Emotion enhancement

Emotion enhancement is an effect which greatly amplifies and enhances a person's current emotional state beyond normal levels of intensity. [1] [2] [3] Unlike many other subjective effects such as euphoria or anxiety, this effect does not actively induce specific emotions regardless of a person's current state of mind and mental stability. Instead, it works by passively amplifying and enhancing the genuine emotions that a person is already feeling prior to ingesting the drug or prior to the onset of this effect. This causes emotion enhancement to be equally capable of manifesting in both a positive and negative direction. [1] [3] [4] For example, an individual who is currently feeling somewhat anxious or emotionally unstable may become overwhelmed with intensified negative emotions, paranoia, and confusion. In contrast, an individual who is generally feeling positive and emotionally stable is more likely to find themselves overwhelmed with states of emotional euphoria, happiness, and feelings of general contentment. The intensity of emotional states felt under emotion enhancement can shape the tone of a trip and predispose the user to other effects, such as mania or unity in positive states and thought loops or feelings of impending doom in negative states. [3] Emotion enhancement is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. [1] [2] [3] However, it can also occur under the influence of cannabinoids, GABAergic depressants [5] [6] , and stimulants [4] [7] .


  1. [1][2][3] Kaelen, M., Barrett, F. S., Roseman, L., Lorenz, R., Family, N., Bolstridge, M., ... & Carhart-Harris, R. L. (2015). LSD enhances the emotional response to music. Psychopharmacology, 232(19), 3607-3614. | https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-015-4014-y
  2. [1][2] Hartogsohn, Ido. 2018. “The Meaning-Enhancing Properties of Psychedelics and Their Mediator Role in Psychedelic Therapy, Spirituality, and Creativity.” Frontiers in Neuroscience 12 (1): 129. | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00129
  3. [1][2][3][4] Swanson, L. R. (2018). Unifying Theories of Psychedelic Drug Effects. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 172. | https://dx.doi.org/10.3389%2Ffphar.2018.00172
  4. [1][2] Miller, M. A., Bershad, A. K., & de Wit, H. (2015). Drug effects on responses to emotional facial expressions: recent findings. Behavioural pharmacology, 26(6), 571. | https://dx.doi.org/10.1097%2FFBP.0000000000000164
  5. Kamboj, S. K., Joye, A., Bisby, J. A., Das, R. K., Platt, B., & Curran, H. V. (2013). Processing of facial affect in social drinkers: a dose–response study of alcohol using dynamic emotion expressions. Psychopharmacology, 227(1), 31-39. | https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-012-2940-5
  6. Philippot, P., Kornreich, C., Blairy, S., Baert, I., Dulk, A. D., Bon, O. L., ... & Verbanck, P. (1999). Alcoholics’ deficits in the decoding of emotional facial expression. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 23(6), 1031-1038. | https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-0277.1999.tb04221.x
  7. Wardle, M. C., Garner, M. J., Munafò, M. R., & de Wit, H. (2012). Amphetamine as a social drug: effects of d-amphetamine on social processing and behavior. Psychopharmacology, 223(2), 199-210. | https://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs00213-012-2708-y




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