Abigail Elizabeth Calder
Abigail Calder joined the research group as a PhD student in January 2021 after completing a Master's degree in neuroscience at the University of Bonn. Her research involves the effects of the psychedelic drug LSD in healthy subjects, with a particular focus on drug-induced changes in cortical neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to grow, change, and reorganize itself. This ability is impaired in many psychiatric disorders, such as depression, and it is necessary for recovery from others, such as stroke. Animal studies indicate that serotonergic psychedelics, including LSD, rapidly enhance cortical plasticity through their activity at serotonin 2A receptors. However, it is not yet certain whether this happens in humans, and if so, what consequences these particular changes in neuroplasticity would have for cognition, emotion, and behavior. Abigail's research projects aim to answer these questions.