Research into the role of neurotransmitters and neural networks in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia has been remarkably successful in recent years. The hypothesis postulating a dopamine dysfunction, which has for a long time been supported only by indirect evidence, has received direct support by means of sophisticated imaging techniques. Interactions between dopamine and several other neurotransmitters in complex neural networks have been revealed, largely thanks to the advent of an array of new pharmacological probes. Two major pharmacological models of schizophrenia, based on hyperdopaminergia and hypoglutamatergia, respectively, are ready for clinical testing. In addition, the hypothesis of network stabilization as a major therapeutic strategy in psychiatry and neurology has now reached the 'proof-of-concept' level. From a therapeutic perspective, several ongoing and forthcoming clinical trials, using drugs acting on dopaminergic, serotonergic and glutamatergic receptors, give rise to optimism.