Neural and Hormonal Mechanisms in Aggression

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  • Neural and Hormonal Mechanisms
    • Evaluation
      • Testosterone
        • Most of the studies are correlational which isn't  causation
          • Leads to inconsistent evidence and support
        • Beeman's study has ethical issues ( C, W, P )
      • Amygdala
        • The studies by Kulver and Bucy could be seen as ethically wrong (P, C, W)
        • The study by Mark and Ervin is ethically wrong (P)
      • Hippocampus
        • the study by Boccardi covers a socially sensitive issue which could have implication
        • This is also true for Raine's study because it could be used like screening
      • Serotonin
        • The dexfenfluramine study was only tested on males so can't be applied to females
        • Tryptophan can be used to calm patients and inmates (real-life app\0
        • Raleigh's study may be ethically wrong (P, C, W)
    • Neural
      • The Limbic system (LS)
        • The LS is responsible for emotions including aggression
        • It includes the: Amygdala (A), Hippocampus (H) and hypothalamus
        • Amygdala (A)
          • Kluver + Bucy found taming effect in monkeys by destroying the A
          • Narabayashi found 43/51 Ps with destroyed As were + aggressive
          • Mark and Ervin electrically stimulated the A of a P + she grimaced and became aggressive
          • Pardini found reduced A was -vely correlated with aggression
        • Hippocampus (H)
          • It compares  threats and past experiences
          • Impaired H function prevents the NS from putting things in context
          • Boccardi found that violent C's had abnormal H functioning
          • Raine found violent C's had asymmetrical H in each hemisphere which impaired H + A talking
      • Serotonin (S)
        • S is a neuro-transmitter which has a calming effect on the A
        • Low S levels means people are more impulsive + aggressive (S deficiency hypothesis)
        • Raleigh found reducing S in monkeys brains = more aggressive behaviour
        • Tryptophan was given to criminal juveniles which raise levels of S
        • Dexfenfluramine lowers S and results in + aggression and hostility.
    • Hormonal
      • Testosterone (T)
        • Beeman (47) castrated male mice + found aggressive behaviour reduced
        • He then injected with T to make them more aggressive
        • T is also clearly related to aggression in human males
        • Dabbs (90) measured T in saliva of male prisoners + found more in violent prisoners
        • Carre and Olmsted - T levels change with enviro and stimuli
        • Mazur says we should distinguish between aggression + dominance


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