Tomas Palenicek, MD, PhD. started his career in 2001 at former Prague Psychiatric Centre in preclinical research, focusing on the neurobiology of psychedelics such as LSD, psilocin, mescaline, 2C-B and MDMA and on the neurobiology of psychosis. At the same time he was trained in clinical psychiatry and in clinical electroencephalography (EEG) and started to contribute to human clinical research with ketamine. Within the last five years he was a principle investigator of the first projects in the Czech Republic studying the acute effects of cannabis and psilocybin in healthy volunteers and was involved in studies with ketamine in depressed patients. His research expertise is mainly in behavioural pharmacology and in electrophysiology and brain connectivity. Currently he is a leader of a translational team of young scientists at National Institute of Mental Health in the Czech Republic, investigating the neurobiology of how psychedelics and cannabinoids affect brain processing, emotionality, cognitive functions and music. He is also actively involved in projects that desire to study therapeutic potential of psychedelics and MDMA in the Czech Republic.
Psilocybin disrupts sensory and higher order cognitive processing but not pre-attentive cognitive processing-study on P300 and mismatch negativity in healthy volunteers.
Since psychedelics including psilocybin can induce symptoms phenomenologically similar to what is observed in psychosis they are widely accepted as models of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Studies on how psychedelics affect the brain functions including informational processing therefore help us understanding the neurobiology of psychotic states. One of the core domains typically dysfunctional in psychosis is cognitive processing. In my talk I will focus on how healthy subjects during the peak experience on psilocybin process pre-attentive and attentive cognitive tasks and how relevant that processing could be to what we know from acutely psychotic patients with Schizophrenia.