Self-perception and self-recognition while looking in the mirror on psilocybin

Sam Elias, Stephanie Spivak, Alexa Alverez, Alejandro Gili Olivares, Maria Ferrol, Julian Paul Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: It is not known how self-perception and self-recognition are influenced when one is highly self-focused under the influence of psilocybin. Here we examine self-reports of mirror self-recognition and self-perception during a psilocybin experience. Methods: Reddit posts were examined in a systematic manner. Posts that were written by individuals that ingested psilocybin and subsequently looked in a mirror were examined. After both automatic and manual filtering, a total of 89 posts with 775 post excerpts were analyzed. Results: It was found that it was rare to see one's own face as a different entity (e.g., an animal or other person) however people were equally likely to see themselves as they really are or distorted. People were significantly more positive than negative when perceiving their own face. Discussion: We found wide variation in the perception of the own-face while under the influence of psilocybin. While generally positive, the self-face appears to be an experience that varies dramatically from person to person under the influence of psilocybin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychedelic Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2023


  • Reddit
  • mirror
  • psilocybin
  • self-perception
  • self-recognition


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