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Yale Program for Psychedelic Science

Psychedelic drugs and related molecules – psilocybin, MDMA, and the like – have profound effects on the mind and on the brain. They have been used in cultures around the world for millenia and have been studied by Western scientists and physicians for a century. Research into the effects of these substances was dramatically curtailed in the early 1970s by legal restrictions but has experienced a renaissance over the past two decades. Researchers and clinicians around the world are investigating their potential as therapeutic agents for a range of conditions, and what they can teach us about the brain and about the human mind.

Yale has a long history in this area, beginning with studies of LSD in the 1950s and 1960s. Indeed, LSD was first found to act on serotonin receptors at Yale, in seminal studies by George Aghajanian and his colleagues in 1968. This tradition has been renewed over the past decade, and today Yale researchers are actively investigating and debating the neurobiological and psychological effects of psychedelics, their therapeutic potential, and their place in society.

The Yale Program for Psychedelic Science supports this multidisciplinary community of researchers.