OPEN Foundation

Brian Anderson – Ayahuasca in psychiatry: From psiquiatría folklórica to neuroimaging

This presentation analyzes from an anthropological perspective some of the ways that ayahuasca’s curative potentials have been portrayed in conventional psychiatry from the 1950s until today. Through considering seldom-cited and difficult-to-access publications and other forms of academic psychiatric productions, it is shown how different cultures within psychiatry have shaped the construction of scientific ‘facts’ of how ayahuasca can affect and heal the mind. Suggestions are made for how such a historical and cultural analysis of psychiatric discourse can be applied to the development of the contemporary ethnopsychiatric study of ayahuasca.