What is it about?

Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that is related to psychiatric disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. We have shown for the first time that serotonin is released when a fearful stimulus is turned "off" in zebrafish, and this release leads to less fear-like behavior and more cautious exploration.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show for the first time that serotonin has a role in "adaptive" anxiety - that is, in cautious behavior after entering in contact with a danger -, and that this neurotransmitter acts by inhibiting incompatible, fear-like behaviors. Thus, the role of serotonin in fear and anxiety is much more flexible and complex than previously appreciated.


This was the first article by our group to completely follow open science principles, with pre-registration of hypothesis and methods, first publication as preprint, and open sharing of data and analysis scripts.

Dr. Caio Maximino
Universidade Federal do Sul e Sudeste do Para

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Phasic and tonic serotonin modulate alarm reactions and post‐exposure behavior in zebrafish, Journal of Neurochemistry, March 2020, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/jnc.14978.
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