Synaptic Interactions

Most neurons receive synaptic input simultaneously from hundreds of other neurons, each of which employs its own mix of transmitters. The transductive processes underlying these individual events can influence the intensity and duration of the subsequent responses, thereby integrating incoming signals and providing the basis by which activity in assemblies of interconnected neurons results in behavioral output by the brain.

To gain insight into the basis by which the events of neurotransmission can lead to multineuronal programs of interaction, such as those required to initiate responding for an addictive drug, requires knowledge both of the anatomical substrate over which such programs of neuronal activity take place and of the effects of the neuro-transmitters at each of the cellular elements of such an interactive ensemble of neurons.

(SEE ALSO: Addiction: Concepts and Definitions; Brain Structures and Drugs; Limbic System; Tolerance and Physical Dependence)


BARONDES, S. H. (1993). Molecules and mental illness.

New York: Scientific American Library. BLOOM, F. E. (1990). Neurohumoral transmission in the central nervous system. In A. G. Gilman et al. (Eds.), Goodman and Gilman's the pharmacological basis of therapeutics, 8th ed. New York: Pergamon. Cooper, J. R., Bloom, F. E., & Roth, R. H. (1991). The biochemical basis of neuropharmacology, 6th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

KORNEMAN, S. G., & BARCHAS, J. D. (Eds.). (1993). Biological basis of substance abuse. New York: Oxford University Press. Watson, R. R. (Ed.). (1992). Drugs of abuse and neurobiology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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