Born in Australia and growing up both there and in Israel, I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in physiology and psychology at the University of New South Wales. Following a period of corporate consulting work, I went on to do a Masters in neuroscience at the University of Oxford, and then another Masters there in anthropology. I am currently in the last phase of my Doctorate at the University of Sydney, in the midst of writing my thesisbased on ethnographic work recently completed with the Breslov Chasidic group in the town of Safed, located in the northern Galilee region of Israel.
There were two primary motivations for my move from neuroscience to anthropology. Firstly, I realised that my naiveview that an understanding of the brain would lead to an understanding of human consciousness, and thereby illuminate cardinal metaphysical questions, was fundamentally mistaken. Simultaneously came another realisation regarding the universality of structure in the world; I would suggest that all expressions of Being in the world, emerging from the same Source or Ground, are essentially plays on common basic templates or designs. Thus, for example, comparing the process of a neurotransmitter crossing a synapse to that of interaction between the inhabitants of two neighbouring villages, or two moieties within a village, one may begin to perceive striking commonalities between the two; the underlying structure is the same, but it is expressing itself at different levels of the fractal of Being. Such lines of investigation constitute a key interest for me, and anthropology is an ideal discipline through which to grapple with them.
My second reason for moving to this field is a keen interest in psychedelic drugs and altered states of consciousness. Many indigenous groups, in particular (althoughnot only) in the Americas, used and continue to use plant-based preparation to modify consciousness and experience the world in "non-ordinary" ways. I am keenly interested in all aspects of these experiences; the biochemical and physiological, the phenomenological, the cultural, and ultimately, the light that these states and regions of Being can shed on fundamental metaphysical questions.
- Mishor Z (2011). Celebrating diversity: Four core themes in the psychedelic community. In Entheogenesis Australis Journal 03 – 2011/2012. Entheogenesis Australis Conference, Victoria, Australia
- McCabe C and Mishor Z (2011). Antidepressant medications reduce subcortical-cortical resting state functional connectivity in healthy volunteers. Neuroimage, 57(4), 1317-23
- Mishor Z, McKenna D and Callaway JC (2011). DMT and human consciousness. In Etzel Cardeña and Michael Winkelman (Eds.) Altering Consciousness: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Vol. 2, pp85-119. Santa Barbara (CA): Praeger.
- McCabe C, Mishor Z, Filippini N, Cowen P, Taylor M and Harmer C (2011). SSRI administration reduces resting state functional connectivity in dorso-medial prefrontal cortex. Molecular Psychiatry, 16, 592-594
- Mishor Z (2010). Acid and anti-structure: Turner’s “communitas” and society’s backlash against the 1960s counterculture. In Entheogenesis Australis Journal 02 – 2010/2011. Entheogenesis Australis Conference, Melbourne
- McCabe C, Mishor Z, Cowen PJ, and Harmer CJ (2010). Diminished neural processing of aversive and rewarding stimuli during selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment. Biological Psychiatry, 67(5), 439-445