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Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Authors:
Sam Elias
,
Stephanie Spivak
,
Alexa Alverez
,
Alejandro Gili Olivares
,
Maria Ferrol
, and
Julian Paul Keenan

Abstract

Introduction

It is not known how self-perception and self-recognition are influenced when one is highly self-focused under the influence of psilocybin. Here we examine self-reports of mirror self-recognition and self-perception during a psilocybin experience.

Methods

Reddit posts were examined in a systematic manner. Posts that were written by individuals that ingested psilocybin and subsequently looked in a mirror were examined. After both automatic and manual filtering, a total of 89 posts with 775 post excerpts were analyzed.

Results

It was found that it was rare to see one's own face as a different entity (e.g., an animal or other person) however people were equally likely to see themselves as they really are or distorted. People were significantly more positive than negative when perceiving their own face.

Discussion

We found wide variation in the perception of the own-face while under the influence of psilocybin. While generally positive, the self-face appears to be an experience that varies dramatically from person to person under the influence of psilocybin.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Microdosing psychedelics refers to the practice of repeatedly ingesting doses that do not reach the threshold for perceptual alterations. This practice has gained attention from mass media, businesses, and the general public, as evidenced by the proliferation of online communities dedicated to it. In this contribution, we examine the content generated within the online community r/microdosing from its creation on October 16, 2013, until the day of data collection on October 31, 2020. Our aim is to examine the narratives reflected by users' contributions, specifically the compatibility or incompatibility of spiritual and scientific narratives.

Methods

In this contribution, we used text analysis techniques and examined the content generated within the online community r/microdosing from its creation on October 16, 2013, until the day of data collection on October 31, 2020.

Results

We clearly identified a topic that reflects a spirituality narrative as well as a topic that we coined as “neuro-cognition” and that reflects a scientific narrative. These topics were typically not present within the contributions of the same users, suggesting that the scientific and spiritual narratives are segregated within the r/subreddit community.

Conclusion

Our approach emphasizes the potential of text analytic techniques for uncovering the cultural repertoire surrounding a particular practice, in our case, the practice of microdosing psychedelics.

Open access

Negative mystical experiences

Why methods for determining mysticality of psychedelic experiences should not include measuring positivity of mood

Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Author:
Dax Oliver

Abstract

I propose that positive mood should not be among the criteria for determining when or if psychedelic experiences are mystical. My primary reasons are: 1) unlike rare proposed mystical criteria such as feelings of self-dissolution and time-transcendence, positive mood does not clearly separate mystical experiences from other emotionally powerful experiences like being in love; 2) other proposed mystical criteria can occur with non-positive moods; and 3) it is not true that framing all mystical experiences with only positive mood is more pragmatic.

Open access

Behavioral addictions in the ICD-11: An important debate that is anticipated to continue for some time

Commentary to the debate: “Behavioral addictions in the ICD-11”

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Matthias Brand
and
Marc N. Potenza

Abstract

The Journal of Behavioral Addictions featured a debate on the topic of “behavioral addictions in ICD-11” in 2022. Three main debate papers were published and a total of eleven commentaries. One main topic of considerations in the three debate papers and in the majority of commentaries was compulsive sexual behavior disorder. The debate was balanced, collegial and conducted at a high scientific level. Although there are some disagreements regarding specific details, all authors consider more research on behavioral addictions as important. This scientific debate has been and continues to be enormously important to behavioral addiction research and clinical practice.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Nikolaos Boumparis
,
Christian Baumgartner
,
Doris Malischnig
,
Andreas Wenger
,
Sophia Achab
,
Yasser Khazaal
,
Matthew T. Keough
,
David C. Hodgins
,
Elena Bilevicius
,
Alanna Single
,
Severin Haug
, and
Michael P Schaub

Abstract

Background and Aims

Problem gambling constitutes a public health concern associated with psychopathological comorbidity, substance use, and financial difficulties. Most individuals with gambling problems avoid counseling services due to perceived stigma and their preference for self-reliance. Treatment accessibility could be improved through web-based interventions.

