Learn About Psychedelic Research
Highlighted Journal Articles
Sub-Acute Effects of Psilocybin on Empathy, Creative Thinking, and Subjective Well-Being
In this study, participants attending a psilocybin retreat completed tests of creative (convergent and divergent) thinking and empathy, and the ‘satisfaction with life scale’ on three occasions: before ingesting psilocybin, the morning after, and seven days after. Results indicated that psilocybin enhanced divergent thinking and emotional empathy the morning after use. Enhancements in convergent thinking, valence-specific emotional empathy, and well-being persisted seven days after use. Sub-acute changes in empathy correlated with changes in well-being. The study demonstrates that a single administration of psilocybin in a retreat setting (similar to our own) may be associated with sub-acute enhancement of creative thinking, empathy, and subjective well-being.
Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later
This study assessed attitudes of volunteers who had taken psilocybin in a previous study 14 months earlier. The volunteers were given psilocybin, encouraged to close their eyes and focus on their inner experience. At the 14-month follow-up, a majority of volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as being among the five most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives, or the single most. Volunteers judged the meaningfulness of the experience to be similar, for example, to the birth of a child. A majority also indicated that the experience increased well-being or life satisfaction.
Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors
In this study, participants were given varying doses of psilocybin along with support for spiritual practice (meditation, journaling). Compared with low-dose, high-dose psilocybin produced greater acute and persisting effects. At 6 months, high-dose groups showed large significant positive changes on longitudinal measures of interpersonal closeness, gratitude, life meaning/purpose, forgiveness, death transcendence, daily spiritual experiences, religious faith and coping, and community observer ratings of the aforementioned effects. This study demonstrates that psilocybin can occasion enduring trait-level increases in prosocial attitudes/behaviors and in healthy psychological functioning.