Preclinical animal models have supported much of the recent rapid expansion of neuroscience research and have facilitated critical discoveries that undoubtedly benefit patients suffering from psychiatric disorders. This overview serves as an introduction for the following chapters describing both in vivo and in vitro preclinical models of psychiatric disease components and briefly describes models related to drug dependence and affective disorders. Although there are no perfect animal models of any psychiatric disorder, models do exist for many elements of each disease state or stage. In many cases, the development of certain models is essentially restricted to the human clinical laboratory domain for the purpose of maximizing validity, whereas the use of in vitro models may best represent an adjunctive, well-controlled means to model specific signaling mechanisms associated with psychiatric disease states. The data generated by preclinical models are only as valid as the model itself, and the development and refinement of animal models for human psychiatric disorders continues to be an important challenge. Collaborative relationships between basic neuroscience and clinical modeling could greatly benefit the development of new and better models, in addition to facilitating medications development.