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The serotonin system and spiritual experiences

Borg, Jacqueline; Andree, Bengt; Anckarsäter, Henrik LU and Farde, Lars (2003) In American Journal of Psychiatry 160(11). p.1965-1969
Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The serotonin system has long been of interest in biological models of human personality. The purpose of this positron emission tomography (PET) study was to search for relationships between serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptor density and personality traits. METHOD: Fifteen normal male subjects, ages 20-45 years, were examined with PET and the radioligand [(11)C]WAY100635. Personality traits were assessed with the Swedish version of the Temperament and Character Inventory self-report questionnaire. Binding potential, an index for the density of available 5-HT(1A) receptors, was calculated for the dorsal raphe nuclei, the hippocampal formation, and the neocortex. For each region, correlation coefficients between 5-HT(1A) receptor binding... (More)
OBJECTIVE: The serotonin system has long been of interest in biological models of human personality. The purpose of this positron emission tomography (PET) study was to search for relationships between serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptor density and personality traits. METHOD: Fifteen normal male subjects, ages 20-45 years, were examined with PET and the radioligand [(11)C]WAY100635. Personality traits were assessed with the Swedish version of the Temperament and Character Inventory self-report questionnaire. Binding potential, an index for the density of available 5-HT(1A) receptors, was calculated for the dorsal raphe nuclei, the hippocampal formation, and the neocortex. For each region, correlation coefficients between 5-HT(1A) receptor binding potential and Temperament and Character Inventory personality dimensions were calculated and analyzed in two-tailed tests for significance. RESULTS: The authors found that the binding potential correlated inversely with scores for self-transcendence, a personality trait covering religious behavior and attitudes. No correlations were found for any of the other six Temperament and Character Inventory dimensions. The self-transcendence dimension consists of three distinct subscales, and further analysis showed that the subscale for spiritual acceptance correlated significantly with binding potential but not with the other two subscales. CONCLUSIONS: This finding in normal male subjects indicated that the serotonin system may serve as a biological basis for spiritual experiences. The authors speculated that the several-fold variability in 5-HT(1A) receptor density may explain why people vary greatly in spiritual zeal. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
American Journal of Psychiatry
volume
160
issue
11
pages
1965 - 1969
publisher
American Psychiatric Association
external identifiers
  • pmid:14594742
  • scopus:1642436793
ISSN
1535-7228
DOI
10.1176/appi.ajp.160.11.1965
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
784041d6-f8d9-4f30-85ae-2a3fee0e953b (old id 1126647)
date added to LUP
2008-06-04 08:19:34
date last changed
2018-01-21 03:23:40
@article{784041d6-f8d9-4f30-85ae-2a3fee0e953b,
  abstract     = {OBJECTIVE: The serotonin system has long been of interest in biological models of human personality. The purpose of this positron emission tomography (PET) study was to search for relationships between serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptor density and personality traits. METHOD: Fifteen normal male subjects, ages 20-45 years, were examined with PET and the radioligand [(11)C]WAY100635. Personality traits were assessed with the Swedish version of the Temperament and Character Inventory self-report questionnaire. Binding potential, an index for the density of available 5-HT(1A) receptors, was calculated for the dorsal raphe nuclei, the hippocampal formation, and the neocortex. For each region, correlation coefficients between 5-HT(1A) receptor binding potential and Temperament and Character Inventory personality dimensions were calculated and analyzed in two-tailed tests for significance. RESULTS: The authors found that the binding potential correlated inversely with scores for self-transcendence, a personality trait covering religious behavior and attitudes. No correlations were found for any of the other six Temperament and Character Inventory dimensions. The self-transcendence dimension consists of three distinct subscales, and further analysis showed that the subscale for spiritual acceptance correlated significantly with binding potential but not with the other two subscales. CONCLUSIONS: This finding in normal male subjects indicated that the serotonin system may serve as a biological basis for spiritual experiences. The authors speculated that the several-fold variability in 5-HT(1A) receptor density may explain why people vary greatly in spiritual zeal.},
  author       = {Borg, Jacqueline and Andree, Bengt and Anckarsäter, Henrik and Farde, Lars},
  issn         = {1535-7228},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1965--1969},
  publisher    = {American Psychiatric Association},
  series       = {American Journal of Psychiatry},
  title        = {The serotonin system and spiritual experiences},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.160.11.1965},
  volume       = {160},
  year         = {2003},
}