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By Antonio R.Damasio, Martha J.Farah, Michael F.Huerta, V.S. Ramachandran
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Bakchine, F. Chain, and F. Lhermitte, 1986, Rev. Neurol. 142, 126–132. r Masson Editeur). and then right temporal lobectomies for treatment of a refractory seizure disorder accompanied by frequent outbursts of violent behavior. Following the second operation, he demonstrated dramatic behavioral changes, including compulsive manual manipulation of objects in the environment, insatiable appetite, sexual exhibitionism with frequent masturbation, severe retrograde and anterograde amnesia, and prosopagnosia.
Serotonin interacts with other neurotransmitter and neurohumoral systems in modulating impulsivity and aggression. For example, one group of investigators examined the effects of testosterone and serotonin administration on dominance and aggression in rats. Male rats given testosterone became dominant. Quipazine, a serotonin agonist, blocked aggression in both naturally dominant and testosterone–induced dominant rats. Nonspeciﬁc serotonin antagonists blocked aggression only in testosterone–induced dominant males.
In various animal models, neuronal recording and lesion studies have identiﬁed important loci participating in neural networks controlling these discrete assertive behaviors (Table II). Evidence for broadly similar clustering of aggressive behaviors into an impulsive–reactive–hostile affective subtype and a controlled–proactive–instrumental–predatory subtype has been reported among violent children, psychiatric patients, and perpetrators of murder. Table I Behavioral Classiﬁcation of Aggression Type Eliciting stimulus Form Predatory Natural prey Efﬁcient, little affective display Territorial Boundary crossing F Intermale Conspeciﬁc male Ritualized responses Fear induced Threat Autonomic reactions, defensive behaviors Maternal Distress calls, threat to offspring Initial attempts to avoid conﬂict Irritable Frustration, deprivation, pain Hyperactivity, affective display Instrumental F F 24 AGGRESSION Table II Neuroanatomic Correlates of Aggressive Behavior Subtypes in Experimental Animalsa Triggers Suppressors Predatory offensive aggression Anterior hypothalamus Prefrontal cortex Lateral hypothalamus Ventromedial hypothalamus Lateral preoptic nuclei Basolateral amygdala Ventral midbrain tegmentum Mammillary bodies Ventral midbrain Ventromedial periaqueductal gray matter Intermale (competitive) aggression Laterobasal septal nuclei Dorsolateral frontal lobe Centromedial amygdala Olfactory bulbs Ventrolateral posterior thalamus Dorsomedial septal nuclei Stria terminalis Head of caudate Fear-induced aggression Centromedia amygdala Ventromedial hypothalamus Fimbria fornix Septal nuclei Stria terminalis Basolateral amygdala Ventrobasal thalamus Ventral hippocampus Maternal–protective aggression Hypothalamus Septal nuclei Ventral hippocampus Basolateral amygdala Anterior hypothalamus Frontal lobes Ventromedial hypothalamus Prefrontal cortex Dorsomedial hypothalamus Medial prepiriform cortex Posterior hypothalamus Ventromedial hypothalamus Anterior cingulate gyrus Head of caudate Thalamic center median Dorsomedian nucleus of thalamus Ventrobasal thalamus Stria terminalis Ventral hippocampus Dorsal hippocampus Ventral midbrain tegmentum Posterior cingulate gyrus Ventromedial periaqueductal gray matter Periamygdaloid cortex Cerebellar fastigium Whereas in simple organisms neurohormonal mediation of aggressive–submissive postures may sufﬁce for regulating hostile behavior, in social mammals and especially primates, the need for ﬂexible and precise control of aggressive and other emotional behaviors has propelled the evolution of hierarchic levels of intermediate and higher neural circuitry.