This talk will provide an overview of research with psilocybin and other hallucinogens conducted at Johns Hopkins, including very recent findings regarding salvinorin A (Salvia divinorum), optimal psilocybin dosage, mystical experience resulting from non-research administration of psilocybin, psilocybin and its relationship to headache, and psilocybin-occasioned personality change.
Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Vermont, and completed a fellowship in behavioral pharmacology at Johns Hopkins. He has received multiple grants as Principal Investigator from NIH to conduct research on the psychology and treatment of addiction. Current projects in this regard include studies examining the relationship between myopic decision-making and the high rates of sexual HIV risk behavior in cocaine addicted individuals, and a clinical trial examining the efficacy of the learning enhancer d-cycloserine in improving response to behavioral treatment of cocaine addiction. Dr. Johnson is also an expert in the assessment of psychoactive drug effects in humans, and in that regard has conducted human studies on numerous drugs including cocaine, benzodiazepines, GHB, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, dextromethorphan, salvinorin A, and psilocybin. For eight years Dr. Johnson has conducted human research with psilocybin and other hallucinogenic/psychedelic drugs at Johns Hopkins. He was the lead author on a recent paper describing how to safely conduct human hallucinogen research, and recently published the first placebo controlled study showing psychoactive effects of salvinorin A (Salvia divinorum) in humans. Dr. Johnson’s expertise in the psychology of addiction and in the characterization of psychoactive drugs in humans is reflected in his service as a scientific reviewer for multiple NIH grant review panels and numerous scientific and medical journals. He has authored approximately 30 peer reviewed scientific publications. Dr. Johnson recently received the 2011 American Psychological Association Young Psychopharmcologist Award for recognition of excellence in research at the interface of pharmacology and psychology.