Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman


  • Marc D. GellmanEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_281-2


Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter that is particularly important in central nervous system modulation.


Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan. It is a major neurotransmitter, considered an indolamine monoamine, that is particularly important in central nervous system modulation, especially in the brain. Serotonin is also found in peripheral sites and regarded as a neuromodulator. In the periphery, serotonin is found in enteric neurons, part of the autonomic nervous system that governs the functions of the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin is also found in blood platelets and cells of the gut.

In the brain serotonin plays an important neuromodulatory role involved in the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep and in the cognitive functions of learning and memory.

Serotonin plays an important role in mental processes and has been implicated in many psychiatric disorders. Modulation of...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Pilowsky, P. (Ed.). (2019). Serotonin: The mediator that spans evolution. London: Academic.  https://doi.org/10.1016/C2013-0-14440-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • J. Rick Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Communications, QuintilesDurhamUSA