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Spatiotemporal brain dynamics of emotional face processing modulations induced by the serotonin 1A/2A receptor agonist psilocybin


Bernasconi, Fosco; Schmidt, André; Pokorny, Thomas; Kometer, Michael; Seifritz, Erich; Vollenweider, Franz X (2014). Spatiotemporal brain dynamics of emotional face processing modulations induced by the serotonin 1A/2A receptor agonist psilocybin. Cerebral Cortex, 24(12):3221-3231.

Abstract

Emotional face processing is critically modulated by the serotonergic system. For instance, emotional face processing is impaired by acute psilocybin administration, a serotonin (5-HT) 1A and 2A receptor agonist. However, the spatiotemporal brain mechanisms underlying these modulations are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the spatiotemporal brain dynamics underlying psilocybin-induced modulations during emotional face processing. Electrical neuroimaging analyses were applied to visual evoked potentials in response to emotional faces, following psilocybin and placebo administration. Our results indicate a first time period of strength (i.e., Global Field Power) modulation over the 168-189 ms poststimulus interval, induced by psilocybin. A second time period of strength modulation was identified over the 211-242 ms poststimulus interval. Source estimations over these 2 time periods further revealed decreased activity in response to both neutral and fearful faces within limbic areas, including amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus, and the right temporal cortex over the 168-189 ms interval, and reduced activity in response to happy faces within limbic and right temporo-occipital brain areas over the 211-242 ms interval. Our results indicate a selective and temporally dissociable effect of psilocybin on the neuronal correlates of emotional face processing, consistent with a modulation of the top-down control.

Abstract

Emotional face processing is critically modulated by the serotonergic system. For instance, emotional face processing is impaired by acute psilocybin administration, a serotonin (5-HT) 1A and 2A receptor agonist. However, the spatiotemporal brain mechanisms underlying these modulations are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the spatiotemporal brain dynamics underlying psilocybin-induced modulations during emotional face processing. Electrical neuroimaging analyses were applied to visual evoked potentials in response to emotional faces, following psilocybin and placebo administration. Our results indicate a first time period of strength (i.e., Global Field Power) modulation over the 168-189 ms poststimulus interval, induced by psilocybin. A second time period of strength modulation was identified over the 211-242 ms poststimulus interval. Source estimations over these 2 time periods further revealed decreased activity in response to both neutral and fearful faces within limbic areas, including amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus, and the right temporal cortex over the 168-189 ms interval, and reduced activity in response to happy faces within limbic and right temporo-occipital brain areas over the 211-242 ms interval. Our results indicate a selective and temporally dissociable effect of psilocybin on the neuronal correlates of emotional face processing, consistent with a modulation of the top-down control.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:December 2014
Deposited On:13 Feb 2014 13:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:18
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1047-3211
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bht178
PubMed ID:23861318

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