A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical that relays messages between brain cells and affects emotions, behavior, thoughts and regulates moods. Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are just a few of the neurotransmitters present in the body.
Serotonin exerts its function by binding to receptors, then initiates a series of biochemical reactions, finally leading to its physiological functions or behaviors. Serotonin receptors are proteins located on the surface of cells. The serotonin receptor works specifically for serotonin.
There are many different types of serotonin receptors, which have different functions, and there are many different drugs, which can increase or decrease the receptor’s function.
This video is from an interactive DVD-ROM titled, "A Tale of Two MAO Genes: Exploring the Biology and Culture of Aggression and Anxiety" (2010), co-written and co-produced by Dr. Jean Chen Shih and Dr. Marsha Kinder at the University of Southern California, directed by Kristy H.A. Kang, with animation by Aaron Biscombe and Debra Isaac, interface design and programming by Rosemary Comella, and voice-overs by Kate Revill. It is a co-production of The Labyrinth Project at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and the Shih Brain Research Laboratory at USC’s School of Pharmacy.