Daniel is a student of Cognitive Science and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. His focus is on mysticism, magic and the psychedelic experience through the lens of psychology and neuroscience. Daniel also works with the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP). He has also spoken at a number of conferences and educational events in Toronto on the subject of psychedelics and philosophy.
The Neurobiology of Prophetic Visions: Dreams, Drugs and the Predictive Brain
What happens in the brain when you’re seeing the rich psychedelic landscapes of colour and transformative images? Where do visionary experiences come from and what do they mean? This lecture will talk about the neurobiology of perception and hallucinations. I will address how this machinery is modulated by the use of tryptamine psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA. This perspective will be informed by Jewish philosophy of prophecy and revelation and the predictive processing framework of perception and action. Elaborating the functional specifics of visionary experience is necessary for fully understanding the psychedelic experience and what about it may be useful for psychotherapy. A shortcoming of current research into psychedelics s that the available psychometrics on mystical experiences can only identify the unitive mystical experience. This presentation will describe the differences between unitive and visionary experiences, thus providing direction for psychological investigation into the full variety of mystical experiences that occur both naturally and facilitated by psychedelic compounds.