Pharmacopsychiatry 1998; 31: 114-118
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-979356
Original Papers

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Methodological Issues of Human Experimental Research with Hallucinogens

E. Gouzoulis-Mayfrank1 , F. Schneider2 , J. Friedrich3 , M. Spitzer4 , B. Thelen1 , H. Sass1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Technology (RWTH) Aachen, Germany
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 3Department of Psychology, University of Darmstadt, Germany
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulm, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
20 April 2007 (online)


Human experimental research with hallucinogenic drugs is potentially able to identify linking variables between the psycho(patho)logical conditions and neurobiological alterations involved in both pharmacologically induced and naturally occurring acute psychotic states. A number of methodological aspects should be considered when planning modern experimental studies with hallucinogenic drugs. The issues of subject selection, repeated measures, and adequate control groups are discussed in this paper. Examples of recent experimental studies are presented which take these aspects into account. The first study examined psychopathological changes, facial expression and semantic priming effects during a psilocybin-induced state. In the second study, semantic priming effects after intake of psilocybin, 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDE), and d-methamphetamine were investigated. Results confirmed time-dependent effects of psilocybin and the restriction of increased priming effects in the psilocybin group.