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Journal Club #12 - Aidan Lyon (PhD): "Attention: A Unified Theory of Psychedelics and Meditation"

18/10/19, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


1 min

Our 12th JC instalment will be hosted by Aidan Lyon (PhD). The title is "Attention: A Unified Theory of Psychedelics and Meditation". See below for more details

Where: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Mathematics and Science (WN) Building, Room M129
When: Friday, October 18th, 5pm (presentation will start ~5.15pm)
RSVP: Facebook Event


"In this talk, I’ll present a chapter from my book manuscript Psychedelic Experience (under contract with Oxford University Press, anticipated publication in 2020). The chapter gives a unified, philosophical account of psychedelics and meditation in terms of attention. After first laying out the basic conceptual foundations of the larger project of the book, I'll present the details of the theory and how it accounts for known observations regarding psychedelics, meditation, and attention. In particular, I’ll discuss how all three things modulate the phenomenon of binocular rivalry. In doing so, I’ll use the theory to shed new light on how both psychedelics and meditation, via their effects on attention, induce psychedelic experiences, and thus reveal the mind."

Background on speaker (from

Aidan Lyon is CEO and co-founder of DelphiCloud and Research Associate in the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam. He is also a research consultant for the DARPA SCORE project and an external member of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy.

He completed his PhD at the Australian National University on the philosophical foundations of probability and has degrees in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Queensland. He has held academic positions at the University of Maryland, the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, the Tilburg Center for Ethics and Philosophy of Science, the University of Vienna, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, and the Australian National University. In addition to being an academic, he has operated as a risk management consultant for the Australian Government and other clients since 2011.

Aidan's research is primarily on the philosophical foundations of uncertainty, philosophical psychology, and social epistemology — with a particular focus on the so-called wisdom of crowds. His company, DelphiCloud, applies this research in the form of software to help its clients make probabilistic forecasts in situations of high stakes and extreme uncertainty.
Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam WN-M129
Address: De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam
Datum: October 18, 2019
Time: 17:00 - 19:00