Dynamics of the unique trait of personality: blood’s glutamate in response to methylphenidate and conditioning


The Unique Personality Trait Theory (UPTT) postulates that glutamate is the most significant biological substrate of personality. In this study, the analysis of personality dynamics by glutamate’s reactivity to one dose of a stimulant drug, the methylphenidate, is performed. Moreover, the conditioned dynamics of drug effects by using the self-regulation therapy is also studied. An ABC single case experimental design with replication with two subjects has been performed. In the three phases each subject fills the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS) of the MAACL each 15 minutes (17 registers for each phase). Sensation seeking is considered as an acceptable approximation for the measurement of the unique trait. Blood samples were obtained each one hour (5 samples for each phase). The first phase was the base-line, while for the second phase both subjects consumed 20 mg of methylphenidate. For the third phase, subject 1 consumed 40 mg of methylphenidate and subject 2 applied the self-regulation therapy to reproduce the drug effect. The results confirm an inverted U curve as dynamical pattern of the blood concentration of glutamate as a response to one dose of methylphenidate. In addition, individual differences between the two subjects have been observed; concretely, tolerance effect for subject 1 and sensitizing effect for subject 2 in phase C have been observed. The conditioning effect on the plasma glutamate increase was observed in subject 2 by application of the self-regulation therapy. This outcome can be interpreted as an effect of “personality conditioning” and it opens considerable implications for the future understanding of personality and its therapeutic modification.

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