Send to

Choose Destination
Cereb Cortex. 2018 Nov 1;28(11):3939-3950. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx257.

Serotonin 2A Receptor Signaling Underlies LSD-induced Alteration of the Neural Response to Dynamic Changes in Music.

Author information

Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 5510 Nathan Shock Dr, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Neuropsychopharmacology and Brain Imaging, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University Hospital for Psychiatry Zurich, Lenggstr. 31, Zurich, Switzerland.
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Center for Addictive Disorders,University Hospital for Psychiatry Zurich, Lenggstr. 31, Zurich, Switzerland.
Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Dr, Davis, CA, USA.
Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis, 267 Cousteau Pl, Davis, CA, USA.


Classic psychedelic drugs (serotonin 2A, or 5HT2A, receptor agonists) have notable effects on music listening. In the current report, blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal was collected during music listening in 25 healthy adults after administration of placebo, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and LSD pretreated with the 5HT2A antagonist ketanserin, to investigate the role of 5HT2A receptor signaling in the neural response to the time-varying tonal structure of music. Tonality-tracking analysis of BOLD data revealed that 5HT2A receptor signaling alters the neural response to music in brain regions supporting basic and higher-level musical and auditory processing, and areas involved in memory, emotion, and self-referential processing. This suggests a critical role of 5HT2A receptor signaling in supporting the neural tracking of dynamic tonal structure in music, as well as in supporting the associated increases in emotionality, connectedness, and meaningfulness in response to music that are commonly observed after the administration of LSD and other psychedelics. Together, these findings inform the neuropsychopharmacology of music perception and cognition, meaningful music listening experiences, and altered perception of music during psychedelic experiences.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center