Afternoon Keynote Speakers Announcement

Join us for the keynotes of two talented speakers at Synapsium 2024! Explore their insightful research and engaging talks in this blog.

Afternoon Keynote Speaker I

Regan Harle, PhD candidate

University College London

The Neurobiology of Language and Consciousness

Current research shows that psychedelics have significant effects on the brain’s ability to change and adapt, known as neuroplasticity. These substances can alter the structure and function of connections between brain cells at a molecular and cellular level, leading to both short-term and long-term changes. This research is important because it aligns with growing interest in using psychedelics for therapy, as they can affect key brain regions involved in mental imagery, understanding others’ thoughts, and regulating emotions. The talk will be about my doctoral thesis, part of the UNITy project (Understanding Neuroplasticity Induced by Tryptamines), which focuses on how the human mind, particularly language and consciousness, can be influenced by psychedelics, especially DMT. UNITy is one of the largest studies on DMT, using brain imaging techniques like fMRI while participants experience naturalistic stimuli such as watching movies. My research aims to understand how psychedelics like DMT can change the way our brains associate words, potentially helping to reshape the neural circuits related to language and trauma. By using fMRI to track brain changes after DMT use, we hope to scientifically confirm the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, offering new treatment options for various populations.



Afternoon Keynote Speaker II

Anco Peeters, Dr.

Donders Institute

Embodied Cognition and Phenomenology Perspective on Consciousness

In this talk, Anco will approach consciousness from the perspective of embodied cognition and the philosophical tradition of phenomenology. Questions that will be addressed are: How can we understand consciousness as being embodied? How can the study of consciousness through neurophenomenology support the robust generation of first-person reports that inform the analysis of neuroimaging data? And how does embodied help us think about the possibility of consciousness in artificially intelligent systems?