May 1, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 9)
Strong Points: Engaging “matching game” format, many receptors included
Weak Points: Not much depth to the information
Do you know your AMPA receptors from your serotonin receptors? The NeuroReceptors app offers a basic review of some of the neurotransmitter receptors in the brain in an engaging (albeit difficult) matching-game format. The user interface displays five “cards” that correspond to features of a receptor: agonist, antagonist, receptor type (ligand-gated ion channel vs. metabotropic receptor), mediators (G protein or ions), and effect. Once the user selects a receptor for the exercise, a random assortment of cards (corresponding to various receptors included in the app) is displayed. It is then up to the user to tap through each card deck to find the cards that correspond to the selected receptor. A glossary that includes the answers is also provided. Many receptors are included, though the answers (and explanations) are quite simplistic. Overall, the app provides an engaging format to review some of the basics of neurochemistry.