2017 February 21: Dr. Cahn packed the house for his talk on his ongoing research of mediation and psychedelic brain states.
TITLE: 'Neurophysiology and clinical utility of Meditative and Psychedelic States'
Dr. Cahn will provide an overview on the neurophysiology of meditative and psychedelic states of mind and the relation between these mind-brain states and healing mechanisms for anxiety, depression, obsessionality, and existential suffering. He will present his research findings assessing the impact of meditation on the brain correlates of sensory and cognitive processing due to meditation and the effects of psilocybin. He will also summarize the related recent clinical and neurophysiologic findings which provide a growing literature base from which to draw hypotheses and conclusions about the potential of these approaches to provide relief and transformation in patients with significant psychological suffering as well as the development of greater well-being, psychological freedom, and human flourishing.
Rael Cahn is Assistant Clinical Professor with the USC Department of Psychiatry doing research at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute. He is a leading expert in the neuroscience of meditation and altered states of consciousness and author numerous basic neuroscience investigations of meditation and psilocybin-induced states and traits of consciousness as well as comprehensive integrative review of the neurophysiology of meditation and its role in the treatment of depression. He has investigated the brain states associated with short and long term meditative practice as well as the effects of psychedelic medicine. Dr. Cahn currently investigates the neurophysiologic mechanisms underlying both advanced states of non-dual awareness and inner experiences of thoughtlessness in long term practitioners as well as the clinical benefits of meditative practices in depression, anxiety and drug addiction. In addition, he has an interest in expanding clinical and neuroscientific research on the use of psychedelic medicines in tandem with contemplative practice to assess the synergistic and potentiating benefits of these two ways of accessing psychological healing and well-being.