Methods

We recruited 360 individuals with gambling problems and randomized them to a web-based intervention (n = 185) or an active control group consisting of a self-help manual for problem gambling (n = 175). The primary outcome was the number of days of gambling in the last 30 days. Secondary outcomes included money spent in the last 30 days, time gambling in the last 7 days, gambling-related problems, consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, and psychopathological comorbidity measured at posttreatment and 6-month follow-up.

Results

The primary outcome decreased significantly for both groups, with no significant difference between the groups. There were significant group × time interactions according to the Gambling Symptom Assessment Scale (F = 8.83, p <0 .001), the Problem Gambling Severity Index (F = 3.54, p = 0.030), for cigarettes smoked in the last 7 days (F = 26.68, p < 0.001), the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (F = 19.41, p <0 .001), and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (F = 41.09, p <0 .001) favoring the intervention group. We experienced an overall high dropout rate (76%).

Conclusions

Win Back Control seems to be an effective low-threshold treatment option for individuals with gambling problems that might otherwise be unapproachable for outpatient treatment services. Nevertheless, the high dropout rate should be considered when interpreting the study results, as they may have introduced a degree of variability.

Open access

Abstract

Objective

This study sought to investigate brain responses to positive and negative events in individuals with internet gaming disorder (IGD) during real gaming as a direct assessment of the neural features of IGD. This investigation reflects the neural deficits in individuals with IGD while playing games, providing direct and effective targets for prevention and treatment of IGD.

Methods

Thirty subjects with IGD and fifty-two matched recreational game use (RGU) subjects were scanned while playing an online game. Abnormal brain activities during positive and negative events were detected using a general linear model. Functional connectivity (FC) and correlation analyses between neural features and addiction severity were conducted to provide additional support for the underlying neural features.

Results

Compared to the RGU subjects, the IGD subjects exhibited decreased activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during positive events and decreased activation in the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), precentral gyrus and postcentral gyrus during negative events. Decreased FC between the DLPFC and putamen during positive events and between the MFG and amygdala during negative events were observed among the IGD subjects. Neural features and addiction severity were significantly correlated.

Conclusions

Individuals with IGD exhibited deficits in regulating game craving, maladaptive habitual gaming behaviors and negative emotions when experiencing positive and negative events during real game-playing compared to RGU gamers. These abnormalities in neural substrates during real gaming provide direct evidence for explaining why individuals with IGD uncontrollably and continuously engage in game playing, despite negative consequences.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Gender nonconformity (GNC), which refers to an individual's expression of gender that does not align with the socially prescribed norms for their biological sex, may be associated with adverse behavioral problems, such as problematic smartphone use (PSU) and problematic internet use (PIU). This study examined the associations between GNC and PSU and GNC and PIU among Chinese adolescents.

Methods

This cross-sectional study utilized data from the 2021 School-based Chinese Adolescents Health Survey, recruiting 23,054 eligible adolescents aged 11 to 21, with an average age of 14.9 (SD: 1.7) years from 504 classes in 84 public high schools across 7 cities in China. Gender nonconformity, PSU/PIU, and demographics were measured. Mixed-effect linear regression models were performed.

Results

Among the participants (51.0% male), 5.3% reported high GNC and 26.9% reported moderate GNC. After adjusting for covariates, high GNC was significantly and positively associated with PSU (Β = 1.11, 95% CI = 0.49–1.72) and PIU severity (Β = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.40–2.93). Stratified analyses indicated that the associations between GNC and PSU differed between males and females, with a significant association observed only among male students (Β = 1.91, 95% CI = 0.97–2.86).

