Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Psychedelic drugs show promise as safe and effective treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders, yet their mechanisms of action are not fully understood. A fundamental hypothesis is that psychedelics work by dose-dependently changing the functional hierarchy of brain dynamics, but it is unclear whether different psychedelics act similarly. Here, we investigated the changes in the brain’s functional hierarchy associated with two different psychedelics (LSD and psilocybin). Using a novel turbulence framework, we were able to determine the vorticity, that is, the local level of synchronization, that allowed us to extend the standard global time-based measure of metastability to become a local-based measure of both space and time. This framework produced detailed signatures of turbulence-based hierarchical change for each psychedelic drug, revealing consistent and discriminate effects on a higher level network, that is, the default mode network. Overall, our findings directly support a prior hypothesis that psychedelics modulate (i.e., “compress”) the functional hierarchy and provide a quantification of these changes for two different psychedelics. Implications for therapeutic applications of psychedelics are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Network Neuroscience

Publication Date





1104 - 1124