Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Accepted version

Lyvers, M. (2003). The neurochemistry of psychedelic experiences. Science and Consciousness Review, 1(June).

Science and Consciousness Review was originally published online at


Psychedelics constitute a class of psychoactive drugs with unique effects on consciousness. Psychedelic means “mind-manifesting” and refers to the ability of these drugs to illuminate normally hidden aspects of mind or psyche. Psychedelic drugs are not addictive. Even enthusiastic proponents of psychedelics take them infrequently due to the intensity of the “trip.” The question of how these agents produce their striking alterations of consciousness has long fascinated brain researchers. Research on the brain actions of psychedelic drugs has potential implications for theories of consciousness and the brain correlates of mystical experiences.



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