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    beach sea psychedelics personality ICEERS study

    Serotonergic Psychedelics and Personality


    Serotonergic psychedelics and personality: a systematic review of contemporary research

    Jos茅 Carlos Bouso, Rafael G. dos Santos, Miguel 脕ngel Alc谩zar-C贸rcoles, and Jaime E. C. Hallak.

    Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews



    About the study

    Serotonergic psychedelics act as agonists at cortical 5-HT2A receptors, expressed in fronto-temporo-parieto-occipital areas. This study reviews all previous scientific literature regarding the effects of these substances in modulating users’ personality.

    According to the research, some personality traits seem to be related to 5-HT2A receptor expression, acute and long-term use of psychedelics is associated with personality changes, and these personality changes induced by psychedelic substances may have therapeutic effects.

    In this study, we found three types of evidences: some specific personality traits may influence the effects of the psychedelic experience; there are evident differences in some personality traits between psychedelic users and non users, and psychedelics administered in controlled settings may induce some permanent changes in personality.



    Rationale: Serotonergic psychedelics act as agonists at cortical 5-HT2A receptors and seem to induce personality changes.

    Methods: We conducted a systematic review of studies assessing the effects of these drugs on personality. Papers published from 1985-2016 were included from PubMed, LILACS, and SciELO databases. Three hundred and sixty-nine studies were identified, and 18 were included.

    Results: Specific personality traits, such as Absorption and Self-Transcendence, seem to influence the effects of psychedelics, and psychedelic drug users and nonusers appear to differ in some personality traits. Psychedelics administered in controlled settings may induce personality changes, such as increased Openness and Self-Transcendence. Increases in global brain entropy induced by acute psychedelic administration predicted changes in Openness, and Self-Transcendence was negatively correlated with cortical thinning of the posterior cingulate cortex in long-term religious ayahuasca users.

    Conclusions: Acute and long-term use of psychedelics is associated with personality changes that appear to be modulated by 5-HT2A receptors. These changes seem to induce therapeutic effects that should be further explored in randomized controlled studies.


    Link to the article


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    Photo by Rosan Harmens on Unsplash.

    Categories: Studies & papers , Psychedelics
    Tags: scientific research , study , psychoactive , psychedelics , hallucinogens , personality , serotonin