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Adam Gazzaley (Neuroscape UCSF): Psychedelics as Experiential Medicine

October 1, 2021

What if a therapist could peer inside the black box of a patient’s psychedelic experience?

Adam Gazzaley and his Neuroscape team at UCSF are using multimodal biosensing research to make that dream a reality.

On the show, Adam explains the concept of experiential medicine and how the brain modifies itself in response to different experiences. He shares his previous work creating a video game that is also a class two medical device for ADHD. He relates his long inquiry with shamans and therapists to understand how to design set and setting research studies. We explore the future of psychedelic therapy with a data-rich AI assistant and the potential concerns therapists might have about being replaced by innovative technology. Finally, Adam shares a powerful message to psychedelic healers and those who aspire to be.

Adam Gazzaley is an American neuroscientist, author, photographer, entrepreneur and inventor. He is the founder and executive director of Neuroscape and the David Dolby Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco. The new Neuroscape Psychedelics Division will be lead by Robin Carhart-Harris is dedicated to advancing the field of psychedelic science and medicine through multi-level research covering basic to translational to clinical science.

Show notes



  • :06 - How the brain modifies itself in response to experience
  • :12 - How Adam got a video game approved as a class two medical device by the FDA
  • :21 - Why Adam is studying the context (set and setting) of psychedelics
  • :29 - Lessons from therapists and shamans that inform Adam’s research
  • :36 - Studying the impact of community, nature, and an ongoing healing journey.
  • :47 - The future experience of a therapist using multimodal biosensing tools
  • :53 - Could an AI associate displace the need for a therapist?
  • 1:00 - Adam speaks to psychedelic therapists

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About Maya’s Podcast

A conversation series with leaders in the psychedelic community. Designed in service of therapists, healers, retreat leaders, and passionate enthusiasts

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