This episode is a bit of a wild one. It's a three hour discussion bringing together a unifying principle for life, the free energy principle (a topic I explored in greater detail in my conversation with Maxwell Ramstead), with several pernicious problems that have plagued us for years, like consciousness, free will, intelligence, and what the hell is going on when we take psychdelic substances.
Leading us on a tour of these awe-inspiring, interconnected, mind-bending topics is the scientist Dr. Adam Safron. Adam is has recently finished a postdoc the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and has moved on to the John's Hopkins Centre for Psychdelics and Consciuosness Research.
His work brings together neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy from a complex systems perspective and is truly fascinating. His ultimate aim is is providing a multi-level account of the factors that help people to be adaptive, creative, and free in all aspects of their lives.
One of his more recent projects has been developing a theory of consciousness, Integrated World Modeling Theory, which in the context of the free energy principle and integrated information theory, proposes that conscious experiences are what it is like to model an embodied self and world with coherent organization by space, time, and cause.
In our conversation we cover:
The topic for this podcast is DMT (dimethyltryptamine) a psychedelic substance that’s found throughout nature and within the body.It’s a substance that, after more scientific enquiry, could bridge the gap between science and spirituality due to the life-changing, and some would say, mystical experiences it can facilitate.
This episode is with Dr Fatima Nasrallah, a senior scientist and researcher from the Queensland Brain Institute. Last year (2016), they released a publication called ‘The Brain’ where they highlight what the recent science has to say about concussions – particularly with regards to sport.
My guest for this episode is Dr Sara Lazar from Harvard University. She’s a researcher who looks into the impacts that yoga and meditation have on various cognitive and behavioural functions.
My guest for this episode is Chris Timmerman from Imperial College. He’s a PhD student who is a part of the team doing the first ever fMRI scan of DMT’s effect on the brain.
This episode is on emotions and how recent research has changed how we view these feelings that influence our lives.
Can money buy happiness? What affects do smartphones have on our subjective well being? Find out in this episode.
Explore a unifying principle of life and its implications for our societal evolution.