Beckley / Maastricht Psychedelic Programme

Collaboration with Professor Jan Ramaekers and Dr Kim Kuypers, Maastricht University, Netherlands

Maastricht University (UM) is the most international university in the Netherlands. Thanks to its high-quality research and study programmes as well as a strong focus on social engagement, UM has quickly built up a solid reputation. Today it is considered one of the best young universities in the world. We have partnered with Prof. Jan Ramaekers and Dr. Kim Kuypers of the UM Psychopharmacology department to expand our growing body of research into the neuropsychological effects of psychedelic drugs.

Psilocybin for Creativity

We are currently collaborating on a  research project into the efficacy of psilocybin to enhance creative thinking in order to help individuals devalue previously learned associations. Such associations often underlie mental and emotional disorders, notably post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, whereby certain cues and scenarios can trigger negative thoughts and memories. The possibility of weakening this effect therefore raises the potential for sufferers to overcome their psychopathology.

The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon will be studied using behavioural measures and neuroimaging (MRI spectroscopy and fMRI). This research will deepen our limited understanding of how psychedelics can expand creative capacity, and we hope the results of this study will provide a basis for the creation of novel forms of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for a range of illnesses.

Cognitive and Emotional Impact of Microdoses of LSD

This study will complement the upcoming Beckley/Imperial microdosing research project by assessing the short-term effects of various microdoses of LSD. Twenty-four participants will receive a placebo and three different microdoses – from 5 to 20 ug – in a randomized and balanced cross-over design. After each dose, acute effects on cognitive performance, emotional state, and resilience to pain and stress will be assessed. Through this protocol, we hope to determine the different effects of various small doses of LSD on creativity, cognitive flexibility, and well-being. Additionally, blood samples will be analysed to assess markers of neuronal growth. Finally, vital signs will be closely monitored to establish the safety profile of the drug.