About this Research Topic
Basic science research with psychedelic drugs continued relatively unabated after the cessation of clinical work with these compounds in 1970. Studies with the “classic psychedelics”, whose most well-known representative is LSD, have been responsible for fundamental discoveries in neuropsychopharmacology, in particular within the field of serotonin and, more recently, the sigma-1 complex. New generations of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anxiolytics have followed on the heels of the increasingly refined understanding of the serotonergic neuronal systems afforded by research with the psychedelics. The resumption of human research with these compounds in the late 1980s affords the opportunity to confirm and extend preclinical discoveries, as well as direct studies into exclusively clinical domains. Now, in the 21st century, psychedelic drug research is undergoing a rapidly expanding resurgence at all levels, from the most basic biochemistry of drug-receptor interactions, to efficacy as agents for psychotherapy, as well as enhancement of normal function.
This Research Topic will bring together a selection of primary research, review, and opinion. It will welcome contributions from all levels and across all the major disciplines actively involved in psychedelic drug research.
We welcome contributions from basic molecular and pharmacological science, focusing on drug-receptor interactions and their functional impact, as well as the effects of psychedelic drugs on neural systems. From this fundamental level, the scope will reach into the clinical counterparts of brain imaging and clinical neuropsychopharmacological findings. Psychological effects in normal volunteers will also be represented, in addition to the relevance of psychedelic drug states as models for psychopathology. Finally, we will consider the application of the psychedelic drug effect to various clinical conditions, both psychopathological as well as directed towards the enhancement of normal function. These include psychotherapy for usually intractable psychiatric diagnoses, enhancement of creativity, and the nascent field of “clinical spirituality.”
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.