Toward a multiscale modeling framework for understanding serotonergic function

Kongfatt Wong-Lin, Da Hui Wang, Ahmed A. Moustafa, Jeremiah Y Cohen, Kae Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Despite its importance in regulating emotion and mental wellbeing, the complex structure and function of the serotonergic system present formidable challenges toward understanding its mechanisms. In this paper, we review studies investigating the interactions between serotonergic and related brain systems and their behavior at multiple scales, with a focus on biologically-based computational modeling. We first discuss serotonergic intracellular signaling and neuronal excitability, followed by neuronal circuit and systems levels. At each level of organization, we will discuss the experimental work accompanied by related computational modeling work. We then suggest that a multiscale modeling approach that integrates the various levels of neurobiological organization could potentially transform the way we understand the complex functions associated with serotonin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1121-1136
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017



  • midbrain raphe nucleus
  • multiscale computational model
  • neural circuit
  • Serotonin 5-HT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this