Background: This report documents the phenomenology of the subjective experiences of
15 healthy psychedelic experienced volunteers who were involved in a functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) study that was designed to image the brain effects of intravenous
Methods: The participants underwent a semi-structured interview exploring the effects of psilocybin
in the MRI scanner. These interviews were analysed by Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
The resultant data is ordered in a detailed matrix, and presented in this paper.
Results: Nine broad categories of phenomenology were identified in the phenomenological analysis
of the experience; perceptual changes including visual, auditory and somatosensory distortions,
cognitive changes, changes in mood, effects of memory, spiritual or mystical type experiences, aspects relating to the
scanner and research environment, comparisons with other experiences, the intensity and onset of effects, and individual
interpretation of the experience.
Discussion: This article documents the phenomenology of psilocybin when given in a novel manner (intravenous
injection) and setting (an MRI scanner). The findings of the analysis are consistent with previous published work
regarding the subjective effects of psilocybin. There is much scope for further research investigating the phenomena
identified in this paper.