A variety of stable, small-molecule peptidomimetic ligands have been developed to elucidate the mechanism by which the neuropeptide Pro-Leu-Gly-NH2 (PLG) modulates dopaminergic neurotransmission. Photoaffinity labeling ligands based upon PLG peptidomimetics have been used to establish that PLG binds to the D2 dopamine receptor at a site that is different from the orthosteric site, thus making PLG and its peptidomimetics allosteric modulators of the dopamine receptor. Through the design, synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of conformationally constrained peptidomimetics containing lactam, bicyclic, and spiro-bicyclic scaffolds, support was provided for the hypothesis that the bioactive conformation of PLG is a type II β-turn. In addition, studies with peptidomimetics designed to mimic either a type VI β-turn or polyproline II helix conformation yielded molecules that were able to modulate dopamine receptors because of their ability to place the carboxamide NH2 pharmacophore in the same topological space as that seen in the type II β-turn. Extensive studies with the spiro-bicyclic PLG peptidomimetics also established that both positive and negative modes of modulation were possible for the same series of peptidomimetics simply as a result of minor differences in the stereochemistry about the bridgehead carbon within the scaffold. This information was used to transform existing positive modulators into negative modulators, which demonstrated that small structural changes in the spiro-bicyclic dopamine receptor modulators are capable of causing major changes in the modulatory activity of PLG peptidomimetics.