Psychedelic Neuroscience Demystified

How Psychedelics Alter Consciousness and Produce Therapeutic Effects

Presented by Psychedelics Today and Psychedelic Neuroscience Experts, Melanie Pincus, Ph.D. and Manesh Girn, Ph.D.

Become a neuroscience informed participant in the psychedelic space.

Clinicians and therapists have an increasing interest in psychedelic therapies. However, many don’t know the scientific evidence on how they work at the level of the brain. The information in this special course can help inform your therapeutic approaches and how you can better guide your clients to conceptualize their experiences.

What you’ll learn:

  • An introduction to brain structure and function
  • Background on how the brain is altered in mood disorders and how psychedelics may help counter these changes for therapeutic benefit
  • In-depth explanations of psychedelic neuropharmacology, neuroimaging, and leading theories of psychedelic brain effects
  • Therapeutic mechanisms of psychedelics at the cellular, circuit, and global brain level
  • The science of set and setting
  • An exploration of how psychedelics can enhance human potential

What makes this course special?

The lectures and masterclasses provide a comprehensive and accessible overview of the neural mechanisms underlying the psychedelic experience and its therapeutic action.

The curriculum is designed with relevance for clinical best practices in mind, and includes in-depth discussions of the latest evidence on ‘set and setting’ factors that contribute to the nature of psychedelic experiences, the holistic effects of psychedelics on brain, nervous system, and body, and how psychedelics differ from standard pharmacological treatments.

Curious where to begin?

Research suggests that psychedelics may facilitate neuroplasticity at the cellular and network levels.

This creates an opportunity to change patterns in brain activity and in turn improve symptoms, behavior, and functioning, including enhancing well-being and therapeutic outcomes.

Download our FREE Introductory Guide to Psychedelic Neuroscience and discover 8 reasons why understanding neuroscience is important for psychedelic use.


What you'll receive when you enroll in this course:

  • 14 hours of course material
  • Lifetime access to the course material
  • Finishing the course as a neuroscientifically informed participant in the psychedelic space

Course Curriculum Outline:

  • UNIT 1 - Introduction to Neuroscience and Psychedelics
  • UNIT 2 - The Neuropsychological Paradigm of Psychedelic Therapy
  • UNIT 3 - Psychedelic Pharmacology I
  • UNIT 4 - Psychedelic Pharmacology II
  • UNIT 5 - Cellular and Peripheral Therapeutic Mechanisms
  • UNIT 6 - Experiential, Circuit, & Large-Scale (Neuroimaging) Therapeutic Mechanisms
  • UNIT 7 - The Science of Set and Setting
  • UNIT 8 - Psychedelics and Human Potential

Your Instructors

Melanie Pincus, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist, artist, and educator with a passion for crafting experiences that catalyze self-discovery and transformation. Melanie became interested in modalities that spur personal growth and rewire the brain during her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Emory University, where she studied the legacy of early life stress on the developing brain. She is compelled by both play and non-ordinary states of consciousness (NOSC) as powerful tools that promote flexible brain states for healing and flourishing. Melanie seeks to understand and leverage the ways play and NOSC can help individuals explore new ways of relating to themselves and others, ultimately connecting with their full spectrum selves. After her postdoctoral work in educational neuroscience, she went on to design and teach coursework at Columbia University that highlights the essential role of childhood play in human development, shaping the brain and promoting socioemotional and cognitive skills. In her roles as Chief Scientific Officer for two psychedelic startups, she has designed multi-omics psilocybin research programs with botanical mushrooms to explore the potential of NOSC for personal growth. Melanie’s new venture, Syncopy Design Lab, is a research and design agency creating experiences that facilitate deeper states of connectedness to self, others, and the natural world. The Lab weaves together transformative principles, biosensing technology, neuroaesthetic design, play, and NOSC to create impactful art installations, workshops and retreats.

Manesh Girn, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist and has been lead or co-author on over a dozen scientific publications and book chapters on topics including psychedelics and the default-mode network. Manesh completed his Ph.D at McGill University. He is currently conducting research on the brain mechanisms underlying psychedelic drugs in collaboration with Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris and other leaders in psychedelic science and will join Dr. Carhart-Harris at UCSF in August 2023 as a postdoctoral psychedelic neuroscientist. Manesh is also Chief Research Officer at the Canadian psychedelic bioscience company EntheoTech Bioscience and runs a YouTube channel and Instagram page called The Psychedelic Scientist - where he discusses the latest topics in psychedelic science in an easy to understand, but non-superficial, form.

What Students Are Saying

Tobias Squier-Roper, MD

"I very much enjoyed and appreciated the class that you organized and presented. As a psychiatry resident looking to pursue psychedelic psychotherapy and psychedelic research, I was grateful for the professional teaching and the level of detail and sophistication of the material presented. It was a great supplement to my education and I have already recommended it to several peers."

