OPEN Foundation

Mind Altering Science: Stephen Whitmarsh – A Fully Emerged Neuroscience Expedition into the Shamanic Ayahuasca Experience

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In 2009 we traveled to the Peruvian Jungle to participate in ayahuasca ceremonies with renowned Shipibo shaman Don Guillermo Arévalo. Our research goal was to investigate the neural correlates of the psycho-therapeutic and spiritual development during the shamanic ‘journey’. In addition we further developed the researcher/co-researcher protocol which we believe is of paramount importance in the scientific investigation of these extraordinary and personal phenomena where we are still in the stage of discovery. We were joined by a film crew who, in addition to our own audiovisual, psycho-physiological and EEG recordings filmed the intense ceremonies as parts their “The Science of the Soul”. In my talk I will show parts of this (award winning) documentary as well as elaborate on the setup, our preliminary results as well as our future plans.

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