Explanation of Aggression- Brain Functioning

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What was the case study findings for Phineas Gage?
Mining accident caused damage to the frontal lobe, increased aggression and changed personality
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If the prefrontal cortex is not working properly, what effect has this shown to have on aggressive type behaviour?
Volkow found violent psychiatric patients has low cerebral blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, lower activity in PC leads to impulsive behaviour and loss of control, making the person increasingly violent
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Name the function of the hypothalamus and how it relates to aggression
Maintains homeostasis through regulation of hormones, this relates to aggression with men and testosterone production
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Name the function of the amygdala and how it relates to aggression
Integrates internal and external stimuli and causes us to react to the environment (control of emotions), some people may have amygdala's that react aggressively
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Name the function of the midbrain and how it relates to aggression
Integrating behavioural responses to stressers like pain or threat, stimulation in grey matter in the midbrain in rats found that rats became more defensively aggressive
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What are the results to the Charles Whitman case study?
He was an ex army soldier, killed 13 people and his wife and mother, told scientists to look at his brain because he experienced terrible thoughts and very aggressive short tempered behaviour, they discovered he had a tumor pressing on his amygdala
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In animal studies, what have they found out about specific aggressive behaviors and parts of the brain?
Offensive behaviour (caused by medial hypothalamus), defensive behaviour (caused by dorsal hypothalamus) and predatory behaviour (caused by the lateral hypothalamus)
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What is the Bateson's Cube?
A technique to consider the practicality, credibility and how ethical an animal study is, it weighs up the costs and benefits to see if the study is worth it
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\\\when are animal studies considered ethical?
When there is low suffering on the animal, there is a high benefit for humans, the research is of high quality
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Supporting Evidence
Phineas Gage, Raine et al, both suggest there is a link between brain functioning and aggression
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Conflicting Evidence
Animal studies, hard to generalise, there could be differences between species
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Other Explanations
Freud
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Usefulness
Can be used for criminals to explain their behaviour and possibly help them, like Charles Whitman had a tumor, if removed, aggression could be lowered
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Testability
Hard to test, unethical to cause damage to humans, have to rely on case studies
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Card 2

Front

If the prefrontal cortex is not working properly, what effect has this shown to have on aggressive type behaviour?

Back

Volkow found violent psychiatric patients has low cerebral blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, lower activity in PC leads to impulsive behaviour and loss of control, making the person increasingly violent

Card 3

Front

Name the function of the hypothalamus and how it relates to aggression

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Name the function of the amygdala and how it relates to aggression

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Name the function of the midbrain and how it relates to aggression

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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