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Psychedelics are compounds that alter consciousness by acting on serotonin receptors in the brain. The term 'psychedelic', from the Greek for mind manifesting, refers to the drugs' subjective effects and was first proposed by Humphry Osmond in 1956. Other terms have been used to emphasize different aspects of the psychological experiences produced by various related compounds, including hallucinogens (perceptual), entheogens (spiritual), and empathogens or entactogens (social/emotional). The diversity in terminology reflects the existence of hundreds of potential psychedelic compounds with a spectrum of behavioral and neurobiological effects. Recent data on the effectiveness of psychedelics for treating mental illnesses has led to a resurgence of interest in their neurobiological effects. The purpose of this Primer is to provide those interested in the field of psychedelics with a concise and accessible overview of the scientific data. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Benjamin Kelmendi, Alfred P Kaye, Christopher Pittenger, Alex C Kwan. Psychedelics. Current biology : CB. 2022 Jan 24;32(2):R63-R67

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PMID: 35077687

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