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A Dictionary of Psychology

Andrew M. Colman

entactogen n. 

An alternative name for an empathogen, introduced by the US medicinal chemist and neuropharmacologist David E(arl) Nichols (born 1944) in an article in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in 1986 to avoid the implication of pathogenesis and to capture the sense of something that produces ‘a touching within’. A typical entactogen is MDMA or ecstasy. [From Greek en- in + Latin tactus a touching, from tangere to touch + Greek genes born]