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What Part Of The Brain Controls Aggression

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3 Brain Systems That Control Your Behavior: Reptilian, Limbic, Neo Cortex | Robert Sapolsky

Evaluate and apply the biological explanation of aggression.

  • A 12-mark evaluate question awards 4 marks for describing biological processes leading to aggression , 4 marks for applying biology to aggression and 4 marks for evaluation . You need a conclusion to get a mark in the top band .

DescriptionApplicationEvaluation

  • Notice that for a 12-mark answer you dont have to include everything about the biology of aggression. I havent mentioned the other parts of the limbic system, testosterone or the role of serotonin. But it is a balanced answer – one third description, one third application and one third evaluation.

Negative Emotions Cause Aggression

If you were to try to recall;the times that you have been aggressive, you would probably report;that many of them occurred when you were angry, in a bad mood, tired, in pain, sick, or frustrated. And you would be rightwe are much more likely to aggress when we are experiencing negative emotions. When we are feeling ill, when we get a poor grade on an exam, or when our car doesnt startin short, when we are angry and frustrated in generalwe are likely to have many unpleasant thoughts and feelings, and these are likely to lead to violent behavior. Aggression is caused in large part by the negative emotions that we experience as a result of the aversive events that occur to us and by our negative thoughts that accompany them .

Hotter temperatures are associated with higher levels of aggression and violence .;Hotter regions generally have higher violent crime rates than cooler regions, and violent crime is greater on hot days than it is on cooler days, and during hotter years than during cooler years .;Even the number of baseball batters hit by pitches is higher when the temperature at the game is higher .;Researchers who study the relationship between heat and aggression have proposed that global warming is likely to produce even more violence .

Brain Region Responsible For Violence Identified

Aggression is all in the mind specifically, the hypothalamus say researchers, who have discovered that the bad intentions typically preceding violence come from this area of the brain. They say their work points to a way of controlling aggressive behaviors without needing sedation.

There are, of course, ethical implications that need to be considered, but their study published in Nature Neuroscience is the first to link warning signs of premeditated violence, such as stalking, bullying and sexual aggression, to a specific part of the brain.

The hypothalamus, which was implicated in the study, is the area of the mammalian brain that controls body temperature, hunger and sleep.

Led by Dayu Lin, PhD, from the Neuroscience Institute at the New York University Langone Medical Center, the study was conducted in mice, which share many brain structures with humans.

Lin and colleagues recently published another study that found sudden, violent behavior in male mice was associated with changes in a brain structure called the lateral septum.

For this latest study, the researchers trained male mice to attack weaker ones. The team then observed how aggressively the male mice tried to get access to and harass other mice.

The researchers measured the number of attempts the aggressive mice made to poke their noses through holes leading to another mouse entering their territory so they could then attack them.

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Violent Aggression And The Lateral Hypothalamus

Where the lateral hypothalamus was investigated, glucocorticoid deficit-associated violent aggression was also associated with a marked activation of this hypothalamic region . In these models, the mediobasal hypothalamus was also activated, with the exception of the predatory aggression model. A detailed analysis of activation patterns observed in aggression models associated with glucocorticoid deficit and those associated with normal or enhanced glucocorticoid responses revealed three different brain activation patterns . The overall conclusion of these studies was that: regularly performed resident-intruder test activate the medial amygdala-mediobasal hypothalamus-dorsal periaqueductal gray pathway. In abnormal aggression models associated with increased glucocorticoid stress responses, the same pathway was activated, but the medial amygdala and mediobasal hypothalamus together with certain areas of the prefrontal cortex and the basolateral amygdala showed increased activations. Abnormal aggression models associated with glucocorticoid stress responses activate the same pathway but in addition they also activate the central amygdala-lateral hypothalamus-ventral periaqueductal gray pathway. Finally predatory aggression activates exclusively the central amygdala-lateral hypothalamus-ventral periaqueductal gray pathway .

Development Of Hostile Cognitive Structures In Early Childhood

3.2 Our Brains Control Our Thoughts, Feelings, and ...

Aversive early childhood experiences and environments, which include physical or psychological abuse, inconsistent or severe discipline, parental neglect, social rejection, exposure to aggressive peers or violence, among many others, have all been identified in the literature as constituting important risk factors of disruptive and aggressive behavioral problems later in life . Here, we will present some of the evidence-based theories that explain how early life social adversity affects the development of a childs mental processes and is believed to increase the likelihood of future aggressive behavior.

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Hormones Influence Aggression: Testosterone And Serotonin

Hormones are also important in creating aggression. Most important in this regard is the male sex hormone testosterone, which is associated with increased aggression in both animals and in humans. Research conducted on a variety of animals has found a strong correlation between levels of testosterone and aggression. This relationship seems to be weaker among humans than among animals, yet it is still significant .

