a1 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. Email: Bertil.Fredholm@ki.se
Mind–Brain dualism is still a hotly debated issue.1,2 I am neither qualified nor inclined to outline the intricacies of these philosophical controversies. However, one aspect deserves attention by a pharmacologist: some forms of very strict dualism have problems in dealing with the fact that drugs can alter cognitive states. It also seems to me that the challenge would become even stronger if one could demonstrate not only that a drug can alter a mental state, but also provide a clear cellular mechanism of how this is brought about. This is what I will try to do in this brief essay. I will not, however, even try to consider how the effect on specific brain cells is translated into something that we perceive as mental.