The Beckley Foundation Scientific Programme
Since the late 1960s, Amanda Feilding has had a deep interest in studying the changes in cerebral circulation and brain function underlying changes in states of awareness and cognition. In 1978 she wrote a booklet entitled Blood and Consciousness. Within the Beckley Foundation scientific programme, she has built up a network of collaborative partnerships with leading scientists and institutions around the world. Her research work investigates how psychoactive substances affect consciousness, the benefits and risks associated with their use, and how this knowledge may be used to develop new treatments for physical and mental disorders.
In 2013, the first ethical approvals for a brain-imaging study using LSD (collaboration with Imperial College, London). Click here for FAQ’s relating to this study The first study to use fMRI and MEG imaging measures to examine changes in cerebral blood flow, brain activity and functional connectivity using psilocybin (collaboration with Imperial College London) This research has produced outstanding results, including i) the discovery of psilocybin as a potential new treatment for depression, which is about to be tested in a clinical trial funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council; and ii) new neuroscientific explanations of why MDMA and psilocybin can be such valuable aids to psychotherapy. The first study in modern times to harness the power of a psychedelic substance as an aid in the treatment of addiction (collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore). Some of the earliest studies into the beneficial properties of cannabidiol (CBD), and into how cannabis-related harms can be reduced by ensuring a balanced ratio between THC and CBD (collaboration with Kings College, London)
A selection of published papers:
Beckley Foundation / Imperial College Psychopharmacological Research Programme
Prof David Nutt, Dr Robin Cahart-Harris and Amanda Feilding
LSD enhances the emotional response to music
Kaelen, M., Barrett, F., Roseman, L. Family, N., Bolstridge, M., Curran, V., Feilding, A., Nutt, D.J., Carhart-Harris, R.L. LSD enhances the emotional response to music. Psychopharmacology, 232(19), 3607-3614.
LSD enhances suggestibility in healthy volunteers
R. L. Carhart-Harris M. Kaelen, M. G. Whalley, M. Bolstridge, A. Feilding, D. J. Nutt. Psychopharmacology, February 2015, Volume 232, Issue 4 pp 785-794
Leor Roseman, Robert Leech, Amanda Feilding, David J. Nutt, and Robin L. Carhart-Harris. Front Hum Neurosci. 2014; 8: 204. Published online 2014 May 27
The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging re search with psychedelic drugs
Robin L. Carhart-Harris, Robert Leech, Peter J. Hellyer, Murray Shanahan, Amanda Feilding, Enzo Tagliazucchi, Dante R. Chialvo and David Nutt. Front. Hum. Neurosci., 03 February 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00020
Carhart-Harris RL, Feilding A, Curran VH, Nutt DJ et al. Intl Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Apr; 17(4):527-40
R. L. Carhart-Harris, M. B. Wall, D. Erritzoe, M. Kaelen, B. Ferguson, I. De Meer, M. Tanner, M. Bloomfield, T. M. Williams, M. Bolstridge, L. Stewart, C. J. Morgan, R. D. Newbould, A. Feilding, H. V. Curran and D. J. Nutt
Broadband cortical desynchronization underlies the human psychedelic state
Suresh D. Muthukumaraswamy,Robin L. Carhart-Harris, Rosalyn J. Moran, Matthew J. Brookes, Tim M. Williams, David Errtizoe, Ben Sessa, Andreas Papadopoulos, Mark Bolstridge, Krish D. Singh, Amanda Feilding, Karl J. Friston, and David J. Nutt
Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin
Carhart-Harris RL, Feilding A, Nutt DJ et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA , 2012, 109(6) 2138–43.
Implications for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy: functional magnetic resonance imaging study with psilocybin
Carhart-Harris RL, Feilding A, Nutt DJ et al., British Journal of Psychiatry, 2012, 200(3):238–44.
Beckley Foundation Collaboration with University College London
Prof Val Curran, Dr Celia Morgan and Amanda Feilding
Morgan CJA, Feilding A, Curran VH et al., Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25 Feb 2013 epub
Schafer G, Feilding A, Morgan CJA et al., Consciousness and Cognition, 2012, 21:292–98.
