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Single High-Dose Psilocybin Linked to Increase in Openness

Adults with mystical experiences with psilocybin show increased openness lasting over a year

FRIDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of psilocybin is sufficient to produce significant increases in the personality domain of openness, which persists after a year, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Katherine A. MacLean, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues investigated the effect of high-dose psilocybin (30 mg/70 kg body weight) on changes in the five broad domains of personality, including neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, from results of two studies. In the first study, participants received a high dose of psilocybin in one session, and an active control in another. In the second study, each participant received four doses of psilocybin (including 30 mg/70 kg) in ascending or descending order followed by placebo in the fifth session. Mystical-type phenomena were assessed at baseline, one to two months after the high dose, and more than a year later, using the Neuroticism-Extroversion-Openness Personality Inventory, States of Consciousness Questionnaire, and the Mysticism Scale .

The investigators found that, compared to controls, the personality domain of openness increased significantly following the high-dose session of psilocybin. Openness remained significantly higher than baseline for more than a year post-session in participants who had mystical experiences. There were no significant changes in neuroticism, extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

"The findings suggest a specific role for psilocybin and mystical-type experiences in adult personality change," the authors write.

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