Neural and/or hormonal Mechanisms in Aggression

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1. What did Lavine find?

  • In clinical studies of antidepressants (increases serotonin levels) impulsive aggression and irritability were reduced
  • Amphetamines are drugs that increase dopamine increased aggressive behaviour
  • Anti-psychotic drugs (reduces dopamine) increased aggressive behaviour
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2. What did Scarbo and Raine find?

  • Low levels of serotonin are linked to aggression
  • Drugs that decrease serotonin levels increase measures of hostility
  • anti-psychotic drugs (reduces dopamine) increased aggressive behaviour

3. What do amphetamines also do as well as increase aggressive behaviour?

  • It increases noradrenaline which acts on the CNS and triggers the fight or flight response, so this may increase aggression.
  • Reduces dopamine

4. What did Virkkunen find?

  • In clinical studies of antidepressants (increases serotonin levels) impulsive aggression and irritability were reduced
  • Low levels of cortisol in habitual violent offenders
  • Castration(reducing testosterone levels) of schizophrenics (High dopamine levels) had no effect on aggressive tendencies

5. Alternative theory

  • Griffiths' biopsychosocial theory
  • Diathesis-Stress

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