A half hour of hallucinations

I’m on the latest PLOS Mind the Brain podcast discussing the science of hallucinations with the inimitable Ruchir Shah.

We cover everything from the experience of ‘hearing voices’ and its relation to mental illness to how chemists are pioneering new variations of psychoactive substances to get around drugs laws.

In this podcast, we discuss one of Vaughan’s clinical research interests, which is hallucinations. What are they, and how are they diagnosed? We start by discussing some examples of hallucinations, and why auditory and visual hallucinations might be more common than other types, like taste or smell hallucinations. We then discuss the role that culture might play, and the interesting phenomenon that certain types of hallucinations are actually more common in specific countries.

When then move on to another of Vaughan’s academic interests, that of psychoactive drugs, and their potential relationship to hallucinations and psychosis. Finally, we end with a discussion about designer drugs, and how labs all over the world are synthesizing new psychoactive compounds much faster than governments could possibly ban then, effectively making the “war on drugs” irrelevant.

A thoroughly enjoyable discussion which you can download from the link below.
 

Link to hallucinations in Mind the Brain podcast Episode 3.

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