What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is about creating a subjective sense of resource availability.  In lower organisms, this could mean food.  In higher organisms, especially social organisms, this translates into availabilities for mating opportunities, socioeconomic position/dominance, and mood.  It also plays a role in appetite and sleep.   It is derived from tryptophan.  In addition to its role in your central nervous system serotonin is also active in your gut canal and in your platelets.  In fact, 95% of your serotonin is found in your bowels. This explains, in part, the bowel irritation associated with nervousness and stress.

 

If you’d like a deeper read into why we chose to focus on the resource allocation/monitoring role of serotonin check out Serotonin Transporter Gene Associations with Psychopathic Traits in Youth Vary as a Function of Socioeconomic Resources

As a further exploration of the role of serotonin in sleep you can take a look at: Serotonin control of sleep-wake behavior