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University College London, UNITy Project

University College London, UNITy Project is crowdfunding

raised of £55,560 target by 5 supporters

Weʼre raising £55,560 to uncover the neural and subjective effects of 5-MeO-DMT.

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Investigating the neural and subjective effects of 5-MeO-DMT with 32 participants in a naturalistic setting at Tandava Retreat, Tepotzlan.

Background: Current mental health treatments do not work for ⅓ of patients: we need to develop alternative treatment options. Recent clinical studies have displayed an impressive effect of psychedelics in the treatment of a wide range of mental health conditions, with many showing an association between the nature of the subjective experience and improvements in wellbeing.

The problem: There is a radical lack of neuroscientific studies investigating the effects of psychedelic drugs. Existing neuroscientific studies: (a) don’t effectively capture the dynamics and complexity of the psychedelic experience; (b) don’t effectively relate the acute psychedelic experience to brain data and longitudinal outcomes. This is particularly true for 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT), a short-acting psychedelic drug that is renowned for producing particularly profound experiences. Despite a number of patent applications and claims of therapeutic superiority, 5-MeO-DMT is yet to be the topic of a single published neuroimaging study in humans.

The solution: A robust empirical investigation into how 5-MeO-DMT affects the brain and subjective experience.

Funding Details

We have raised a total of £33,645. We now need to raise a further £55,560. We need to raise these funds to pay for equipment, participant + facilitation fees, and researcher costs.

Study Protocol

• Record spontaneous neural activity, via electroencephalography (EEG), from across the brain before and during the 5-MeO-DMT experience. To gather this data we will be using the novel mBrainTrain portable EEG device.

• Implement a novel Temporal Experience Tracing task that allows a dynamic and quantitative retrospective characterisation of alterations in conscious experience.

• Gather self-report quantitative and qualitative data before and after 5-MeO-DMT to assess changes in wellbeing, beliefs and personality.


EEG records the activity of large populations of neurons. EEG caps will be safely and comfortably worn throughout participants’ 5-MeO-DMT experience. Our EEG data will be used to perform both conventional and novel analyses of the human brain (e.g., measuring the properties of travelling cortical waves (including non-sinusoidal oscillatory modes), mapping the brain’s trajectory through its repertoire of metastable states, formally characterising causal emergence). We will also examine machine learning markers in brain dynamics that predict improvements in subjective wellbeing.

Temporal Experience Tracing

Following their 5-MeO-DMT experience, participants will draw a number of time-series to describe how particular aspects of their consciousness fluctuated over the course of the experience (Jachs et al., 2022). This method will allow us to computationally reconstruct the 5-MeO-DMT experience and will be the first comprehensive quantitative and dynamic characterisation of a psychedelic experience, whereby we can discover the elements of the experience that lead to improved wellbeing. These state-of-the-art techniques will help us to bridge the gap between mind and brain data.

Research Summary

This investigation will:

➔ Shine the first neuroscientific light on a drug that is accelerating into the marketplace.

➔ Elucidate the specific acute neural and psychological features that lead to long-term changes in mental health.

➔ Reveal how particular aspects of brain activity, dynamics and function shape human cognition and consciousness.

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University College London, UNITy Project

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    Page last updated on: 12/17/2022 09.47



    • Sandra Worthing

      Sandra Worthing

      Dec 17, 2022

      Amazing work Ros, so proud of you!


    • Gary Ewers

      Gary Ewers

      Dec 5, 2022

      I 100% believe in this and would love to see more research done. Thank you.


    • Dan


      Dec 3, 2022

      Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to these studies, Ros! May your efforts positively impact the lives on many. Much love and gratitude!


    • Anonymous


      Nov 25, 2022

    • Anonymous


      Nov 25, 2022


    University College London, UNITy Project

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    University College London, UNITy Project

    University College London, UNITy Project

    The Understanding Neuroplasticity Induced by Tryptamines (UNITy) Project by University College London, Department of Psychology and Language Science.

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