Spatiotemporal Brain Dynamics of Emotional Face Processing Modulations Induced by the Serotonin 1A/2A Receptor Agonist Psilocybin

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.

Published in:
Cerebral Cortex, 24, 12, 3221-3231

 Record created 2014-03-10, last modified 2018-03-17

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