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Psychedelic resting-state neuroimaging: A review and perspective on balancing replication and novel analyses

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  • Drummond E.Wen McCulloch, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Gitte Moos Knudsen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Frederick Streeter Barrett, Johns Hopkins University
  • ,
  • Manoj K. Doss, Johns Hopkins University
  • ,
  • Robin Lester Carhart-Harris, University of California at San Francisco, Imperial College London
  • ,
  • Fernando E. Rosas, Imperial College London
  • ,
  • Gustavo Deco, Pompeu Fabra University, ICREA, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Monash University
  • ,
  • Morten L. Kringelbach
  • Katrin H. Preller, University of Zurich
  • ,
  • Johannes G. Ramaekers, Maastricht University
  • ,
  • Natasha L. Mason, Maastricht University
  • ,
  • Felix Müller, University of Basel
  • ,
  • Patrick Mac Donald Fisher, University of Copenhagen

Clinical research into serotonergic psychedelics is expanding rapidly, showing promising efficacy across myriad disorders. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) is a commonly used strategy to identify psychedelic-induced changes in neural pathways in clinical and healthy populations. Here we, a large group of psychedelic imaging researchers, review the 42 research articles published to date, based on the 17 unique studies evaluating psychedelic effects on rs-fMRI, focusing on methodological variation. Prominently, we observe that nearly all studies vary in data processing and analysis methodology, two datasets are the foundation of over half of the published literature, and there is lexical ambiguity in common outcome metric terminology. We offer guidelines for future studies that encourage coherence in the field. Psychedelic rs-fMRI will benefit from the development of novel methods that expand our understanding of the brain mechanisms mediating its intriguing effects; yet, this field is at a crossroads where we must also consider the critical importance of consistency and replicability to effectively converge on stable representations of the neural effects of psychedelics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104689
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Ayahausca, Clinical, DMT, Entheogen, FMRI, Hallucinogen, Human, LSD, Neuroimaging, Psilocin, Psilocybin, Psychedelic, Replication, Resting-state, Serotonin

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