Serotonin and aversive processing in affective and social decision-making

M. J. Crockett, R. Cools

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The effects of the neuromodulator serotonin on affect and behavior are so diverse and wide-ranging that characterizing its function has faced substantial challenges. Here we review recent work investigating how serotonin shapes affective and social decision-making in humans, focusing in particular on serotonin's influence on aversive processing. We consider the evidence that serotonin plays a key role in linking so-called Pavlovian aversive predictions with behavioral inhibition, a proposal derived from computational models of value-based decision-making. We evaluate the extent to which a core mechanism connecting serotonin with Pavlovian inhibition can explain diverse effects of serotonin on affective and social decision-making and highlight critical questions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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