Structures of the brain - Aggression Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Structures of the brain - Aggression Deck (14):
1

How can brain damage cause aggression?

- Abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex = less control of impulses as the lymbic system could be able to make decisions with out the PC being able to inhibit it
- Abnormalities/increased size of amygdala = increase of angry emotions

2

How does serotonin increase aggression?

Low levels = less able to inhibit aggressive impulses

3

Why is serotonin hard to measure?

Can be tested through cerebral spinal fluid or through levels of receptors in the brain. Can only look for receptors after death. (ISSUE = hard to tell if aggressive people lack it)
- If there are more receptors than usual, the brain has chronic low levels of serotonin

4

How does dopamine increase aggression?

- High levels of dopamine are associated with high levels of aggression. Provides reward after aggressive behaviours
- Amphetamine abuse increase dopamine and is also associated with aggressive behaviour

5

What did Rainea do?

Studied murderers pleading not guilty by reason of insanity claiming brain dysfunction.

6

What did Rainea find?

- Murderers were characterised by reduced glucose metabolism (brain isn't working as much) in the prefrontal cortex.
- Abnormal activity in the amygdala = suggesting they would be more aggressive

7

What did Mann et al find?

Drug dexfenfluramine depletes serotonin levels in the brain = aggression increased among males but not females

8

What did Couppis et al find?

Dopamine causes individuals to seek out aggression because of the rewarding sensations

9

What is the real world applications issue?

Should violent offenders be punished if they have damage to the prefrontal cortex = is it their fault they're aggressive?

10

What is the nature/nurture issue?

Nature explanation could be that individuals are born with a brain malfunction in the prefrontal cortex or amygdala

11

What did Ferrari et al do?

Tested the influence of serotonin and dopamine on rats aggression:
- allowed the rat to fight everyday for 10 days
- on 11th day the rat was not allowed to fight

12

What did Ferrari et al find?

On the 11th day in anticipation of a fight dopamine levels were high and serotonin levels were low

13

What does Ferrari et al's study show?

Experience had changed brain chemistry = created aggression

14

How does PAS relate to Ferrari's study?

May not be able to generalise to humans who are more complex