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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Jul;26(7):1099-109. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.03.018. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

LSD modulates music-induced imagery via changes in parahippocampal connectivity.

Author information

1
Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London W12, UK. Electronic address: m.kaelen@imperial.ac.uk.
2
Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London W12, UK; The Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory, The Centre for Neuroscience, Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, London W12, UK.
3
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience & Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK.
4
Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London W12, UK.
5
The Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory, The Centre for Neuroscience, Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, London W12, UK.
6
Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.
7
Academic Unit of Psychiatry, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2BN, UK.
8
Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London W12, UK; Imanova Centre for Imaging Sciences, Hammersmith Hospital, London W12, UK; Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, London UK.
9
The Beckley Foundation, Beckley Park, Oxford OX3 9SY, UK.
10
Schools of Pharmacy and Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.

Abstract

Psychedelic drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) were used extensively in psychiatry in the past and their therapeutic potential is beginning to be re-examined today. Psychedelic psychotherapy typically involves a patient lying with their eyes-closed during peak drug effects, while listening to music and being supervised by trained psychotherapists. In this context, music is considered to be a key element in the therapeutic model; working in synergy with the drug to evoke therapeutically meaningful thoughts, emotions and imagery. The underlying mechanisms involved in this process have, however, never been formally investigated. Here we studied the interaction between LSD and music-listening on eyes-closed imagery by means of a placebo-controlled, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. Twelve healthy volunteers received intravenously administered LSD (75µg) and, on a separate occasion, placebo, before being scanned under eyes-closed resting conditions with and without music-listening. The parahippocampal cortex (PHC) has previously been linked with (1) music-evoked emotion, (2) the action of psychedelics, and (3) mental imagery. Imaging analyses therefore focused on changes in the connectivity profile of this particular structure. Results revealed increased PHC-visual cortex (VC) functional connectivity and PHC to VC information flow in the interaction between music and LSD. This latter result correlated positively with ratings of enhanced eyes-closed visual imagery, including imagery of an autobiographical nature. These findings suggest a plausible mechanism by which LSD works in combination with music listening to enhance certain subjective experiences that may be useful in a therapeutic context.

KEYWORDS:

Effective connectivity; LSD; Mental imagery; Music; Parahippocampus; Psychedelic

PMID:
27084302
DOI:
10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.03.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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