My name is Gaige Clark. Hi 🙂
I have a passion for keyboard-driven research and exploration in multiple domains of brain science. Through my childhood I have faced many hardships, through which I was given insights into the subjective nature of mental health issues. While I am currently a university student at UC Merced, most of my knowledge has come from relentlessly sifting through the research that is available online. Never before has research been so freely available to the public, something that shouldn’t be taken for granted!
Through much of my work there is a lean towards a strategy some have called patternism. What this means is I take research across various subfields of psychology and neuroscience and synthesize the information to make arguments that aim to help us rethink the nature of mental illness and disorder, which seem to be ubiquitously misunderstood in today’s world. Social psychology, neurobiology, evolutionary psychology, and pharmacology are intertwined to create theories and models of disorders such as schizophrenia, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and to understand the nature of consciousness, psychedelic intoxication, and what it means to be human. This blog places a special emphasis on combining social and neurochemical explanations of severe mental illness like schizophrenia. Another frequent topic is the nature and biology of perception as well as ethics, society and evolution.
I recently (2021) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UC Merced. I’ve been focusing on neuroscience, pharmacology, and neuropsychology, especially in relation to psychedelic therapy.
I started this blog which rose up in popularity over the course of 1-2 years, peaking currently with around 4,000 and up to 15,000 views on new articles. It has been featured in other popular blogs such as SlateStarCodex (currently offline) and QualiaComputing. The blog views have creeped into the 6 figures range over the last year.
Why I Started This
My story began with a troubled upbringing from a chaotic single-mother household. My mother was schizophrenic and as her social problems escalated, she started using heroin and ended up passing away while I was just beginning college. Through all the stress and chaos I experienced my own schizophrenic symptoms. This set back my ‘official’ academic progress, but I remained persistent in researching neuroscience and psychology through academic journals in my own time, in an attempt to solve my own problems and sometimes sheer curiosity. The blog allowed me to network to PhDs and many intelligent people who helped me build skills in reading the literature.
I tried approximately 95 different substances in my journey to understand the subjective effects of receptor binding in the brain. Enter the psychedelic drugs: these essentially cured the mild psychotic symptoms I faced. I experimented countless times with psilocybin on myself, observing that I could recover from stressful social events nearly spontaneously. I’ve dosed while in the middle of symptoms such as paranoia and anhedonia, observing both rapidly leave my experience of life, often for many months at a time, until some other major stressful event occurred again.
I’ve looked into the biology and other various fields of psychedelic research and noticed that there is a great deal of support for the hypothesis that psychedelics may treat schizophrenia. So now I am set out to observe this effect on a wider scale, through human experiments.
In my free time, as a full-time student, I’ve begun compiling research projects and literature reviews that outline theories and hypotheses that I have about mental health disorders, particularly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but also a few others. This evolved into fully cited papers and even research proposals that I decided to put out as a way to draw attention and potentially collaboration that could bring these proposed study designs to reality. These research proposals have so far focused on psychedelics, aging, schizophrenia, perception and Alzheimer’s Disease. There is a proposal of novel non-invasive biomarkers that could be tested through human experiments.
Some of my most exciting projects are below:
Reversing mental age with psychedelics. (Anti-aging, cognitive enhancement, Alzheimer’s treatment).
The dynorphin hypothesis of schizophrenia and treating it with psychedelics.
The current list of research proposals:
The research proposals described above are also posted on the blog, although the blog generally contains multiple kinds of content and is more broad. The project aims to start discussions on philosophical and scientific topics. Each article has links at the bottom for all the places on the internet that the article is known to have facilitated discussion, mostly reddit boards. This helps me get public feedback and helps me shape my communications skills in a way that appeals to a wider audience.
You can find the link to the general blog below. There are also categories on the side bar to narrow down topics. The most popular posts tend to be about psychedelics, psychopharmacology, and sometimes relatable psychological content.
Other projects I’ve worked on include a science/philosophy podcast, music production, and photography. There are collaborations with interesting artists you can check out in the musiq section of the blog: