Ibogaine is a psychedelic alkaloid that has attracted large scientific interest because of its antiaddictive properties in observational studies in humans as well as in animal models. Its subjective effect has been described as intense, vivid dream-like experiences occurring while awake; hence, ibogaine is often referred to as an oneirogenic psychedelic. While this unique dream-like profile has been hypothesized to aid the antiaddictive effects, the electrophysiological signatures of this psychedelic state remain unknown. We previously showed in rats that ibogaine promotes a waking state with abnormal motor behavior along with a decrease in NREM and REM sleep. Here, we performed an in-depth analysis of the intracranial electroencephalogram during “ibogaine wakefulness”. We found that ibogaine induces gamma oscillations that, despite having larger power than control levels, are less coherent and less complex. Further analysis revealed that this profile of gamma activity compares to that of natural REM sleep. Thus, our results provide novel biological evidence for the association between the psychedelic state and REM sleep, contributing to the understanding of the brain mechanisms associated with the oneirogenic psychedelic effect of ibogaine.
- intracranial electroencephalogram
- Computational neuroscience
- sleep-wake cycle