Chapter

The Varieties of Psychedelic Lab Experience

Nicolas Langlitz

in Neuropsychedelia

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780520274815
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520954908 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520274815.003.0004
The Varieties of Psychedelic Lab Experience

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The third chapter, “The Varieties of Psychedelic Lab Experience,” provides an ethnographic close-up of laboratory life in Zurich. Revolving around a neurotheological study of drug-induced mystical experiences, it examines the role of set and setting as non-pharmacological factors that also shape the effects of hallucinogenic drugs. It revisits anthropologist Anthony Wallace’s suggestion to complement randomized placebo-controlled trials with culture controls and considers the possibility of remaking psychopharmacology into a hybrid of natural and human sciences. Eventually, however, these promising endeavors are thwarted by the complexity and wildness of psychedelic neurochemistry.

Keywords: neurotheology; mystical experience; set and setting; randomized placebo-controlled trials; culture-controlled trials; complexity

Chapter.  20214 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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