Effective Connectivity of Functionally Anticorrelated Networks Under Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

Devon Stoliker, Leonardo Novelli, Franz X. Vollenweider, Gary F. Egan, Katrin H. Preller, Adeel Razi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Classic psychedelic-induced ego dissolution involves a shift in the sense of self and a blurring of the boundary between the self and the world. A similar phenomenon is identified in psychopathology and is associated with the balance of anticorrelated activity between the default mode network, which directs attention inward, and the salience network, which recruits the dorsal attention network to direct attention outward. Methods: To test whether changes in anticorrelated networks underlie the peak effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), we applied dynamic causal modeling to infer effective connectivity of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans from a study of 25 healthy adults who were administered 100 μg of LSD or placebo. Results: We found that inhibitory effective connectivity from the salience network to the default mode network became excitatory, and inhibitory effective connectivity from the default mode network to the dorsal attention network decreased under the peak effect of LSD. Conclusions: The effective connectivity changes we identified may reflect diminution of the functional anticorrelation between resting-state networks that may be a key neural mechanism of LSD and underlie ego dissolution. Our findings suggest that changes to the sense of self and subject-object boundaries across different states of consciousness may depend upon the organized balance of effective connectivity of resting-state networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224–232
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • Anticorrelated networks
  • Dynamic causal modeling
  • Effective connectivity
  • Ego dissolution
  • LSD
  • Psychedelics

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