Psychedelic drugs… brain’s dynamic landscape
…LSD and psilocybin activate serotonin receptors on brain cells in a way that reduces the energy needed for the brain to switch between different activity states, according to a study led by Weill Cornell Medicine researchers… “Serotonin 2a receptors have a spatial distribution in the brain that appears to be optimized for lowering these state transition energies,” Singleton said.
The scientists began by comparing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) recordings of brain activity from volunteers who underwent two scanning sessions, one where they had taken placebo and the other where they had taken LSD or psilocybin… using a special clustering algorithm, they defined a set of common activity states in the fMRI data. The researchers then modeled the major inter-regional connections in the brain, using other data gathered from healthy volunteers with a structural imaging method called diffusion MRI. Combining these two datasets, they calculated the minimum energies required to transition between states while under the influence of LSD, psilocybin, or placebo – and found that the psychedelic drugs lowered, or “flattened,” these normal energy barriers, allowing the brain to transition from one state to another much more readily.
Original Article (Weill Cornell):
Psychedelic drugs flatten the brain’s dynamic landscape
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