Biological Aggression

Mind map showing the biological explanations of aggression

  • Created by: becca1103
  • Created on: 15-05-14 15:43
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  • Biological Aggression
    • Neural Mechanisms
      • Prefrontal Cortex
        • Small size or reduced functioning may cause aggression
        • Studies of brain scans of criminals show correlation between smaller prefrontal cortexes and aggression (but not in all)
        • PHINEAS GAGE
      • Amygdala
        • Over activity may cause aggression
        • Study stimulated amygdala in a woman, became aggressive
        • Patients with destroyed amygdalas had reduced aggression (although not all of them, may be other factors)
      • These are very complex mechanisms, we may be wrong or over-simplifying things
      • DETERMINISTIC: May be distressing for victims
    • Hormones
      • Testosterone
        • Moderates neurotransmitters that control aggression
        • Two critical periods (birth and puberty)
        • REDUCTIONIST: Other factors like environmental stimuli have been found to be strongly correlated with aggression
        • Castration research, those castrated less aggressive (however it may have disrupted other hormones)
      • Low levels of cortisol also linked to high aggression
    • Genetics
      • Aggression is inherited from parents because genes control bodily mechanisms that can influence hormones and such
        • Reductionist
        • Treats psych as a science
      • Brunner et al Dutch family with common faulty MAOA gene in the men, and all are aggressive
        • Without a properly functioning MAOA gene the excess serotonin in the brain isn't broken down, causing increased aggression


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