Benny Shanon was born in Tel Aviv, 1948. Professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel). After studying philosophy and linguistics in Israel, completed his doctorate in experimental psychology at Stanford University in 1974. His work concerning consciousness deals both with ordinary states and non-ordinary ones. In particular, for the past decade he has been investigating the special state of mind induced by ayahuasca, conducting the first systematic investigation of the effects of this brew from a cognitive psychological perspective.
The Antipodes of the Mind, a book summarizing this research is about to appear this coming November with Oxford University Press. The research presented in this book is based both on extensive firsthand experiences with ayahuasca and on the interviewing of a large number of individuals from different locales and cultural contexts.
In addition to numerous articles published in scientific journals, in 1993 he published The Representational and the Presentational, a monograph criticizing the establishment paradigms in contemporary cognitive science.