International symposium by Swansea psychologist receives Royal approval

Professor Andy Parrott organised and chaired a symposium at the 31st International Congress of Psychology, held in Yokohama Japan, during late July. This congress is one of the largest gatherings of academic and practicing psychologists, and was attended by over 7,800 delegates from 95 different countries worldwide. It was opened by a member of the Japanese Royal Family.

Prof Parrott's symposium presented an overview of the adverse psychobiological effects of recreational MDMA or 'Ecstasy'. It included papers from universities in the USA (Yale/Stoney Brook), Australia (Hobart, and the Center for Human Psychopharmacology in Melbourne), also the UK (Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores, Swansea).  One aim of the symposium was to identify issues for future research, and Prof Parrott is currently organizing a collaborative paper on this question with his co-speakers.

International conferences often organize interesting social programmes, and the ones offered at this conference in Japan were particularly interesting. On his day off, Andy joined a group of psychologists for a visit to a nearby Buddhist temple - for a whole day of Zen meditation. It was an amazing temple and a wonderful experience, not only for for the periods of Zazen meditation, but also talking about its health benefits with some of the trainee monks.