Psychedelic Resting-state Neuroimaging: A Review and Perspective on Balancing Replication and Novel Analyses.
McCulloch DE-W., Knudsen GM., Barrett FS., Doss MK., Carhart-Harris RL., Rosas FE., Deco G., Kringelbach ML., Preller KH., Ramaekers JG., Mason NL., Müller F., Fisher PM.
Clinical research into serotonergic psychedelics is expanding rapidly, showing promising efficacy across myriad disorders. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) is a commonly used strategy to identify psychedelic-induced changes in neural pathways in clinical and healthy populations. Here we, a large group of psychedelic imaging researchers, review the 42 research articles published to date, based on the 17 unique studies evaluating psychedelic effects on rs-fMRI, focusing on methodological variation. Prominently, we observe that nearly all studies vary in data processing and analysis methodology, two datasets are the foundation of over half of the published literature, and there is lexical ambiguity in common outcome metric terminology. We offer guidelines for future studies that encourage coherence in the field. Psychedelic rs-fMRI will benefit from the development of novel methods that expand our understanding of the brain mechanisms mediating its intriguing effects; yet, this field is at a crossroads where we must also consider the critical importance of consistency and replicability to effectively converge on stable representations of the neural effects of psychedelics.