop focusing on the latest advances in scientific understanding of how psychedelic compounds affect the brain.

Dave starts the workshop with some very basic information about receptor pharmacology, then proceeds into how receptors produce signals within cells.  His discussion moves on to more complex realms concerning how various psychedelics interact with receptors, including how molecular biology techniques have been used to map out the functional topography of receptors.

After a brief history of psychedelic research in Switzerland, Franz X. Vollenweider reviews the assessments, predictors and neuronal correlates of the basic psychological dimensions of psychedelics in humans, particularly the neuronal processes and networks underpinning the dissolution of self and visionary experiences.  In the second part, he summarizes the effect of psychedelics on conscious and unconscious emotion processing and neuronal plasticity and discusses their impact for the treatment of depression and anxiety.

Although these presentations are fairly technical, there is plenty of information for the layperson.  The workshop is available for viewing in four parts on YouTube:

Part 1 and Part 2 feature Dave Nichols

Part 3 and Part 4 feature Franz Volleweider

Total running time is approximately 3 hours.