Skip to Main Content


Our Mission

The Yale Program for Psychedelic Science supports a dynamic community of researchers investigating the effects of psychedelic agents on the mind and brain, their therapeutic potential, and their place in society.

Our program spans several broad areas:

  • Neuroscience – How do psychedelic drugs affect the brain, and what can they teach us about its normal organization and function?
  • Psychology – How do psychedelic drugs affect the mind, and what can they tell us about its normal organization and function?
  • Therapeutics – Can psychedelic drugs treat neurological and psychiatric disease? Who can they help? How should they be deployed? What are the risks?
  • Society – What is the place of psychedelic drugs in society?
  • Education – How can we best educate scientists, clinicians, and the general public about the complexities of psychedelic drug use? How can we train future leaders in this field?

We are committed to a transdisciplinary approach; we believe that by connecting scholars working across levels of analysis we can cultivate consilient understanding greater than the sum of its parts.

What is a psychedelic? The term ‘psychedelic’, from the Greek for ‘mind manifesting’, was coined by Henry Osmund in 1957. The classical psychedelics are drugs like LSD and psilocybin that act at the serotonin 2A receptors and have striking effects on human consciousness. Some insist that the word ‘psychedlic’ be reserved for these molecules. Others use the term more broadly to include other categories of drugs with dramatic effects on human consciousness, such as MDMA, or even ketamine. At the Yale Program for Psychedelic Science we do not restrict ourselves to the classical psychedelics; we aim to advance understanding of the mind and brain and to investigate new strategies to treat illness.