Although testosterone levels are much higher in men than in women, the relationship between testosterone and aggression is not limited to males. Studies have also shown a positive relationship between testosterone and aggression and related behaviors in women .;Although women have lower levels of testosterone overall, they are more influenced by smaller changes in these levels than are men.

Testosterone is not the only biological factor linked to human aggression. Recent research has found that serotonin is also important, as serotonin tends to inhibit aggression. Low levels of serotonin have been found to predict future aggression .;Violent criminals have lower levels of serotonin than do nonviolent criminals, and criminals convicted of impulsive violent crimes have lower serotonin levels than criminals convicted of premeditated crimes .

Is Aggression Evolutionarily Adaptive

A belief in the innate aggressive tendencies of human beingsthat the ability to be aggressive toward others, at least under some circumstances, is part of our fundamental human makeupis consistent with the principles of evolutionary psychology. After all, the goal of maintaining and enhancing the self will in some cases require that we prevent others from harming us and those we care about. We may aggress against others because it allows us to gain access to valuable resources such as food and desirable mates or to protect ourselves from direct attack by others. And we may aggress when we feel that our social status is threatened. Therefore, if aggression helps with;either our individual survival or in the survival of our genes, then the process of natural selection may well cause humans, as it would any other animal, to be aggressive. Human beings need to be able to aggress in certain situations, and nature has provided us with these skills .;Under the right situation, almost all of us will aggress.

Caspi and his colleagues ;found evidence for a person-by-situation interaction regarding the role of genetics and parental treatment in aggression. Antisocial behavior and aggression were greater for children who had been severely maltreated, but this effect was even stronger for children with a gene variation that reduced the production of serotonin.

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Get To Know The Parts Of Your Brain

That three-pound, fatty, squishy, and oddly-shaped blob in your head is truly amazing. Its what makes you, you. Its responsible for your personality and how we sense the world. It lets you relive memories over and over again. It gives you the capacity for language, art, and moral judgments. Your movements, day in and day out are your brains responsibility. That quick scratch of the nose to relieve a pesky itch, or standing up from your couch to stretchyou can thank your brain for that.

But understanding this organ isnt so easy. There are many complex areas that are responsible for an array of functions you take for granted every day. Lets take a look at the primary components and their primary responsibilities of the human brain.

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What Part Of The Brain Is Responsible For Sadness

How The Brain Works With Anger

Sadness is experienced in the amygdala and left prefrontal cortex.

But whats interesting to note is that the amygdala shows more inactivity in those suffering from clinical depression. A little sadness is normal. But prolonged sadness can actually inhibit the brains ability to process emotion.

In fact, this is what leads to feelings of apathy; a common psychological symptom of depression.

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The Role Of The Executive System

The role of the executive system is to handle novel situations outside of the domain of some of our more automatic psychological processes. Norman and Shallice outlined five types of situations in which routine activation of behavior would not be sufficient for optimal performance, and where executive functions must kick in.

  • Situations that involve planning or decision making
  • Situations that involve error correction or trouble shooting
  • Situations where responses are not well-rehearsed or contain novel sequences of actions
  • Dangerous or technically difficult situations
  • Situations that require overcoming strong habitual response or resisting temptation
  • The executive functions are often evoked when it is necessary to override responses that might otherwise be automatically elicited by stimuli in the external environment. For example, when being presented with a potentially rewarding stimulus, such as a piece of pie, a person might have the automatic response to take a bite. However, where such a response conflicts with internal plans , the executive functions might engage and inhibit the response.

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    Adaptation Of Ict Applied To Impulsive Aggression

    Applied to impulsive aggression, the first step in implementing intentions would be to make an assessment of the person who is impulsively aggressive, and determine whether there are steps in the cognitive processing of social information which may be contributing to their aggressive behaviors. Subsequently, one can imagine that it is possible to plan if-then-type strategies for the step that is in question. Given that erroneous cognitive processing related to impulsive aggression mostly concerns the first steps in SIP , the following discussion will be applied to the encoding, interpreting, and goal selecting processes.

    Finally, in terms of goal selection and the emotions that accompany it, one can imagine that ideally, the plan is that the person does not act aggressively before the negative emotion has lessened. With the help of implementation intentions, a person might want to develop a plan to stop an impulsive behavior while experiencing a strong negative emotion. More specifically, during the training with the Hostile Expectancy Violation Paradigm , the implementation intentions would aim to execute alternative behaviors to anger outbursts, such as When I read the social provocation and I imagine that I feel anger toward the character, I will stop my reaction, breathe deeply and assess my level of anger. I will continue breathing or leave the place if my anger is still high. Again, such training could be generalized to real-life situations .

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    Understanding Aggressive Behavior After Brain Injury

    While aggressive behavior can be frightening to witness, its important to recognize that these problems are caused by the brain injury. Loved ones should try their best not to take any outbursts personally.

    However, even though your anger is not your fault, thatdoesnt mean you can never manage your emotions anymore.

    It will take hard work, but with the right approach, your anger will become easier to manage.

    Aggressive Behavior After Brain Injury: Understanding The Causes And Solutions To Anger

    3.2: Our Brains Control Our Thoughts, Feelings, and ...

      Aggressive behavior after brain injury presents a unique challenge to recovery.

      It can be a major struggle for both TBI patients and their loved ones and often causes a strain on relationships.

      Understanding the causes and triggers of aggressive behavior can go a long way towards finding effective treatment and prevention.

      Today you will learn what might be behind your loved ones actions and what you can do to help them cope.

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      Help With Managing Aggression

      If you’re experiencing feelings of aggression, you can learn to manage your anger and cope in a more constructive way. Developing an anger management plan ahead of time can give you a roadmap to use when your emotions feel out of control. That plan should include ways to reduce your stress levels, like:

      • Being mindful of your anger warning signs, like clenching your jaw, a fast pulse, or sweating
      • Reframing negative thoughts
      • Learning to explore and accept the emotions underlying the aggression

      If someone in your life is behaving aggressively toward you, it’s important to protect your own mental health and physical safety. Try to stay calm and avoid escalating the conflict, and walk away if it’s safe to do so. If you’re facing aggression at the hands of an intimate partner, look out for warning signs that the relationship is becoming dangerous, and reach out for help and support.

      If you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence, contact the;National Domestic Violence Hotline;at;1-800-799-7233;for confidential assistance from trained advocates.

      For more mental health resources, see our;National Helpline Database.

      Hippocampus And Classical Conditioning

      In eyeblink conditioning, neuronal unit cluster recordings in hippocampal fields CA1 and CA3 increase in discharge frequency in paired training trials very rapidly, shift forward in time as learning develops, and form a predictive temporal model of the learned behavioral response, both within trials and over the trials of training . To summarize a large body of research, the growth of the hippocampal unit response is, under normal conditions, an invariable and strongly predictive concomitant of subsequent behavioral learning . This increase in neuronal activity in the hippocampus becomes significant by the second or third trial of training, long before behavioral signs of learning develop, as would be expected of a declarative memory system. This initial hippocampal unit increase is in the US period; increases in the CS period appear at about the time point in training when behavioral conditioned responses appear.

      There are strikingly parallel and persisting increases in glutamate -amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor binding on hippocampal membranes in the hippocampal subfields in both eyeblink conditioning and in in vivo expression of LTP by stimulation of the perforant path projection to hippocampal dentate gyrus. The pattern of increased binding is similar in both paradigms . GlutamateN-methyl-d-aspartate receptors play the critical role in induction of LTP and also appear to be involved in acquisition of the trace eyeblink CR .

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      The Neural Substrates Of Impulsive Aggression

      In most social contexts, even those involving a conflict or altercation, an impulsively aggressive act can result in unnecessary harm, serious injury, and even death . Having the ability to implement and execute context-appropriate regulation strategies will play an important role in shaping how a person will react to stressors or unpredictable situations later in life. As previously mentioned, human neuro-behavioral functioning is not solely influenced by early-life situational factors. Individual differences in genetic disposition, cognitive ability and flexibility, emotion regulation, and behavioral inhibition, as well as many other internal and external factors, will all have major implications for a persons capacity to have healthy and adaptive interactions within the social realm.

      The Cerebral Cortex Creates Consciousness And Thinking

      The Brain Science of Anger and How to Control Anger

      All animals have adapted to their environments by developing abilities that help them survive. Some animals have hard shells, others run extremely fast, and some have acute hearing. Human beings do not have any of these particular characteristics, but we do have one big advantage over other animals we are very, very smart.

      You might think that we should be able to determine the intelligence of an animal by looking at the ratio of the animals brain weight to the weight of its entire body. But this does not really work. The elephants brain is one-thousandth of its weight, but the whales brain is only one ten-thousandth of its body weight. On the other hand, although the human brain is one-sixtieth of its body weight, the mouses brain represents one-fortieth of its body weight. Despite these comparisons, elephants do not seem 10 times smarter than whales, and humans definitely seem smarter than mice.

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      How The Reptilian Brain Controls Your Ego

      One of the most fundamental roles of the reptilian complex is territoriality to establish and defend ones own surroundings. You can see it in all species lizards, chimpanzees and even humans.

      In the savannah neighboring tribes;would fight each other to death over hunting grounds and gathering locations. Today, the same duality reflects in modern warfare, sports, business, politics and competing between each other.

      Competition is a great motivator and positive reinforcement but its based on very primal defense mechanisms in our brain. If you really look at it from an objective point of view then political debates, championships and arguing with someone else is the same as 2 monkeys throwing shit at each other.

      Wanting to exceed;others or to be better is your reptile brain telling you that, in order to survive, you have to get rid of all competition.

      This entire notion of us vs them is the reason for a lot of suffering in the world.

      All racism, eugenics and inequalities, religions, cultures are reptilian based behaviors.

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