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Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures, discussions, and conversations from area events and festivals, thanks to a remarkable collection of community partners. Click here to view the full archive. Events are recorded at no cost to the partner and archived here online; select recordings are broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Aspen Psychedelic Symposium: The Neuroscience of Psychedelics

(Photo by Kelsey Brunner)
Kelsey Brunner/DP
(Photo by Kelsey Brunner)

This event was recorded on June 2, 2023 at the Wheeler Opera House, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio, Aspen Psychedelic Resource Center, and Healing Advocacy Fund.

The recent successful state passage of the Natural Medicine Health Act (Proposition 122) represents a massive shift in public perception regarding psychedelics. Colorado's ballot initiative was the first to decriminalize the possession and use of psychedelic mushrooms and certain plant-based psychedelic substances in Colorado law for individuals aged 21 and over, and requires the state to establish a regulated system for accessing psychedelic mushrooms and additional plant-based psychedelic substances.

This day-long event was presented as a deep dive into the tradition, science, and advocacy behind integrating these life-saving medicines into modern culture. Panels throughout the day included experts from Colorado and across the country. Hear from groundbreaking researchers, scientists, doctors and others working in the field— alongside individuals who have had these life-changing experiences.

In the third panel of the day, “The Neuroscience of Psychedelics,” speakers discussed how researchers have been exploring the neurobiological mechanisms of psychedelic drugs, the resulting changes in brain activity, and what treating chronic pain with psychedelics looks like.

Panelists included Court Wing, Dave Rabin, and Scott Thompson, moderated by Nicole Foerster.

Nicole Foerster (moderator), co-proponent of Initiative 61 and founder of Decriminalize Nature Boulder County; advocate for psilocybin mushrooms as a treatment for cluster headaches; a mental health professional, and a proponent for the full decriminalization of entheogenic plants and fungi

Court Wing, founder and CEO of REMAP Therapeutics, dedicated to exploring, innovating and developing the intersection between psychedelics and chronic pain with significant experience in injury recovery, applied neurophysiology, neuromuscular rehabilitation, performance training, and psychedelics; study participant in NYU’s clinical trial of "Psilocybin for Major Depressive Disorder" (March 2020)

Dr. Dave Rabin MD, PhD, a board-certified psychiatrist, neuroscientist, entrepreneur and inventor, who is the co-founder & chief innovation officer at Apollo Neuroscience, focusing on plant and natural medicines and medicine-assisted psychotherapy, specializing in treatment-resistant mental illnesses including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder

What is Healing, What is Ceremony?” with Veronica Lightning Horse Perez and Remi Olajoyegbe, moderated by Jaz Cadoch.

Mental Health Breakthroughs” with Kevin Franciotti, Meg Richmond, and Matthew X. Lowe, moderated by Brandon Burns

Where do we go from here?” with Scarlet Masius, Kevin Matthews, and Natasia Poinsatte, moderated by Zach Leary

Keynote: "Speculations on the Antiquity of Human Consciousness” by Dennis McKenna

Please note: Fireside Project is a nonprofit organization which operates the Psychedelic Peer Support Line, the first national support line for people navigating psychedelic experiences - whether that experience happened a day or a decade ago. The organization also offers “identity-based integration support,” meaning that if you are Black, Indigenous, a person of color, a military veteran, or identify as transgender, you can ask to speak to someone sharing your identity. Call or text 62-FIRESIDE. Open everyday 11:00am - 11:00pm PT.