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About

Pre ICPR Events

About

Naomi Schmiedel, BSc

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Speaker Bio

My academic journey began with a psychology bachelor's, where I developed a comprehensive understanding of various scientific topics and delved into the intricacies of mental states. Currently, I am finishing my master’s degrees in Neuroscience and Philosophy of Neuroscience at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, which has solidified my foundation in neural research, neuroimaging and its relevance to health conditions. My fascination with the behavioral and neural mechanisms of psychedelics has led me to seek an internship at the Faculty of Medicine in Coimbra, where our team investigated the neural correlates underlying DMT-induced visual hallucinations. As a member of the Amsterdam Psychedelic Research Association and OPEN Foundation, I have engaged deeply with the subject, attending numerous lectures and conferences that have fueled my curiosity. Aspiring to integrate psychedelics into viable treatment methods, I am eager to harness my analytical and critical thinking skills, pioneering psychedelic research in experimental and clinical settings.

ICPR 2024 Abstract

DMT-induced visual hallucinations: Exploring neural correlates with fMRI connectivity analyses

N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring classic psychedelic known for its psychoactive effects, believed to primarily activate serotonin 2A receptors. It induces perceptual shifts, profound spiritual experiences, and intense visual phenomena. Despite its well-known effects, the visual phenomenology of DMT remains inadequately explained by existing models. This research explores the neural basis of hallucinations and the intricacies of brain connectivity during altered visual perceptions triggered by inhaled DMT, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with periodic visual stimuli mimicking DMT-induced hallucinations. A within-subject study with 11 healthy, DMT-experienced volunteers (37 ± 12,4 years, 4 Female/7 Male) in two sessions (Active-substance/Control) with 1-month interval was conducted at ICNAS/CIBIT-University of Coimbra. In the active session, participants self-administered 50-70mg of DMT (root bark of Mimosa hostilis Benth.) immediately before MRI acquisition. The fMRI task included empty-field flicker stimuli, revealing significant cluster-extent threshold corrected BOLD activity (p<.001) in R/L_BA8, L_BA6, R_BA18, B17, B37 in DMT vs Control. Preliminary functional connectivity analyses tested for the impact of low-level sensory activity on top-down and high-level related brain regions using seed-to-voxel analysis for V1(BA17). Results suggest connectivity changes between V1 and parietal post-central areas in DMT vs Control. The findings suggest a neural foundation for DMT-induced hallucinatory states, implicating regions associated with both cognitive and perceptual aspects of altered visual experiences. These insights provide a window into brain areas and processes involved in top-down/bottom-up dynamics of psychedelic experiences, holding potential for future investigations and therapeutic frameworks addressing mental health issues.

© 2007-2024 ICPR by OPEN Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
© 2007-2024 ICPR by OPEN Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
© 2007-2024 ICPR by OPEN Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands