Monoaminergic Regulation of Cognitive Control in Laboratory Animals

  • J. David Jentsch
  • Stephanie M. Groman
  • Alex S. James
  • Emanuele Seu


The ability to engage in adaptive, optimized behavior depends upon coordinated activity of neural systems that mediate the ability to maintain representations of previous events and future plans (working memory), to maintain focus on relevant predictors of goals (attention), and to update central rule representations and behavior when conditions change. With defects in these individual component psychological processes, inflexible, “impulsive” behavior arises. In this chapter, we review the role for the monoamine neurotransmitters (dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin) in the mechanisms that underlie control over cognitive and behavioral processes. Available data gathered in laboratory animals indicate that each of these transmitters contributes in distinct, nonoverlapping ways to the elemental processes that compose the cognitive control network, underscoring the potential for highly behaviorally selective pharmacotherapeutics that target behavioral problems related to poor cognition and impulse control.


Cognitive Control Cognitive Flexibility Reversal Learning Delay Discount Behavioral Flexibility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Consortium for Neuropsychiatric Phenomics (NIH Roadmap for Medical Research grants UL1-DE019580, RL1DA024853, RL1MH083270 and PL1NS062410), by the Translational Center to Enhance Cognitive Control at UCLA (P50-MH077248) and by the UCLA Adolescent Smoking Cessation Center (Philip Morris USA).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. David Jentsch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephanie M. Groman
  • Alex S. James
  • Emanuele Seu
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Psychiatry and Bio-behavioral Sciences, The Brain Research InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Interdepartmental Neuroscience ProgramUCLALos AngelesUSA

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