Nov 28, 2022 • 2HR 24M

Neural Computation, AI, Neuromodulators, Dopamine, Serotonin, Psychedelics, Subjective Experience | Zach Mainen | #98

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Nick talks to computational neuroscientist Dr. Zach Mainen, a neuroscientist and director of the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme at the Centre of the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal. His lab studies the neuroscience of decision making, neuromodulation & behavior using both experimental and computational approaches. 

They discuss: what kinds of things animal brains are actually computing, and to what extent we can think about brains like computers; the difference between neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in the brain, including some discussion of what specific neuromodulators like dopamine and serotonin do in the brain; and we also discussed some of the research his lab is starting to do on serotonergic psychedelics, including how he thinks about whether the subjective effects of psychedelics are likely to be important for the therapeutic and neuroplastic effects.


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