NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ861216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-2626
Serotonin: Modulator of a Drive to Withdraw
Tops, Mattie; Russo, Sascha; Boksem, Maarten A. S.; Tucker, Don M.
Brain and Cognition, v71 n3 p427-436 Dec 2009
Serotonin is a fundamental neuromodulator in both vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems, with a suspected role in many human mental disorders. Yet, because of the complexity of serotonergic function, researchers have been unable to agree on a general theory. One function suggested for serotonin systems is the avoidance of threat. We propose and review evidence for an alternative hypothesis, that a phylogenetically primitive of function of serotonin is to oppose the activating neuromodulators (particularly noradrenalin and dopamine). The functional effect of this opposition can be seen as applying a drive to withdraw from dangerous, aversive or high stimulation environments. Proposing that serotonin is involved in a drive to withdraw and seek contentment, instead of a drive to avoid, may be compatible with several lines of evidence on serotonin function and may facilitate a better understanding of serotonergic neuromodulation in human psychopathology. (Contains 1 figure.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A