Filip Tyls, MD, PhD

Charles University, Prague

The effect of psilocybin on the emotional experience associated with listening to classical and electronic music


It is very well known that psilocybin experience is influenced by the setting, especially when listening to music. The pleasure connected to music listening under the influence of psilocybin correlated with antidepressant effect and occurrence of mystical experiences. The aim of this study was to explore the resources of pleasure in connection with listening to classical and psytrance music under the influence of psilocybin compared to placebo. In a double-blind placebo-controlled design, 17 healthy volunteers were ad¬ministered psilocybin 0.26 mg/kg. The subjects listened to 2 music compositi¬ons 150 minutes after psilocybin/placebo adminis¬tration: dark psytrance track by Parasense and a classical piece by William Boyce. We used the subjective Likert scale for assessment of pleasure and the GEMS-9 (1) scale for assessment of emotional response. Listening to psytrance music was more pleasurable than classical music in the psilocybin condition, although classical music was strongly preferred on placebo. Different experiencing of psytrance music under the influence of psilocybin can be explained by higher wonder and joyful activation over placebo. However, different experiencing of classical music can be explained by higher sadness and lower peacefulness. The emotional experience of listening to music is more intense under the influence of psilocybin, but the level of impact differs between classical and psytrance music. A strong increase in pleasure associated with psytrance under the influence of psilocybin explains the popularity of this genre among users of magic mushrooms. This study has implications for setting the psychedelic assisted therapy sessions.


Filip Tyls, MD, PhD (1985, Prague) is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist in National Institute of Mental Health, Czech Republic (from 2012) as well as psychotherapist in private practice (from 2017). His main interests are psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and psychedelic research (EEG correlates of psychedelic experience). Filip has experiences as psychedelic sitter in a czech team working on pilot clinical trial with psilocybin from 2014. He absolved training of Gestalt psychotherapy and Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research Certificate Program 2018 (CIIS, California). He has published several papers on psychedelics (e.g. review Psilocybin – summary of knowledge or book Phenomen of psychedelia).



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