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Amanda Feilding
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Amanda Feilding
Photographer Unknown
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Amanda Feilding
Amanda Feilding is the founder and director of the Beckley Foundation, a charitable non-governmental organization that is based in England and is accredited by the United Nations. The Foundation initiates scientific investigations into the use and effects of psychoactive drugs in order to understand the physiological mechanisms that inspire nonordinary states of consciousness. With an eye toward positively influencing national and international drug policy in a direction that benefits research and humanity, the Beckley Foundation also commissions evidence-based papers on related subjects. Feilding is closely involved in the design and development of most of the research projects and she co-authors many of the resulting scientific papers. In 2010, the Foundation co-published, with Oxford University Press, the book Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate, which has already had significant effect at an international level. The Foundation has also organized seven international "Society and Drugs: A Rational Perspective" seminars at the House of Lords in London, and Feilding has spoken at numerous gatherings, including Mind States, Exploring Consciousness, Trialogue III, LSD: Problem Child and Wonder Drug, Burning Man, the Global Cannabis Commission--a side event to the United Nations Commission for Narcotic Drugs, and Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century.

During the course of her life, Feilding has studied mysticism, comparative religions, psychology, and neurophysiology. She believes that an increase in the brain's blood supply may underlie changes in consciousness, and that low doses of psychedelics, and/or the practice of trepanation, can enhance cognitive functioning and may be useful in the treatment of assorted health problems. The Beckley Foundation sponsored the first study in the UK to investigate the neurophysiological effects of a psychedelic, using fMRI to assess how psilocybin affects cerebral blood flow and access to remote memories; the study hopes to shed light on the potential benefit of psychedelics when used with psychotherapy. Beckley has also looked into the use of psilocybin as an aid in the treatment of resistant addiction. In the spring of 2007, the Beckley Foundation received final approval for EEG research into the effect of LSD on human subjects--the first such study in decades to get approved; as of early 2010, a few patients in the United States had been administered LSD for this study. Beckley has also initiated a network of studies into the neurophysiological effects of cannabis.