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Serotonin in Animal Cognition and Behavior

Authors
  • Bacqué-Cazenave, Julien1
  • Bharatiya, Rahul1, 2
  • Barrière, Grégory1
  • Delbecque, Jean-Paul1
  • Bouguiyoud, Nouhaila1
  • Di Giovanni, Giuseppe3
  • Cattaert, Daniel1
  • De Deurwaerdère, Philippe1
  • 1 (N.B.)
  • 2 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cagliari, 09100 Cagliari, Italy
  • 3 School of Biosciences, Neuroscience Division, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF24 4HQ, UK
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Feb 28, 2020
Volume
21
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijms21051649
PMID: 32121267
PMCID: PMC7084567
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is acknowledged as a major neuromodulator of nervous systems in both invertebrates and vertebrates. It has been proposed for several decades that it impacts animal cognition and behavior. In spite of a completely distinct organization of the 5-HT systems across the animal kingdom, several lines of evidence suggest that the influences of 5-HT on behavior and cognition are evolutionary conserved. In this review, we have selected some behaviors classically evoked when addressing the roles of 5-HT on nervous system functions. In particular, we focus on the motor activity, arousal, sleep and circadian rhythm, feeding, social interactions and aggressiveness, anxiety, mood, learning and memory, or impulsive/compulsive dimension and behavioral flexibility. The roles of 5-HT, illustrated in both invertebrates and vertebrates, show that it is more able to potentiate or mitigate the neuronal responses necessary for the fine-tuning of most behaviors, rather than to trigger or halt a specific behavior. 5-HT is, therefore, the prototypical neuromodulator fundamentally involved in the adaptation of all organisms across the animal kingdom.

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