(David Edwards, RawStory.com, September 29th, 2011)
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A new study suggests that a single dose of psilocybin — the active ingredient in “Magic Mushrooms” — can result in improved personality traits over the long term. . . . Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that individuals who received the drug once in a clinical setting reported a greater sense of “openness” that often lasted 14 months or longer, according to study published this week in theJournal of Psychopharmacology. . . . The study defined openness as a personality trait that “encompasses aesthetic appreciation and sensitivity, imagination and fantasy, and broad-minded tolerance of others’ viewpoints and values.” It is one of five main personality traits that are shared among all cultures worldwide. . . . “The mystical experience has certain qualities,” lead author Katherine MacLean said. “The primary one is that you feel a certain kind of connectedness and unity with everything and everyone.” . . . Because personality traits are generally considered to remain stable throughout a persons lifetime, researchers are excited about therapeutic implications of the study. . . . “[T]his study shows that psilocybin actually changes one domain of personality that is strongly related to traits such as imagination, feeling, abstract ideas and aesthetics, and is considered a core construct underlying creativity in general,” study author Roland R. Griffiths told USA Today. “And the changes we see appear to be long-term.” . . . In a smaller study published earlier this year, Johns Hopkins scientists determined the the proper dose levels needed to create positive changes in attitudes, mood, life satisfaction, and behavior.