For the third in my neuroscience podcast series, I chat with Vaughan Bell, who is a clinical and research psychologist at King’s College in London. Vaughan has an active interest in all areas of psychology and cognitive neuroscience, and writes about many of them on his blog, Mind Hacks.
In this podcast, we discuss one of Vaughan’s clinical research interests, which is hallucinations. What are they, and how are they diagnosed? We start by discussing some examples of hallucinations, and why auditory and visual hallucinations might be more common than other types, like taste or smell hallucinations. We then discuss the role that culture might play, and the interesting phenomenon that certain types of hallucinations are actually more common in specific countries.
When then move on to another of Vaughan’s academic interests, that of psychoactive drugs, and their potential relationship to hallucinations and psychosis. Finally, we end with a discussion about designer drugs, and how labs all over the world are synthesizing new psychoactive compounds much faster than governments could possibly ban then, effectively making the “war on drugs” irrelevant.
You can listen to and download the podcast here.