Psilocybin links binocular rivalry switch rate to attention and subjective arousal levels in humans

Article


Carter, Olivia L., Hasler, Felix, Pettigrew, John D., Wallis, Guy M., Liu, Guang B. and Vollenweider, Franz X.. 2007. "Psilocybin links binocular rivalry switch rate to attention and subjective arousal levels in humans." Psychopharmacology. 195 (3), pp. 415-424. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-007-0930-9
Article Title

Psilocybin links binocular rivalry switch rate to attention and subjective arousal levels in humans

ERA Journal ID14856
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCarter, Olivia L. (Author), Hasler, Felix (Author), Pettigrew, John D. (Author), Wallis, Guy M. (Author), Liu, Guang B. (Author) and Vollenweider, Franz X. (Author)
Journal TitlePsychopharmacology
Journal Citation195 (3), pp. 415-424
Number of Pages10
Year2007
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationBerlin, Heidelberg
ISSN0033-3158
1432-2072
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-007-0930-9
Web Address (URL)http://www.springerlink.com/content/15322tp218k1j747/
Abstract

[Rationale]: Binocular rivalry occurs when different images
are simultaneously presented to each eye. During continual
viewing of this stimulus, the observer will experience
repeated switches between visual awareness of the two
images. Previous studies have suggested that a slow rate of
perceptual switching may be associated with clinical and
drug-induced psychosis.

[Objectives]: The objective of the study was to explore the
proposed relationship between binocular rivalry switch rate
and subjective changes in psychological state associated
with 5-HT2A receptor activation.

[Materials and methods]: This study used psilocybin, the hallucinogen found naturally in Psilocybe mushrooms that had previously been found to induce psychosis-like symptoms via the 5-HT2A receptor. The effects of psilocybin (215 μg/kg) were considered alone and after pretreatment with the selective 5-HT2A antagonist ketanserin (50 mg) in ten healthy human subjects.

[Results]: Psilocybin significantly reduced the rate of binocular rivalry switching and increased the proportion of
transitional/mixed percept experience. Pretreatment with
ketanserin blocked the majority of psilocybin’s “positive”
psychosis-like hallucinogenic symptoms. However, ketanserin
had no influence on either the psilocybin-induced slowing of binocular rivalry or the drug’s “negative-type symptoms” associated with reduced arousal and vigilance.

[Conclusions]: Together, these findings link changes in
binocular rivalry switching rate to subjective levels of
arousal and attention. In addition, it suggests that psilocybin’s effect on binocular rivalry is unlikely to be mediated by the 5-HT2A receptor.

Keywordspsilocybin; binocular; ketanserin; mushroom; 5-HT2A
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020321405. Pharmaceutical sciences
321204. Vision science
420313. Mental health services
Public Notes

Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
Heffter Research Centre Zurich, Switzerland
Centre for Systems Biology
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