Changes in dynamic transitions between integrated and segregated states underlie visual hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease.


Hallucinations are a core feature of psychosis and common in Parkinson's. Their transient, unexpected nature suggests a change in dynamic brain states, but underlying causes are unknown. Here, we examine temporal dynamics and underlying structural connectivity in Parkinson's-hallucinations using a combination of functional and structural MRI, network control theory, neurotransmitter density and genetic analyses. We show that Parkinson's-hallucinators spent more time in a predominantly Segregated functional state with fewer between-state transitions. The transition from integrated-to-segregated state had lower energy cost in Parkinson's-hallucinators; and was therefore potentially preferable. The regional energy needed for this transition was correlated with regional neurotransmitter density and gene expression for serotoninergic, GABAergic, noradrenergic and cholinergic, but not dopaminergic, receptors. We show how the combination of neurochemistry and brain structure jointly shape functional brain dynamics leading to hallucinations and highlight potential therapeutic targets by linking these changes to neurotransmitter systems involved in early sensory and complex visual processing.