HomeAgendaExperimental Research on Altered States | Lecture by dr. Michiel van Elk (Leiden University)

Experimental Research on Altered States | Lecture by dr. Michiel van Elk (Leiden University)

Altered states of consciousness can be induced using a variety of different methods and in different contexts. But why appear some people more sensitive to these experiences than others? What happens in our brain during an altered state? And how do different induction methods such as meditation, sensory deprivation or psychedelics compare in their effects? This talk will highlight experimental research on altered states, focusing on the causes, the underlying mechanisms and the consequences of altered states of consciousness.
Michiel van Elk obtained degrees in philosophy, biological psychology and the psychology of religion. He pursued his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen, followed by a post-doc position at the UCSB in CA, (USA) and the EPFL in Switzerland. He has been affiliated as a lecturer and Fulbright scholar at Stanford University and as research fellow at The Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies. After positions at the University of Amsterdam and VU University he is now affiliated as associate professor at Leiden University, where he heads the Psychedelic, Religious, Spiritual and Mystical (PRSM) experiences lab. He studies altered states of consciousness using a variety of different methods including field research, phenomenology, psychophysical tools and neuroimaging techniques. Michiel has published numerous scientific articles, popular science books and his work has been featured by the New York Times, National Geographic and Daily Beast