We asked Associate Professor of Religion David Gardiner “What’s on Your Reading List?”

“I have long been interested in the overlapping domains of psychology, neuroscience, and religious studies. Michael Pollan’s latest book, ‘How to Change Your Mind,’ tells the fascinating story of research on the effects of LSD going back to the 1950s. Legal medical research was halted in the 1970s but has seen a new surge. In 2019, Johns Hopkins Medical Center received $17 million to explore therapist-supported use of LSD and psilocybin for maladies such as severe depression and addiction. Results show success unmatched by other therapies. Pollan cites neuroscientific hypotheses regarding how the brain regions most affected (the ‘default mode network’) seem responsible for maintaining a strong sense of self. He and I are in conversation about intriguing correlates in Buddhist psychology.”