Neural Mechanisms in Aggression

How the naural and hormonal mechanisms affect aggression :)

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  • Created by: ErinMay
  • Created on: 27-02-14 13:48
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  • Neural Mechanisms in Aggression
    • Neuro- transmitters
      • Serotonin
        • Serotonin said to inhibit emotionally provoked aggression
          • Raleigh et al found that monkeys fed on diet that caused high levels of serotonin showed decreased levels of aggression
        • Low levels of serotonin linked with impulsive behaviour, aggression, and also violent suicide
          • Male participant given a drug known to deplete Serotonin, then given a self report questionnaire and their aggression and hostility measured, found to be more aggressive
      • Dopamine
        • Less of a strong link with dopamine and aggression.
          • Found that increasing dopamine levels by amphetamines has been found to increase aggression.
          • Antipsychotics that reduce dopamine also reduce aggression
          • Thought that a reward pathway forms from aggression, achievement gained from aggression and dopamine acts as the reward.
    • Hormonal Mechanisms
      • Testosterone
        • Testosterone thought to affect aggression levels in young males onwards
          • Salivary studies in violent and non violent criminals, much higher levels of testosterone in the violent-crime criminals, and much lower levels in the non-violent criminals.
          • Thought that male testosterone levels can rise so sharply because humans are monogamous and the testosterone rises sharply in such animals when he is challenged for his female.
          • Albert et al said there was inconsistent evidence, as a lot of stuides have also found no correlation between aggressiveness and testosterone, and the experiments often use small male samples from prison that use self report methods
          • Mazur said aggression is just a dominance behaviour, as we are often aggressive without the intent to harm.
      • Cortisol
        • Cortisol has mediating effects on aggression hormones like testosterone as it increases anxiety and likelihood of social withdrawal.
          • Dabbs et al found high levels of cortisol inhibit testosterone and therefore inhibit aggression
          • Found low levels of cortisol in habitual violent criminals.
          • Study of four year old boys found that those with low levels of cortisol were antisocial at a younger age and exhibited 3 times more aggressive symptoms and those with higher or fluctuating cortisol levels
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