• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the role of neural and/or hormonal mechanisms in aggression

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Discuss the role of neural and/or hormonal mechanisms in aggression The role of hormonal mechanisms play a significant role in aggression as high levels of testosterone and low levels of cortisol have been proven to influence aggressive behaviour. Testosterone has been thought to act on areas of the brain which control aggression from young childhood onwards because it lowers serotonin in the brain which leads to aggression as serotonin inhabits responses to environmental stimuli. Lindman et al (1987) found aggressive behaviour in drunken males positively correlated with testosterone levels. Cortisol is the other hormonal mechanism which inhibits other hormones such as testosterone. High levels of this are positive sign for the human body as it in effectively causes a reduction in aggression. However low levels are associated with increased aggression, Vikuuen (1985) found low levels of cortisol in habitual violent offenders. As well as Hormonal mechanisms there are neural mechanisms that are associated with aggression. Low levels of serotonin are associated with increased susceptibility to impulse behaviour, aggression and violent suicide. ...read more.

Middle

The other monkeys in the experiment were fed on diets of low levels of tryptophan and exhibited increased levels of aggression. This supports the role of serotonin on aggression because it shows the lower levels of serotonin are correlated with higher levels of aggression. Further support comes from Screbo and Raine (1993), who did a meta-analysis of 29 studies. They examined neurotransmitter levels in antisocial children and adults. They found that lower levels of serotonin in individuals who were described as aggressive. This suggests that serotonin depletion leads to impulse behaviour, which can lead to aggressive behaviour, therefore supporting the link between serotonin levels and aggression. A critique of neural mechanisms as an explanation of aggression could be that it raises issues of extrapolation due to non-human animals used in experiments such as the findings on serotonin replicated in vervet monkeys. Can the findings really be generalised to humans? The nature and mentality of animals is much different to humans. Also this study faces ethical issues as the vervet monkeys faced irreversible mental changes that could have been avoided if the experiment was not conducted. ...read more.

Conclusion

Studies have proven that not just negative factors come from high levels of testosterone; Huston found that men with high levels of testosterone perform well on competitive tasks and low on co-operative tasks. However it is predicted that these sorts of males are also likely to take part in anti-social behaviour in order to be more dominating not aggressive. Gender bias in this biological approach is evident as most research is done on males, both humans and non-humans. This leaves the question of ?is there no relationship between levels of testosterone and aggression in women? unanswered. Clearly a very important and useful area of bio-psychological research is associated with many anti-social acts in society such as numerous forms of crime including violence. If the role of biochemistry can be understood it can perhaps be treated or managed. However, it is unethical to give drugs to humans to simply alleviate aggression as this debatably could lead to social control. In conclusion there is a possibility this could be treated more ethically through diet and exercise which acts on neural mechanisms. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Physiological Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Physiological Psychology essays

  1. Sleepiness - A critique of its measurement

    This essay will conclude by observing some present research endeavours pertaining to sleepiness and by contemplating what the future of the measurement of sleepiness might be. Some Guidelines Rather than attempt to define sleepiness thoroughly here at the start, the author will offer a simple working definition, more through necessity than volition.

  2. Depression - Gender Differences.

    Cooper et al (1998) notes that the dynamic psychological composition is that which defines human culture as one with "multiple-worlds theories [that] link individuals with contexts and conceptualize people as agentic in negotiating cultural boundaries" (p. 559). It can readily be argued that the discipline of psychology is integrally related to social change and

  1. Stress in the Workplace : Why Is it Important to Deal with It?

    3 LEARN TIME-MANAGEMENT SKILLS 4 DELEGATE 5 DEVELOP A SENSE OF "FUN" IN THE WORKPLACE GOLDEN RULES FOR OFFICE FUN: . LET STAFF KNOW WHEN FUN IS PLANNED . DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF FUN . USE FUN TO DEVELOP RELATIONS & HELP IMPROVE MORALE .

  2. What is Fear Conditioning? What are the neural mechanisms underlying it?

    After several trials the sound alone was enough to trigger a physical reaction in the rat, a raised blood pressure and cessation of movement for several seconds. The rat had now been fear conditioned. Animals are a convenient way of studying fear conditioning, as parts of the brain in animals

  1. Counselling - focus on the issue of alcoholism and the effect it has upon ...

    Have you ever had a drink first think in the morning eye-opener to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hang-over?" (Harrison L 1996 p.p.67) The number of people who have been diagnosed has having a 'drink problem' within the UK is considerably high in comparison to other countries.

  2. Discuss the role of neural and hormonal mechanisms in aggression.

    Recent evidence with mice (Couppis et al 2008) suggests that the brain appears to see aggression as a reward. According to this view, whenever we perform an activity that we find rewarding the brain releases higher level of dopamine. When this dopamine attaches to receptors in the brain, it creates a pleasure circuit, which the individual finds reinforcing.

  1. Neural and Hormonal Explanations of Aggression

    Therefore, research cannot be generalised to females and cannot explain why some females show aggressive behaviour. But, supporting research into females has been conducted by Floody. They found in the week of menstruation women?s androgens increase, correlating with increased hostility and likelihood of committing crimes which proves a hormonal explanation to female?s aggressive behaviour.

  2. Notes for A2 Psychology Unit 3 Eating Behaviour The Role of Neural Mechanisms

    A small dose (lesions in LN only) and a large dose (lesions spread to adjacent areas) condition was used, and there was also a control group. Results: Rats that had the small dose of NMDA showed no changes in their eating behaviour after a brief recovery period.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work