We are excited to announce three amazing workshops for Synapsium 2024! Remember that there are only limited spaces for each workshop, so be sure to register as soon as possible to get your favourite.

How to Conduct Psychedelic Research

Workshop host: Giordano Novak Rossi, PhD Candidate

Have you ever wondered how psychedelic research is conducted? Do you want to learn how to manage adverse effects of the psychedelic administration? During the workshop, Giordano will introduce you key aspects of volunteer selection, such as inclusion and exclusion criteria, crucial for minimizing adverse events. We will delve into scientific protocols for dealing with possible serious adverse events that may occur during experimental sessions involving acute psychedelic administration in ‘unmistakably psychoactive’ doses, setting preparation, research team training and briefing, how to prepare a supportive environment, challenging experiences management (verbal and pharmacological in most extreme situations), and the importance of a multidisciplinary research team. Furthermore, we will discuss important aspects related to the days before the session (e.g. building rapport and getting the volunteer acquainted with the research team and study protocol, ethics committee requirements) and follow-ups (support the volunteer in the days after the session). To enhance your learning experience, we will start with a brainstorming exercise and conclude with another one to help you integrate the information shared.

Transcranial Ultrasonic Stimulation: A nudge in the ‘right’ direction

Workshop host: Soha Farboud, PhD Candidate

Transcranial Ultrasonic Stimulation (TUS) is an advancing non-invasive brain stimulation method in humans. For the first time, we can reach deep brain structures non-invasively with unprecedented precision. Both animal and human studies have demonstrated its potential for inducing long-term effects, particularly promising for clinical applications. However, better understanding the causal role of brain structures in cognition requires modulaion of these regions with TUS protocols that exert effects solely during stimulation. Although effective online TUS protocols have been demonstrated in animals, translating these findings to humans is hindered by potential auditory confounds. To address this gap, our recent efforts have focused on establishing an effective online TUS protocol in humans. During this workshop, you will receive an overview of Transcranial Ultrasonic Stimulation (TUS), covering its potential benefits and limitations. Following this, you will have the opportunity to engage in brainstorming and designing a TUS study aimed at addressing neuroscientific questions that have always piqued YOUR interest.

How Elusive is a Super Memory?

Workshop host: Boris Konrad, Dr.

What should you do when your head feels “full” again—with too much information, too much to remember, too much demanding your attention? Digitalization promises progress and improvement, allowing us to look up or save information instead of memorizing it. Yet, the feeling of stress increases, and many people feel overwhelmed by the daily influx of information, struggling to remember even simple things, let alone important course material, complex concepts or weird passwords.

Dr. Boris Nikolai Konrad, a memory champion and neuroscientist, helps us regain control over our brains and create order in our minds. He shares fascinating and astounding insights into how to optimally use our memory.

His extensive, scientific research shows that anyone can train and significantly improve their memory, regardless of intelligence, education level, or age. Those who do so change networks in the brain, reduce effort while learning and gaine more control over their memory.

In this interactive lecture, Boris not only demonstrates his own World-class memory skills but also practically shows how memory techniques work, as well as the scientific principles he has researched for nearly 15 years, including many years in Nijmegen.