Skip Navigation
Print This Page
Share this page: More

Johnson, Matthew W., Ph.D.

Dr. Matt Johnson

Associate Professor
Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU)

Main Office Address

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Behavioral Biology Research Center, BPRU
5510 Nathan Shock Drive
Baltimore, MD 21224-6823

Phone: 410-550-0056
Fax: 410-550-0030





Eastern Oregon University



University of Vermont



University of Vermont


Research: Human Behavioral Pharmacology Fellowship

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Professional Interests

The underlying theme of my career has been to understand and facilitate human behavior change, particularly behavior change that is fundamental to addiction recovery. Toward that end, much of my research has applied behavioral economic concepts such as delay discounting to decision-making underlying drug addiction. My current research is applying these models to understand the high rates of sexual HIV risk behavior associated with certain abused drugs (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine, alcohol). Another focus of my research involves laboratory studies determining the behavioral and psychological effects of psychoactive drugs in humans, particularly novel or atypical drugs. This work has examined hallucinogens including psilocybin and salvinorin A (Salvia divinorum), stimulants including cocaine, methamphetamine, nicotine, and caffeine, and various sedatives. Current research with psilocybin is examining its potential for facilitating behavior change. These studies include a trial determining the ability of psilocybin to increase engagement in a meditation program, a trial testing if psilocybin can decrease anxiety and depression in cancer patients, and a study examining psilocybin as an anti-addiction medication for tobacco smoking cessation. 

Dr. Matthew Johnson's Curriculum Vitae


Watch a video interview with Dr. Johnson regarding the drug Salvia divinorum on CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

Selected Publications

Johnson, M.W., Bruner, N.R (2012). The Sexual Discounting Task: HIV risk behavior and the discounting of delayed sexual rewards in cocaine dependence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 123, 15-21.

Johnson, M.W. (2012). An efficient operant choice procedure for assessing delay discounting in humans: Initial validation in cocaine-dependent and control individuals. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 20, 191-204.

Johnson, M.W., MacLean, K.A., Reissig, C.J., Prisinzano, T.E., Griffiths, R.R. (2011). Human psychopharmacology and dose-effects of salvinorin A, a kappa-opioid agonist hallucinogen present in the plant Salvia divinorum. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 115, 150-5.

Johnson, M.W., Richards, W.A., Griffiths, R.R. (2008). Human hallucinogen research:  Guidelines for safety. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 22, 603-620.

Johnson, M.W., Suess, P.E., Griffiths (2006). Ramelteon: A novel hypnotic lacking abuse liability and sedative adverse effects.  Archives of General Psychiatry, 63, 1149-1157. 

100th Anniversary Banner
Great Works

GREAT WORKS: 100 Years of Philanthropy in Service of Hopkins Psychiatry.



Research Volunteers Needed

Psychiatry E-News Update

For Faculty & Staff


© The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy and Disclaimer