Psychoactive drugs can transiently perturb brain physiology while preserving brain structure. The role of physiological state in shaping neural function can therefore be investigated through neuroimaging of pharmacologically-induced effects. This paradigm has revealed that neural and experiential effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) are attributable to its agonist activity at the serotonin-2A receptor. Here, we integrate brainwide transcriptomics with biophysically-based large-scale circuit modeling to simulate acute neuromodulatory effects of LSD on human cortical dynamics. Our model captures the topographic effects of LSD-induced changes in cortical BOLD functional connectivity. These findings suggest that serotonin-2A-mediated modulation of pyramidal cell gain is the circuit mechanism through which LSD alters cortical functional topography. Individual-subject fitting reveals that the model captures patterns of individual neural differences in drug response that predict altered states of consciousness. This work establishes a framework for linking molecular-level manipulations to salient changes in brain function, with implications for precision medicine.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience