ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – A Himalayan salt lamp, a psychedelic soundtrack, and a soft carpet might not be among the tools you’d expect in a typical science laboratory. But that’s reportedly part of the University of Michigan’s new Psychedelic Center (M-PsyC), which is on a mission to see how psychedelic drugs and the psychedelic experience correlate with human neural structure.

“Psychedelics — or maybe cannabis — helps you look with and be present for something that you’ve been avoiding,” Kevin Boehnke, principal investigator of a study to treat fibromyalgia with magic mushrooms, told Bridge Michigan. “It gives you a little space and perspective because it gives you a little bit more comfort or a kind of edge that allows it to become more accessible.”

MORE NEWS: Top 25 ArtPrize Artists Revealed

U-M recently approved an entheogenic shroom fest to be hosted on its Central Campus Diag, which took place yesterday. U-M police kept watch over the event as unofficial vendors offered shroom grow kits of bags of shrooms. Boehnke addressed attendees at the event.

Among the organizing groups was the Student Association for Psychedelic Studies at U-M. President Emma Mead said she’d wanted to study psychedelics since she was 16, when her psychiatric mentor told her about the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine.

“This experience has motivated me to challenge the stigma around psychedelics, as well as spread awareness and education about their potential benefit,” she told MLive. Her organization is now recognized as the official student group of M-PsyC.

Are grocery prices impacting your spending habits?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

Among M-PsyC’s recent projects are a comparison of the effects of shamanic states of consciousness and psychedelics, the effectiveness of ketamine for depression, and the use of psilocybin (a synthetic form of a key chemical in magic mushrooms) for fibromyalgia.

“The Michigan Psychedelic Center represents an exciting new chapter for research, education, and clinical care at Michigan Medicine,” said George Mashour, Professor of Anesthesiology and founding director of M-PsyC. “It is important not to stigmatize psychedelics, but neither should we romanticize them. Learning lessons from the past, our team is balancing enthusiasm with rigor and responsibility.”