ISSN 2051-8315
Psychopathology Review
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 Volume 3, Issue 1, 29-40, 2015
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The role of serotonin in aversive inhibition: behavioural, cognitive and neural perspectives

  Oliver Robinson -
  Jonathan Roiser - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Volume 3, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 29-40


Serotonin has long been implicated in emotional processing, but its specific mechanism of action is unclear. In this review we briefly summarise current perspectives on the neurobiological role of serotonin at the behavioural, cognitive and neural levels. We provide a general overview of serotonergic molecular pathways before discussing behavioural research delineating a role of serotonin in aversive inhibition. We then outline recent attempts to computationally formalise this role in aversive inhibition at the cognitive level. Finally, we try to situate these effects within neural circuitry. We argue, in particular, that the computational role of serotonin in aversive inhibition may be underpinned by serotonergic inhibition of prefrontal-amygdala circuits. Working to refine and improve our understanding of the neurobiological basis of serotonergic function is critical in order to improve our ability to diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety in which serotonin may play a central role.

Table of Contents
Molecular pathways
The role of serotonin in aversive Inhibition
 1) Using neurocognitive testing to probe the role of 5-HT in behaviour
  a) 5-HT in Inhibition:
  b) 5-HT in affective processing:
  c) 5-HT in aversive inhibition:
 2) Computational approaches to the role of 5-HT in aversive inhibition
 3) Neural substrates of serotonergically mediated aversive inhibition
  a) Psychophysiology
  b) Functional neuroimaging
Caveats and future directions

Correspondence to
Dr Oliver Robinson

5-HT; aversive processing; inhibition; serotonin; amygdala; prefrontal cortex

Received 8 Oct 2013; Revised 1 May 2014; Accepted 1 May 2014; In Press 21 Feb 2016

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