Neurotransmitters and Receptor Theory

Neurotransmitters and Receptor Theory

ORDER NOW FOR THE ORIGINAL PAPER: Neurotransmitter and Receptor Theory

Neurotransmitters and Receptor Theory 

Receptors and neurotransmitters are like a lock-and-key system. Just as it takes the right key to open a specific lock, it takes the right neurotransmitter to bind to a specific receptor. Not surprisingly, as it concerns psychopharmacology, the pharmacotherapeutics that are prescribed must trigger the release of certain neurotransmitters that bind to the correct receptors in order to elicit a favorable response for the patient. The mechanism of this binding and the response that follows reflects receptor theory and lies at the foundation of pharmacology.

This week, you will continue your examination of neuroanatomy and neuroscience as you engage with you colleagues in a Discussion. You will also explore the potential impacts of foundational neuroscience on the prescription of pharmacotherapeutics.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the agonist-to-antagonist spectrum of action of psychopharmacologic agents
  • Compare the actions of g couple proteins to ion gated channels
  • Analyze the role of epigenetics in pharmacologic action
  • Analyze the impact of foundational neuroscience on the prescription of medications

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)


Camprodon, J. A., & Roffman, J. L. (2016). Psychiatric neuroscience: Incorporating pathophysiology into clinical case formulation. In T. A. Stern, M. Favo, T. E. Wilens, & J. F. Rosenbaum. (Eds.), Massachusetts General Hospital psychopharmacology and neurotherapeutics (pp. 1–19). Elsevier.

Required Media (click to expand/reduce)


The University of British Columbia. (n. d.). Neuroanatomy videos.

Note: Please review all of the media under the neuroanatomy series.


Optional Resources (click to expand/reduce)


Pathopharmacology: Disorders of the Nervous System: Exploring the Human Brain

Dr. Norbert Myslinski reviews the structure and function of the human brain. Using human brains, he examines and illustrates the development of the brain and areas impacted by disorders associated with the brain. (15m)

Introduction to Advanced Pharmacology

In this media presentation, Dr. Terry Buttaro, associate professor of practice at Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences, discusses the importance of pharmacology for the advanced practice nurse. (6m)