JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effects of the 5-HT2A agonist psilocybin on mismatch negativity generation and AX-continuous performance task: implications for the neuropharmacology of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia

Daniel Umbricht, Franz X Vollenweider, Liselotte Schmid, Claudia Grübel, Anja Skrabo, Theo Huber, Rene Koller
Neuropsychopharmacology 2003, 28 (1): 170-81
12496954
Previously the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor (NMDAR) antagonist ketamine was shown to disrupt generation of the auditory event-related potential (ERP) mismatch negativity (MMN) and the performance of an 'AX'-type continuous performance test (AX-CPT)--measures of auditory and visual context-dependent information processing--in a similar manner as observed in schizophrenia. This placebo-controlled study investigated effects of the 5-HT(2A) receptor agonist psilocybin on the same measures in 18 healthy volunteers. Psilocybin administration induced significant performance deficits in the AX-CPT, but failed to reduce MMN generation significantly. These results indirectly support evidence that deficient MMN generation in schizophrenia may be a relatively distinct manifestation of deficient NMDAR functioning. In contrast, secondary pharmacological effects shared by NMDAR antagonists and the 5-HT(2A) agonist (ie disruption of glutamatergic neurotransmission) may be the mechanism underlying impairments in AX-CPT performance observed during both psilocybin and ketamine administration. Comparable deficits in schizophrenia may result from independent dysfunctions of 5-HT(2A) and NMDAR-related neurotransmission.

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