THE VARIETIES OF PSYCHEDELIC EXPERIENCE
Robert Masters & Jean Houston
AKA ‘The Varieties’. A comprehensive and tactful academic treatise of the psychedelic experience, based on guided sessions with hundreds of healthy subjects. The words between these pages reveal the elusive and multifaceted effects of classical psychedelics for all to witness in plain, worldly English, leaving few stones un-turned. Easily one of the most masterful scholarly works ever written on visionary experiences. Authentic, intimate, highly sensible, judicious in its humour, and replete with articulate archetypal examples. A highly accessible classic that stands the test of time–an audacious monument in terrain otherwise brimming with myst and fairytales. If nothing more, it defies the ineffable. Far ahead of its time, and one of the most important books ever written. Worth changing your mind about picking up Pollan this winter.
DRUGS AND BEHAVIOR – AN INTRODUCTION TO BEHAVIORAL PHARMACOLOGY
Stephanie Hancock & William McKim
A well-organized textbook on the fundamentals of how drugs work. From product description: Stephanie Hancock describes basic pharmacological concepts of drug administration and pharmacokinetics, research methodology and clinical trials, tolerance and withdrawal, drug conditioning, addiction processes, and the neuroscience of drug action. In each chapter, these concepts are applied to different classes of recreational and therapeutic drugs within a historical and social backdrop. The Eighth Edition has been substantially revised and updated to include the newest research findings and real-world examples related to drug use and addiction.
BEHAVIORAL NEUROBIOLOGY OF PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS
Adam L. Halberstadt, Franz X. Vollenweider, David E. Nichols (Eds.)
Medical volume. Edited by three generations of psychedelic researchers. Includes the latest basic and clinical research on the common clinical, phenomenological, and neurobiological mechanisms of drugs like LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. Includes information on both risks and benefits of psychedelics. This is largely a work of the Heffter Research Institute.
Two highly recommended chapters:
Phenomenology, Structure, and Dynamic of Psychedelic States
by Katrin H. Preller and Franz X. Vollenweider
Serotonergic Hallucinogen-Induced Visual Perceptual Alterations
by Michael Kometer and Franz X. Vollenweider
THE SCIENCE OF MICRODOSING PSYCHEDELICS
Great scholarly book by a great scientist. A lot like his and Hintzen’s The Pharmacology of LSD – A Critical Review (2010) – more of a dense and detailed work of science than a casual coffee table read (e.g. Waldman’s A Really Good Day). Includes a much needed discussion on the sub-perceptual fad. Outlines prior research with psycholytic and active placebo doses of various psychedelics.
THE COMPASS OF PLEASURE
David J. Linden
Introductory psychology. This book is a fun read and an excellent introduction to the neuropsychology of why we like and want what we do.
Dr. Linden is a neurobiologist and professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, editor in chief of The Journal of Neurophysiology, and has published other works such as The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God
HANDBOOK OF THE BEHAVIORAL NEUROBIOLOGY OF SEROTONIN
Christian P. Müller & Barry L. Jacobs (Eds.)
Medical volume. Each chapter is an independent academic research paper. Begins with Ch. 1.1: Evolution of Serotonin – Sunlight to Suicide, a monumental piece by Efrain C. Azmitia which traces the phylogeny of the serotonergic system back to its roots–in the ancient tryptophan photosynthetic pathway that appeared billions of years ago in single-celled organisms and evolved to shape the structure of the living nervous system by serving to track and regulate growth toward sources of relevant stimuli, and integrate the body and mind with the outside world.
The work is divided into four parts:
1. Functional anatomy of the serotonergic system.
2. Review of the neurophysiology of the serotonergic system and its single components.
3. Involvement of serotonin in behavioural organization.
4. Serotonin in behavioural pathologies and psychiatric disorders.
ONE RIVER – EXPLORATIONS AND DISCOVERIES IN THE AMAZON RAIN FOREST
Harvard scientist and anthropologist Wade Davis was the protégé of the eminent Richard Evans Schultes, known as the father of modern ethnobotany (whom explored the Amazon, and brought back 30 000 plant specimens, 2000 of which were medicinal plants previously unknown to science). Described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all life’s diversity,” Wade is one of the most dexterous linguistic craftsmen of our time, and we are beyond blessed to have such an articulate mind to tell the tale of Richard Evans Schultes and his legacy.
Wade Davis is also well-known for discovering the phenomenon of zombis in Haitian vodoun culture, which he told in The Serpent And the Rainbow.