Dynamical exploration of the repertoire of brain networks at rest is modulated by psilocybin

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  • Louis David Lord, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
  • ,
  • Paul Expert, Imperial College London, London, UK.
  • ,
  • Selen Atasoy, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
  • ,
  • Leor Roseman, Imperial College London, London, UK.
  • ,
  • Kristina Rapuano, Yale University
  • ,
  • Renaud Lambiotte, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
  • ,
  • David J. Nutt, Imperial College London, London, UK.
  • ,
  • Gustavo Deco, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
  • ,
  • Robin L. Carhart-Harris, Imperial College London, London, UK.
  • ,
  • Morten L. Kringelbach
  • Joana Cabral

Growing evidence from the dynamical analysis of functional neuroimaging data suggests that brain function can be understood as the exploration of a repertoire of metastable connectivity patterns (‘functional brain networks’), which potentially underlie different mental processes. The present study characterizes how the brain's dynamical exploration of resting-state networks is rapidly modulated by intravenous infusion of psilocybin, a tryptamine psychedelic found in “magic mushrooms”. We employed a data-driven approach to characterize recurrent functional connectivity patterns by focusing on the leading eigenvector of BOLD phase coherence at single-TR resolution. Recurrent BOLD phase-locking patterns (PL states) were assessed and statistically compared pre- and post-infusion of psilocybin in terms of their probability of occurrence and transition profiles. Results were validated using a placebo session. Recurrent BOLD PL states revealed high spatial overlap with canonical resting-state networks. Notably, a PL state forming a frontoparietal subsystem was strongly destabilized after psilocybin injection, with a concomitant increase in the probability of occurrence of another PL state characterized by global BOLD phase coherence. These findings provide evidence of network-specific neuromodulation by psilocybin and represent one of the first attempts at bridging molecular pharmacodynamics and whole-brain network dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroImage
Volume199
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
ISSN1053-8119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

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