Freeman, TP, Morgan, CJA, Vaughn-Jones et al., Addiction, 2012, 107:792–800. (Beckley Foundation-sponsored study)
Beckley Foundation Collaboration with King’s College, Institute of Psychiatry London
Dr Paul Morrison and Amanda Feilding
Cannabidiol inhibits THC-elicited paranoid symptoms and hippocampal-dependent memory impairment
Englund A, Morrison P, Feilding A et al., Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2013 Jan;27(1):19–27
Communication breakdown: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol effects on pre-speech neural coherence
Stone J, Morrison P, Feilding A et al., Molecular Psychiatry, 2012 Jun;17(6):568–9.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol disruption of time perception and of self-timed actions
Stone JM, Morrison PD, Feilding A et al., Pharmacopsychiatry, 2010 Aug, 43(6):236–7.
Does intravenous (D)9-tetrahydrocannabinol increase dopamine release? A SPET study
Barkus E, Morrison PD, Vuletic D et al., Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2011, 25(11):1462–8. (Beckley Foundation-sponsored study)
Disruption of Frontal Theta Coherence by Δ(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol is Associated with Positive Psychotic Symptoms
Morrison PD, Nottage J, Stone JM et al., Neuropsychopharmacology, 2011, 36(4):827–36. (Beckley Foundation-sponsored study)
Opposite effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on human brain function and psychopathology
Bhattacharyya S, Morrison PD, Fusar-Poli P, et al., Neuropsychopharmacology, 2010, 35(3):764–74. (Beckley Foundation-sponsored study)
Beckley Foundation Collaboration with Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences
Prof Yuri Moskalenko and Amanda Feilding
Professor Yuri Moskalenko is an internationally recognised expert in the field of cerebral circulation and has written several much-cited books on the subject. This is a selection of publications from their collaboration:
Non-Invasive Evaluation of Human Brain Fluid Dynamics and Skull Biomechanics in Relation to Cognitive Functioning
Moskalenko Y, Feilding A and Halvorson P. Monograph. Published by Beckley Foundation Press (2009)
Effects of cranial trepanation on the functioning of cerebrovascular and cerebrospinal fluid systems
Moskalenko Y, Feilding A, et al., International Journal of Psychophysiology, 2008, 69(3):302.
Relation of age cognitive disorders with cranial compliance, cerebrospinal fluid mobility and cerebral circulation
Moskalenko Y Feilding A et al., International Journal of Pathophysiology, 2008, 69(3):307.
The effect of craniotomy on the intracranial hemodynamics and cerebrospinal fluid dynamics in humans
Moskalenko YE, Feilding A et al. Human Physiology, 2008, 34(3):299–305.
Biomechanical properties of human cranium: aging aspects
Moskalenko YE, Feilding A et al. Journal of Evolutionary Biochemistry and Physiology, 2008, 44(5):605–14.
Effect of the skull trephination opening on the interaction between intracranial, vascular and CSF systems
Moskalenko, Y, Feilding A et al., 2006, Journal of Neurotrauma 23(6):1000.
Slow-wave oscillations in the craniosacral space: a hemo- liquorodynamic concept of origination
Moskalenko YE, Feilding A et al. Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology, 2009, 39(4):377– 81.
Noninvasive dynamic evaluation of functioning in the intracranial system
Moskalenko YE, Feilding A et al., Proceedings of the 4th International Conference “Development and applying of high technologies in science, industry and education”, St Petersburg, 2007, vol. 10:214–15.
Age-dependent correlation between cerebral blood circulation, cerebrospinal fluid dynamics and the cranial compliance
Moskalenko YE, Feilding A et al. Proceedings of the 6th European Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, “Healthy Aging for All Europeans”, St Petersburg, 2007, Advances in Gerontology 20(3):58.
Beckley Foundation Collaboration with Freiburg University
Prof Thilo Hinterberger
Neurophysiological correlates to psychological trait variables in experienced meditative practitioners
Thilo Hinterberger, Amanda Feilding et al., In Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality, H. Walach, S. Schmidt & W. Jonas (eds), Berlin: Springer (2011), pp. 12957.
Beckley Foundation Collaboration with Medizinische Hochschule, Hanover
Prof Torsten Passie
Cluster headache attack cessation and remission extension of months or longer in six treatment-refractory patients administered only three doses of BOL-148 Karst M, Passie T. Poster presented at the 15th International Headache Congress, Berlin, 2011.
Beckley Foundation Collaboration with University of California at Berkeley
Dr Matthew Baggott
Protocol for LSD research; first ethical approvals obtained in 2007. Further collaborative work on MDMA, MDA and oxytocin.
Beckley Foundation Fellows
Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Imperial College London
Mendel Kaelen, Imperial College London