The Power of Insight: Psychedelics and the Emergence of False Beliefs

Join us for a dive into psychedelics, cognition and the nature of insight with the one and only Dr. Ruben Laukkonen!


Psychedelics are recognised for their therapeutic potential and ability to re-orient beliefs. However, the prospect that psychedelics can induce false or maladaptive beliefs has been under- considered. Ruben will review experimental work on false insights and false memories and connect this to insights and belief formation under psychedelics using active inference. He proposes that the acute plasticity associated with psychedelics increases the quantity and precision of insights and thence beliefs, including false ones. The research offers directions for future research in minimising epistemic harm during psychedelics. Ultimately, knowing how psychedelics solicit false insights and beliefs is crucial if we are to optimally leverage their therapeutic potential.


Speaker bio
Dr. Ruben Laukkonen is a Principal Investigator and Lecturer/Asst. Professor at Southern Cross University with honourary positions at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and The University of Queensland. Ruben’s research uncovers empirically grounded and experientially authentic models of meditation, insight, and psychedelic states. Using a combination of methods including behaviour, neuroimaging, machine learning, and phenomenology, he is investigating some of the rarest states of consciousness available to human beings. Ruben’s research is deeply theoretically driven and traverses multiple levels of explanation, from neurons to psychology. Ruben has won multiple awards for both his research and teaching, and his work has been featured on TEDx, Vice, the ABC, Seven News, Aeon, VOX, New Scientist, Pharmacy Daily, and in the Nature collection. Ruben is currently Chief Investigator on Australia’s largest psychedelic clinical trial, supported by over $4million in funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and the Peregrine Foundation. Ruben has an eclectic contemplative background, including traditions such as Zen, Advaita, and Theravada, and his interviews have attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers.


University of Amsterdam, Roeterseiland Campus – ABC Building, Room A2.06


This event is open to the public, but capacity is limited. Please register in advance via the form below.



May 30, 2024    
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Bookings closed


University of Amsterdam
Roetersstraat 11, Amsterdam

Event Type


This event is fully booked.