Personal meaning enhancement

Personal meaning enhancement (also known as aberrant salience) is the experience of a considerably increased sense of personal significance becoming attributed to innocuous situations, and coincidences. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] For example, one may feel that the lyrics of a song or events in a film directly relate to their life in a meaningful and distinct manner that is not usually felt during everyday sobriety. This feeling can continue to occur even when it is rationally understood that the external stimuli do not genuinely relate to the person experiencing it in such a direct manner.

At its highest level, this effect will often synergize with delusions in a manner which can result in one genuinely believing that innocuous events are directly related to them. [1] For example, one may begin to believe that the plot of a film is about their life or that a song was written for them. This phenomenon is well established within psychiatry and is commonly known as a "delusion of reference" [8] [9] .

Personal meaning enhancement is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics [2] [3] , dissociatives [1] , cannabinoids [6] , and deliriants. However, it can also occur under the influence of sleep deprivation and stimulant psychosis. [7]

This effect seems to be mentioned within the following trip reports:

Swimming in the Dextroverse

on 2021/03/02 - liv
  • DXM 600mg Oral, Syrup


  1. [1][2][3]
    Corlett, P. R., Honey, G. D., Aitken, M. R., Dickinson, A., Shanks, D. R., Absalom, A. R., ... & Robbins, T. W. (2006). Frontal responses during learning predict vulnerability to the psychotogenic effects of ketamine: linking cognition, brain activity, and psychosis. Archives of general psychiatry, 63(6), 611-621. |
  2. [1][2]
    Preller, K. H., Herdener, M., Pokorny, T., Planzer, A., Kraehenmann, R., Stämpfli, P., ... & Vollenweider, F. X. (2017). The fabric of meaning and subjective effects in LSD-induced states depend on serotonin 2A receptor activation. Current Biology, 27(3), 451-457. |
  3. [1][2]
    Carhart-Harris, R. L., Muthukumaraswamy, S., Roseman, L., Kaelen, M., Droog, W., Murphy, K., ... & Leech, R. (2016). Neural correlates of the LSD experience revealed by multimodal neuroimaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(17), 4853-4858. |
  4. Kapur, S. (2003). Psychosis as a state of aberrant salience: a framework linking biology, phenomenology, and pharmacology in schizophrenia. American journal of Psychiatry, 160(1), 13-23. |
  5. Roiser, J. P., Howes, O. D., Chaddock, C. A., Joyce, E. M., & McGuire, P. (2012). Neural and behavioral correlates of aberrant salience in individuals at risk for psychosis. Schizophrenia bulletin, 39(6), 1328-1336. |
  6. [1][2]
    Murray, R. M., Morrison, P. D., Henquet, C., & Di Forti, M. (2007). Cannabis, the mind and society: the hash realities. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8(11), 885. |
  7. [1][2]
    Bowers, M. B., & Freedman, D. X. (1966). Psychedelic experiences in acute psychoses. Archives of General Psychiatry, 15(3), 240-248. |
  8. Sedler, M. J. (1995). Understanding delusions. Psychiatric Clinics, 18(2), 251-262. |
  9. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.), 819. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. |




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