Dr Vince Polito

Senior Research Fellow in Cognitive Science

Macquarie University


I’m a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychological Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
I’m currently the Principal Investigator of the MicroDep Trial, investigating low doses of psilocybin as a treatment for moderate depression. I’m also a member of the the Lifespan Health & Wellbeing Research Centre and the Macquarie University Ethics and Agency Research Centre.

I study cognitive and neurological changes that occur in altered states of consciousness. I’m also interested in self representation, in particular how we monitor our feelings of control over our actions (sense of agency) and how we track our bodies in space (body representation).

My research focuses on understanding how altered states can improve mental health and enhance cognition. I have investigated clinical applications of low doses of psychedelics, attentional capacities in meditation, psychiatric symptoms of disturbed control, states of flow in expertise, hypnotic suggestions, and body representation alterations in virtual reality.

My work has been profiled by Buzzfeed, Nine News, ABC News24 and many others.


  • Self Representation
  • Sense of Agency
  • Belief Formation
  • Altered States of Consciousness
  • Psychedelics

Current Research

Microdosing Psychedelics

What are the short and long term effects of microdosing psychedelic substances?

Wise Cogntion

How do beliefs, memory and decision making processes shape our individual and social behaviours?

Self Representation

Measures and tools for understanding how we monitor our actions and bodies.

Altered States

What can altered states of consciousness teach us about cognition?

Media & Outreach


The acid test: why LSD is making a comeback

Australian Financial Review

Jun 9, 2023

Dosed2: A Trip of A Lifetime - Panel

Australian Psychedelic Society

Apr 23, 2023

Microdosing At Work

ABC Radio National - This Working Life

Dec 2, 2022

Just a little bit

Nature Outlook

Sep 29, 2022

Are psychedelic experiences like near death experiences?

ABC Radio Sydney Afternoons

Aug 22, 2022

Psychedelic Promises

Chau Chak Wing Museum

Aug 11, 2022

Young Tall Poppies for Macquarie scientists

Macquarie University This Week

Jul 14, 2022

A microdosing trial for depression

ABC Radio Hobart

Jul 12, 2022

Is Microdosing Just Placebo?

Bill of Health @ Petrie-Flom Center, Harvard University

Apr 8, 2022

What the science says about microdosing

Australian Financial Review

Mar 25, 2022

Why microdosing is gaining momentum in Australia

Australian Financial Review

Mar 24, 2022

Microdosing and personality

ABC Radio Sydney

Apr 6, 2021

What is microdosing?

Radio Adelaide

Apr 5, 2021

Microdosing Research Panel

Mydecine Speaker Series

Jan 21, 2021

Australian Psychedelic Research Panel

Entheogenesis Australis Garden States 2020

Jul 5, 2020

Editors’ Picks 2019

PLOS Blogs

Dec 31, 2019

Microdosing research in New Zealand

TV1 New Zealand

Nov 26, 2019

Experiments with LSD

Radio New Zealand

Aug 29, 2019

Up and atom [from 2:27:00]

FBI Radio

Aug 13, 2019

Microdosing | Worklife 101

BBC News

Jul 22, 2019

Microdosing and peak performance

L’ADN [French]

Jun 26, 2019

Australian microdosing trends

ABC Radio Melbourne

May 6, 2019

Experiences Of microdosing psychedelics

Australian Psychedelic Society

Apr 19, 2019

Smoke and Mirrors: The Science of Magic

Wellcome Trust Exhibition

Apr 11, 2019

Drogen-Kick furs Buro

Sueddeutsche Zeitung [German]

Mar 7, 2019

Microdosing psychedelics

ABC News24

Feb 9, 2019

Can microdosing actually help you?

2SER - The Daily

Feb 7, 2019

Hypnosis research for reducing anxiety and stress

The Daily on 2SER Radio Sydney

Sep 19, 2018

Tripping for depression

ABC Radio National - All In The Mind

Sep 16, 2018

Conspiracy theorists: Are they actually irrational?

Drive on 2SER Radio Sydney

Apr 10, 2018

Psychotechnologies: Consciousness Hacking Panel

Entheogenesis Australis 2017

Dec 9, 2017

Meditation meets neuroscience

ABC Radio National - All In The Mind

Apr 24, 2016

Are we always in control of our actions?

ABC Radio National

Oct 11, 2014

Recent Publications

(2024). Is microdosing a placebo? A rapid review of low-dose LSD and psilocybin research. Journal of Psychopharmacology, pp. 02698811241254831, https://doi.org/10.1177/02698811241254831.


(2024). The Consequences of Anthropomorphic and Teleological Beliefs in a Global Pandemic. Behavioral Sciences, (14), 2, pp. 146, https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14020146.

PDF Project

(2024). Can beliefs improve mental health? A dive into resilience during pandemic times in South America. Social Sciences & Humanities Open, (9), pp. 100883, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssaho.2024.100883.

PDF Project

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Low dose psychedelics: Promise or placebo?

The use of low doses of psychedelic substances (microdosing) is attracting increasing interest. Proponents of microdosing claim a wide …

Science Week 2023: Microdosing and Mental Health

Join in an interesting Science Week conversation between cognitive psychologist Dr Vince Polito and journalist Gemma Conroy as they …

The Weird History of Psychedelics

The psychedelic renaissance is in full swing, but along with research into new treatments, on the fringes of science there have been …