Intrinsic neuromodulation: altering neuronal circuits from within

Trends Neurosci. 1996 Feb;19(2):54-61. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(96)89621-4.


There are two sources of neuromodulation for neuronal circuits: extrinsic inputs and intrinsic components of the circuits themselves. Extrinsic neuromodulation is known to be pervasive in nervous systems, but intrinsic neuromodulation is less recognized, despite the fact that it has now been demonstrated in sensory and neuromuscular circuits and in central pattern generators. By its nature, intrinsic neuromodulation produces local changes in neuronal computation, whereas extrinsic neuromodulation can cause global changes, often affecting many circuits simultaneously. Studies in a number of systems are defining the different properties of these two forms of neuromodulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Instinct*
  • Nervous System Physiological Phenomena*
  • Neurons / physiology*