Discussion and conclusions

GNC is positively associated with the severity of PSU and PIU among Chinese adolescents, with male gender-nonconforming adolescents being more vulnerable to PSU. These results highlight the importance of implementing education on gender expression diversity in schools to create an inclusive school environment, which may potentially help prevent PSU and PIU among gender-nonconforming adolescents.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Monja Hoven
,
Alejandro Hirmas
,
Jan Engelmann
, and
Ruth J. van Holst

Abstract

Background and aims

People with Gambling Disorder (GD) often make risky decisions and experience cognitive distortions about gambling. Moreover, people with GD have been shown to be overly confident in their decisions, especially when money can be won. Here we investigated if and how the act of making a risky choice with varying monetary stakes impacts confidence differently in patients with GD (n = 27) relative to healthy controls (HCs) (n = 30).

Methods

We used data from our previous mixed-gamble study, in which participants were given the choice of a certain option or a 50/50 gamble with potential gains or losses, after which they rated their confidence.

Results

While HCs were more confident when making certain than risky choices, GD patients were specifically more confident when making risky choices than certain choices. Notably, relative to HCs, confidence of patients with GD decreased more strongly with higher gain values when making a certain choice, suggesting a stronger fear of missing out or “anticipated regret” of missing out on potential gains when rejecting the risky choice.

Discussion

The current findings highlight the potential relevance of confidence and “regret” as cognitive mechanisms feeding into excessive risk-taking as seen in GD. Moreover, this study adds to the limited previous work investigating how confidence is affected in value-based risky contexts.

Open access
Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Authors:
Stacey B. Armstrong
,
Adam W. Levin
,
Yitong Xin
,
Jordan C. Horan
,
Jason Luoma
,
Paul Nagib
,
Brian Pilecki
, and
Alan K. Davis

Abstract

Background and aims

Because psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) is likely to be provided by interdisciplinary professional teams comprised of social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists, understanding the acceptability of this treatment approach among these professional disciplines is essential as the treatment advances through approval processes at the Food and Drug Administration.

Methods

The study includes data from three separate survey studies investigating the attitudes and beliefs about PAT among national samples of social workers (n = 309), psychiatrists (n = 181), and psychologists (n = 366). The combined sample (n = 856) was predominantly female (64.3%), with a mean age of 49 (SD = 16.13), and 17 (SD = 13.56) years of professional experience.

Results

There were no significant differences between groups in confidence that PAT would be effective. However, there were significant between-group differences in psychiatrists' understanding of PAT compared to social workers. Next, psychologists' mean ratings of the acceptability of PAT were significantly greater than social workers' ratings. Mean ratings about believing that PAT was a reasonable treatment approach were higher among psychologists compared to social workers and psychiatrists. Additionally, mean ratings regarding the disadvantages of PAT were significantly greater among social workers compared to psychologists and psychiatrists. Lastly, social workers' ratings that PAT could permanently improve clients' lives were significantly lower than psychiatrists and psychologists.

Conclusions

Findings help elucidate overall impressions of PAT among disciplines likely involved in providing this treatment should it be approved and suggest the need for education and training across professions. However, given the inconsistencies across disciplines, more research is needed to inform successful interdisciplinary training programs and better understand potential barriers to dissemination of this new treatment.

Open access

Abstract

Background

Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, is increasingly discussed in terms of its psychotherapeutic potential; however, little is known about community attitudes towards psilocybin assisted therapy (PAT).

Aims

To address the question: What are the public's attitudes towards psilocybin and psilocybin-assisted therapy? And what factors explain these attitudes?

Methods

This study investigated the attitudes of 118 young adults in the Australian Capital Territory through an online survey.

Results

Participants who were more open to experience and who had used recreational drugs were more likely to have positive attitudes towards all aspects of PAT. Additionally, psychedelic drug use and agreeableness was positively associated with attitudes towards psilocybin safety, legality, and research; and psilocybin use was positively associated with attitudes towards psilocybin knowledge and acceptability.

Conclusions

This convenience sample of young adults was generally positively disposed towards PAT. People who were more open to experience and who had used recreational or psychedelic drugs had more favourable attitudes towards PAT.

Open access