Processing of the Mismatch Negativity under LSD
The Mismatch Negativity (MMN), is a neural signature used to determine changes in consciousness as well as connectivity patterns in the human brain. In this study, a placebo-controlled design was used to study the effects LSD has on consciousness as indexed by the MMN. 20 healthy volunteers underwent magnetoencelography recordings under placebo and LSD conditions and were presented with auditory stimuli. Scalp-level analysis was performed to detect significant differences in brain activity following the presentation of standard and infrequent auditory stimuli. While early components were preserved in both the LSD and placebo conditions, late components differed across them. These preliminary results may reflect brain connectivity and modulation of prediction error under the LSD state, thereby providing insights on the brain mechanisms underlying the altered state of consciousness provided by psychedelics.
Chris Timmermann has a background in cognitive neuroscience and psychology. He is currently completing his PhD in neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, investigating the effects of psychedelic drugs in the human brain with Robin Carhart-Harris and David Nutt. He is developing his research with a focus on the effects of psychedelics in consciousness and brain connectivity.