Selective potentiators of glutamate response at metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) have exciting potential for the development of novel treatment strategies for schizophrenia. A total of 1,382 compounds with positive allosteric modulation (PAM) of the mGluR5 glutamate response were identified through high-throughput screening (HTS) of a diverse library of 144,475 substances utilizing a functional assay measuring receptor-induced intracellular release of calcium. Primary hits were tested for concentration-dependent activity, and potency data (EC(50) values) were used for training artificial neural network (ANN) quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models that predict biological potency from the chemical structure. While all models were trained to predict EC(50), the quality of the models was assessed by using both continuous measures and binary classification. Numerical descriptors of chemical structure were used as input for the machine learning procedure and optimized in an iterative protocol. The ANN models achieved theoretical enrichment ratios of up to 38 for an independent data set not used in training the model. A database of approximately 450,000 commercially available drug-like compounds was targeted in a virtual screen. A set of 824 compounds was obtained for testing based on the highest predicted potency values. Biological testing found 28.2% (232/824) of these compounds with various activities at mGluR5 including 177 pure potentiators and 55 partial agonists. These results represent an enrichment factor of 23 for pure potentiation of the mGluR5 glutamate response and 30 for overall mGluR5 modulation activity when compared with those of the original mGluR5 experimental screening data (0.94% hit rate). The active compounds identified contained 72% close derivatives of previously identified PAMs as well as 28% nontrivial derivatives of known active compounds.