This is Chapter 8 in Volume 31 of the Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience.
Serotonin's involvement in many physiological processes including anxiety, stress, aggression, and mood has been known for decades; however, a more in-depth characterization of serotonin function in the brain is still missing. Insufficient progress in our understanding of serotonin function is in part due to the lack of effective tools to selectively measure this neurotransmitter on a relevant time scale in vivo. An analytical technique for serotonin measurements, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry was recently pioneered in anesthetized rodents and is beginning to shed light on the complexity of serotonergic activity on a subsecond time scale. Complementary, due to even more recent technological developments, ambient serotonin levels can now also be assessed with high temporal resolution using a method called fast-scan controlled-adsorption voltammetry. Here, we discuss the traditional experimental challenges of measuring serotonin, how voltammetry overcomes some of these difficulties, and future plans to better understand the function of serotonin in behavior. To read more, click here.