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

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Abstract

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.

Lord, L. D., Expert, P., Atasoy, S., Roseman, L., Rapuano, K., Lambiotte, R., … & Cabral, J. (2019). Dynamical exploration of the repertoire of brain networks at rest is modulated by psilocybin. NeuroImage199, 127-142., 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.05.060

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