To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Mixed support for a causa… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Mixed support for a causal link between single dose intranasal oxytocin and spiritual experiences: opposing effects depending on individual proclivities for absorption

Journal article
Authors D. S. Cortes
M. Skragge
L. Dollinger
P. Laukka
H. Fischer
M. E. Nilsson
Daniel Hovey
Lars Westberg
M. Larsson
P. Granqvist
Published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume 13
Issue 9
Pages 921-932
ISSN 1749-5016
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 921-932
Language en
Keywords oxytocin, spirituality, absorption, genotypes, replication, mystical experiences, genetic-variation, context, attachment, system, cd38, neuropeptides, polymorphisms, religiousness, recognition, Neurosciences & Neurology, Psychology, ikman aj, 1966, psychiatry, v29, p324
Subject categories Neurosciences


Intranasal oxytocin (OT) has previously been found to increase spirituality, an effect moderated by OT-related genotypes. This pre-registered study sought to conceptually replicate and extend those findings. Using a single dose of intranasal OT vs placebo (PL), we investigated experimental treatment effects, and moderation by OT-related genotypes on spirituality, mystical experiences, and the sensed presence of a sentient being. A more exploratory aim was to test for interactions between treatment and the personality disposition absorption on these spirituality-related outcomes. A priming plus sensory deprivation procedure that has facilitated spiritual experiences in previous studies was used. The sample (N = 116) contained both sexes and was drawn from a relatively secular context. Results failed to conceptually replicate both the main effects of treatment and the treatment by genotype interactions on spirituality. Similarly, there were no such effects on mystical experiences or sensed presence. However, the data suggested an interaction between treatment and absorption. Relative to PL, OT seemed to enhance spiritual experiences in participants scoring low in absorption and dampen spirituality in participants scoring high in absorption.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?