Serotonin and decision making processes.
SourceNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 36, 1, (2012), pp. 218-236
1 januari 2012
Article / Letter to editor
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Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
SubjectDCN MP - Plasticity and memory
Serotonin (5-HT) is an important player in decision making. Serotonergic antidepressant, anxiolytic and antipsychotic drugs are extensively used in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by impaired decision making, and exert both beneficial and harmful effects in patients. Detailed insight into the serotonergic mechanisms underlying decision making is needed to strengthen the first and weaken the latter. Although much remains to be done to achieve this, accumulating studies begin to deliver a coherent view. Thus, high central 5-HT levels are generally associated with improved reversal learning, improved attentional set shifting, decreased delay discounting, and increased response inhibition, but a failure to use outcome representations. Based on 5-HT's evolutionary role, I hypothesize that 5-HT integrates expected, or changes in, relevant sensory and emotional internal/external information, leading to vigilance behaviour affecting various decision making processes. 5-HT receptor subtypes play distinctive roles in decision making. 5-HT(2A) agonists and 5-HT2c antagonists decrease compulsivity, whereas 5-HT(2A) antagonists and 5-HT(2C) agonists decrease impulsivity. 5-HT(6) antagonists univocally affect decision making processes.
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