Altered States of the Human Mind: Implications for Anthropogeny

Event Date (Pacific Time): 
Saturday, Mar 13, 2021 - 12:00pm to 4:30pm
Event Chairs:

Patricia Churchland, University of California, San Diego
Jean-Pierre Changeux, Collège de France & Institut Pasteur

Summary: An earlier CARTA Symposium addressed naturally occurring extraordinary variations of the human mind, and the lessons for Anthropogeny. In this companion symposium, experts will address altered states of the mind that are deliberately induced by humans. We will address what is known about origins and mechanisms of these mind-altering practices, and also (when known) how they affect the minds of other species. In doing so, we hope to gain new insights into the origins and workings of the human mind.

This CARTA Virtual Public Symposium was underwritten by Ben Cipollini (PhD '14, an alumnus of the Graduate Specialization Track in Anthropogeny, University of California, San Diego Department of Cognitive Science) with additional support from CARTA Patrons Ingrid Benirschke-Perkins and Gordon Perkins, Elizabeth Lancaster and Eli Shefter, and new CARTA Friend, Kathlyn Furr.

Event Sessions

Media for each talk can be played by clicking on icons in the "Media" column, or by clicking on the individual talk titles below and then the attachment file at the bottom of the page.

Media Session Speakers
File Welcome Pascal Gagneux, University of California, San Diego
File Psychedelics Frederick Barrett, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
File Cognitive Enhancement (Nicotine, Caffeine, Cocaine, Amphetamine) and General Anesthesia Jean-Pierre Changeux, Collège de France & Institut Pasteur
File Imagination and Embodiment in Practices of Sacred Sonorous Being Thomas Csordas, University of California, San Diego
File Alcohol Metabolism and Alcoholism Kenneth Kidd, Yale School of Medicine
File Addiction and Loss of Control: Hyperkatifeia, Negative Reinforcement and the Dark Side of Addiction George Koob, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; National Institute on Drug Abuse
File The Neural Underpinnings of Mindfulness Read Montague, Virginia Tech
File Peripartum Depression Barbara Parry, University of California, San Diego
File Altered States in Human Rituals Ann Taves, University of California, Santa Barbara
File Intersectional Neuroscience: Meditation and Diversity Helen Weng, University of California, San Francisco
File Question & Answer Session and Closing Remarks All Speakers
Pascal Gagneux, University of California, San Diego

Support Opportunities

Free CARTA Zoom Backgrounds

  • Gifts: We invite you to partner with us in CARTA’s quest to explore and explain the human phenomenon. CARTA connects us all – scientists and philosophers, students and teachers, people with questions and others with answers. The global CARTA community grows with each lecture that is experienced and passed forward via FREE access to UCSD-TV broadcasts and archived videos on multiple websites. Please email for support opportunities, which have been modified due to the virtual format. Your gift to the CARTA Symposium Fund enables these valuable resources to remain free for everyone to attend and access online.
  • Insights: We understand that you may not be in a position to make a monetary contribution at this time and invite you to please share with us your insight! Your feedback is invaluable in terms of improving our offerings both in impact and reach. Please take a few moments to provide comments in CARTA's Public Feedback Survey.

Event Glossary

A glossary for this event is available as a Searchable List and a PDF icon PDF.