Psilocin, LSD, mescaline, and DOB all induce broadband desynchronization of EEG and disconnection in rats with robust translational validity

This animal study assesses the effects of tryptamine and phenethylamine psychedelics (psilocin, LSD, mescaline and dimethoxybromoamphetamine (DOB)) using EEG in freely moving rats. The researchers found that all psychedelic’s caused a global decrease in EEG activity. The overall results were almost identical to the effects from human EEG studies, proving that the method has robust translational validity.


“Serotonergic psychedelics are recently gaining a lot of attention as a potential treatment of several neuropsychiatric disorders. Broadband desynchronization of EEG activity and disconnection in humans have been repeatedly shown; however, translational data from animals are completely lacking. Therefore, the main aim of our study was to assess the effects of tryptamine and phenethylamine psychedelics (psilocin 4 mg/kg, LSD 0.2 mg/kg, mescaline 100 mg/kg, and DOB 5 mg/kg) on EEG in freely moving rats. A system consisting of 14 cortical EEG electrodes, co-registration of behavioral activity of animals with subsequent analysis only in segments corresponding to behavioral inactivity (resting-state-like EEG) was used in order to reach a high level of translational validity. Analyses of the mean power, topographic brain-mapping, and functional connectivity revealed that all of the psychedelics irrespective of the structural family induced overall and time-dependent global decrease/desynchronization of EEG activity and disconnection within 1-40 Hz. Major changes in activity were localized on the large areas of the frontal and sensorimotor cortex showing some subtle spatial patterns characterizing each substance. A rebound of occipital theta (4-8 Hz) activity was detected at later stages after treatment with mescaline and LSD. Connectivity analyses showed an overall decrease in global connectivity for both the components of cross-spectral and phase-lagged coherence. Since our results show almost identical effects to those known from human EEG/MEG studies, we conclude that our method has robust translational validity.”

Authors: Čestmír Vejmola, Filip Tylš, Václava Piorecká, Vlastimil Koudelka, Lukáš Kadeřábek, Tomáš Novák & Tomáš Páleníček

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