Beyond the wiring signalling through complex neuromodulator networks

Vladimir Brezina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


During the computations performed by the nervous system, its 'wiring diagram'-the map of its neurons and synaptic connections-is dynamically modified and supplemented by multiple actions of neuromodulators that can be so complex that they can be thought of as constituting a biochemical network that combines with the neuronal network to perform the computation. Thus, the neuronal wiring diagram alone is not sufficient to specify, and permit us to understand, the computation that underlies behaviour. Here I review how such modulatory networks operate, the problems that their existence poses for the experimental study and conceptual understanding of the computations performed by the nervous system, and how these problems may perhaps be solved and the computations understood by considering the structural and functional 'logic' of the modulatory networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2363-2374
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1551
StatePublished - 12 Aug 2010


  • Biological system architecture
  • Computational modelling
  • Neural computation
  • Neuromodulator
  • Neuropeptide
  • Neurotransmitter


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