MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Aggression as rewarding as sex, food and drugs

Back to psychology news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Psychology News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Aggression as rewarding as sex, food and drugs




New research from Vanderbilt University shows for the first time that the brain processes aggression as a reward - much like sex, food and drugs - offering insights into our propensity to fight and our fascination with violent sports like boxing and football.

The research will be published online the week of Jan. 14 by the journal Psychopharmacology.

Aggression occurs among virtually all vertebrates and is necessary to get and keep important resources such as mates, territory and food, Craig Kennedy, professor of special education and pediatrics, said. We have observed that the reward pathway in the brain becomes engaged in response to an aggressive event and that dopamine is involved.



Aggression as rewarding as sex, food and drugs
Bull fight

It is well known that dopamine is produced in response to rewarding stimuli such as food, sex and drugs of abuse, Maria Couppis, who conducted the study as her doctoral thesis at Vanderbilt, said. What we have now found is that it also serves as positive reinforcement for aggression.

For the experiments, a pair of mice - one male, one female - was kept in one cage and five intruder mice were kept in a separate cage. The female mouse was temporarily removed, and an intruder mouse was introduced in its place, triggering an aggressive response by the home male mouse. Aggressive behavior included tail rattle, an aggressive sideways stance, boxing and biting.

The home mouse was then trained to poke a target with its nose to get the intruder to return, at which point it again behaved aggressively toward it. The home mouse consistently poked the trigger, which was presented once a day, indicating it experienced the aggressive encounter with the intruder as a reward.

The same home mice were then treated with a drug that suppressed their dopamine receptors. After this therapy, they decreased the frequency with which they instigated the intruders entry.

In a separate experiment, the mice were treated with the dopamine receptor suppressors again and their movements in an open cage were observed. They showed no significant changes in overall movement in comparison to times when they had not received the drugs. This was done to demonstrate that their decreased aggression in the prior experiment was not caused by overall lethargy in response to the drug, a problem that had confounded prior experiments.

The Vanderbilt experiments are the first to demonstrate a link between behavior and the activity of dopamine receptors in response to an aggressive event.

We learned from these experiments that an individual will intentionally seek out an aggressive encounter solely because they experience a rewarding sensation from it, Kennedy said. This shows for the first time that aggression, on its own, is motivating, and that the well-known positive reinforcer dopamine plays a critical role.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
New research from Vanderbilt University shows for the first time that the brain processes aggression as a reward - much like sex, food and drugs - offering insights into our propensity to fight and our fascination with violent sports like boxing and football. The research will be published online the week of Jan. 14 by the journal Psychopharmacology.

Medicineworld.org: Aggression as rewarding as sex, food and drugs

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.