Pat Song

"Psychedelic Neuroscience Demystified was an excellent course which went above and beyond what I’d expected to learn. Manesh and Melanie are exceptional teachers of very complex material which was presented in a manner that was accessible to someone not versed in neuroscience. In addition, their genuine engagement with and enthusiasm for the material, as well as their sense of humor, made this course a delightful learning experience. I hope there will be a second course or a short course that covers updated material and research findings. Sign me up!"

Jennifer Birch

"Melanie and Manesh put together a fantastic course that truly did "demystify the neuroscience of psychedelics" and I would definitely take another course offered by them. Their slides and lectures made complex concepts accessible to non-neuroscientists and the breakout groups were a fun way to discuss the material and meet other folks with shared interests. I liked the structure of the course, where lectures were available to watch before the class met each week, then the live class presented a summary of the information plus a class discussion - visual aids and the repeated presentation of the information really helped me digest and understand the material."

Cassie Porter

"Melanie and Manesh's Psychedelic Neuroscience Demystified course created a solid foundation for me; I now have a much deeper and more nuanced understanding of the science of psychedelics and how they impact our brains and lives. They made complex material accessible and understandable for healing arts folks and medical folks alike. The course format and pace was perfect, allowing for digestion over time. Not to mention that Melanie and Manesh are super fun and engaging and I was excited to show up at class every week."

Gretchen Hoyle, MD

"As a primary care physician for over 20 years, I have experienced an enormous increase in mental health encounters in the past decade. The pandemic accelerated this problem for my patient population. I had very little training in mental health care in residency so I have been taking courses in this area to catch up in order to provide good care. I became interested in learning more about psychedelic assisted therapy as an option for my patients with treatment resistant depression and PTSD. I am so grateful to have found this course. The instruction updated me on the rapid progression of neuroscience since my original training, clarified the neuroscience of mood disorders, (which has greatly contributed to my clinical practice with conventional medications), and opened my eyes to the possible uses of psychedelics for patients for whom standard therapies have been unsuccessful. The presenters are incredibly knowledgeable and present information with remarkable clarity and precision. Additionally, the interaction with classmates has helped me conceptualize how psychedelic assisted therapy should be delivered. I highly recommend this course for anyone caring for patients with mental health diagnoses and look forward to hearing more from these instructors."

Cole Butler

"The psychedelic neuroscience demystified course was an excellent overview of the state of the research. It was presented with skill and precision, and so much valuable information was covered. My knowledge of psychedelic neuroscience is so much more advanced now, and I'd recommend Melanie and Manesh 10 times over!"

Celeste Zarpas, LMFT

"I was a little nervous going in, as I'm very new to the world of psychedelics, but this course far exceeded my expectations. The material was so clear and digestible and Manesh and Melanie were so knowledgeable and approachable. I gained so much as a professional and personally"

Kate Cotter

"I can't overstate the value of Psychedelic Neuroscience Demystified--the course was fascinating, comprehensive and inspiring! Melanie and Manesh are a wealth of knowledge with a knack for breaking down high level concepts into digestible nuggets. If you're interested in taking your knowledge of psychedelic-related neuroscience to the next level with two delightful and engaging instructors, Psychedelic Neuroscience Demystified is the course for you!"


Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This course is currently being offered pre-recorded only. In the past we had several live taught cohorts, and whilst we don't have any future live cohorts planned right now, we will let you know should this ever change!
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own. We invite you to work through these materials at your own pace and convenience.
Who is this course for?
This course is for physicians/psychiatrists, healthcare workers, mental health workers, wellness practitioners, harm reduction workers, social workers, community support workers, current psychedelic & psychedelic-curious therapists/practitioners, medical students, psychology students, and any professional who works with clients who may be using psychedelics or interested in them. Students enrolled in a psychology, counseling, or social work program may enroll as well.
Does this course qualify me as a psychedelic therapist?
No. This course is primarily for educational purposes. Psychedelics Today and its instructors do not train therapists to facilitate psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. At this time, there are only a few organizations that can train therapists for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy research, such as MAPS. That said, there are legal options like ketamine and cannabis that are legal in many places for use in psychotherapy.
Do you offer student or other scholarships?
We are offering a limited amount of scholarships. Please fill out our scholarship application here - If you have any additional questions, please email [email protected]
Do you offer payment plans?
​Payment plans can be selected at check out via Affirm or Afterpay.

Payment Plans:

Payment plans can be selected at check out via Affirm or Afterpay.

Please select "enroll in course" and at check out, you will be able to select a payment plan.

*Affirm and Afterpay is not available in all countries.

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