Exploring the Intersection of Psychedelics and Virtual Reality: An Interview with Zeus Tipado

Virtual Reality and Psychedelics: A Journey into the Unknown

Virtual reality (VR) and psychedelics have long captivated our imagination, but the realm of research has only recently started to explore the convergence of these two transformative technologies. In a groundbreaking initiative, Zeus Tipado and his team at Maastricht University are pioneering research on the effects of combining VR with psychedelics, particularly dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

Zeus Tipado On Solving Psychedelic Riddles With VR At Maastricht University

While the combination of psychedelics and VR has been largely theoretical, Tipado's team is breaking new ground by administering DMT in conjunction with XR setups, all while monitoring brain activity through Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) scans.

Maastricht University Research on DMT & VR

Tipado's research at Maastricht University delves into the utility of XR as a modulator of the DMT experience, exploring uncharted territory in understanding the fundamental nature of this groundbreaking pairing.

What Potential Is There For Psychedelics and VR?

  1. Standardizing Settings in Psychedelics With VR: VR can offer controlled environments for psychedelic experiences, ensuring safe and consistent settings.
  2. Unique Settings for Psychedelic Trips Through VR: Explore innovative and personalized environments that enhance the psychedelic journey.
  3. Virtual Psychedelic Retreats: Experience transformative journeys within virtual realms, offering new perspectives and insights.
  4. Improving Your Mindset While Tripping With VR/XR: Use VR to cultivate positive mindsets and manage challenging experiences during psychedelic trips.
  5. VR for Trip Preparation: Utilize VR tools for trip preparation, setting intentions, and mental readiness.

Problems Around Researching Psychedelics and VR/XR

Despite the exciting potential, the pairing of VR and psychedelics also presents challenges and limitations, including ethical considerations, methodological issues, and the complexity of integrating two distinct realms of study.

Conclusions: What’s Next for Psychedelics & VR?

The future of combining psychedelics with VR holds immense promise for advancing our understanding of consciousness, perception, and the human experience. As research continues to push boundaries, we can expect new insights and applications that may revolutionize mental health treatment and personal growth.


[1] Smith, A. B., & Kometer, M. (2019). Virtual reality and hallucinogens. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 40(11), 724-743.

[2] Carhart-Harris, R., et al. (2017). Neural correlates of the LSD experience revealed by multimodal neuroimaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(44), 11113-11118.

[3] Yaden, D. B., et al. (2020). The Psychedelics as Behavioral Medicine Research Program: Rationale, Study Design, and Preliminary Results. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 561705.

[4] Olsen, R. V., et al. (2021). The therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs and their challenges. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 42, 180-188.

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