I'm a PhD student here at the CCC Lab, under the supervision of Tristan and Andres.
My research focuses on the neurophenomenology of altered states of consciousness. I use computational cognitive neuroscience to link neural signatures with subjective experience states induced through psychedelics, breathwork and meditation.
Before starting my PhD, I studied Brain and Cognitive Sciences (MRes) at the University of Amsterdam, and Psychology (BSc) at the University of Sheffield. Outside of academia, I write about the culture and science of psychedelics.
Breathwork is a family of practices which involve intentionally changing your breath to induce an altered state of consciousness. While there have been ties with breathwork and the psychedelic state, there has been no research investigating the effects of breathwork on the brain, In this project, we have collaborated with SOMA breath, and collected EEG and phenomenological data in over 300 breathwork sessions. We aim to see whether breathwork is comparable to the psychedelic state, both at the phenomenological and neural level.
N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a potent and fast-acting psychedelic substance. The effects of DMT, when inhaled in freebase form, only last about 20 minutes, but in that time it can completely alter your perception of reality. I had the pleasure of spending four months collaborating with Professor Enzo Tagliazucchi's lab at the University of Buenos Aires, where we ran a naturalistic dose-response study of DMT, collecting EEG, physiological, and phenomenological data. With this study, we aim to bridge the gap between the brain and subjective experience states (phenomenology) in the DMT state.
TM is a mantra-based mediation technique which can facilitate Pure Consciousness experiences - where your contents of consciousness is seemingly 'empty'. Within this study, with funding from the David Lynch foundation, we aim to pinpoint these Pure Consciousness states in practitioners, and investigate any neural signatures that may be associated with these states.
- Lewis-Healey, E., Laukkonen, R., & van Elk, M. (2022). Future directions for clinical psilocybin research: The relaxed symptom network. Psychology & Neuroscience.
- Laukkonen, R., Lewis-Healey, E., Ghigliotti, L., Daneshtalab, N., & Slagter, H. A. (In Press). Tracking rivalry with neural rhythms: Multivariate SSVEPs reveal perception during binocular rivalry.