Is it genetic Or is it the environment that makes a person violent? Aggressive and violent behavior is a major social problem. The aggressive subject tends to have poor social, professional, and family relationships. However, the intimacy of aggressive behaviors is largely unknown. How does the brain of violent people work?
The chemistry of violence
More than 40 years ago it was shown that aggressive behavior in humans is related to changes in the limbic area. Also with the frontal and temporal lobes. There is a relationship between the anatomy of the brain and aggressive behavior. In violent subjects, the gray matter volume in the orbitofrontal cortex decreases. But what happens on a chemical level?
In the 1960s, depressed patients who had committed suicide were analyzed. His brainstem serotonin was significantly lower. If the serotonin level is low, the aggressiveness of suicidal acts is higher. And there is a tendency towards police arrests, labor disputes and self-harm.
The University of Helsinki carried out a famous sample of 36 male killers to investigate. Low values were found in impulsive subjects. And even more so with those who had committed more than one crime.
Another study described the case of a Dutch family. 14 members were arrested for continued violence. An X-linked genetic mutation was found in this family that … caused a decrease in serotonin.
Fluoxetine, an antidepressant, was used for this. Increases the concentration of serotonin. This leads to a decrease in the score on the aggressiveness scales.
In humans, high norepinephrine levels are associated with aggressive behavior
Understanding how the brains of violent people work requires understanding the role of hormones. The endocrine system is involved in the development of aggressive behaviors, especially sex hormones. Mainly testosterone. It’s usually high in aggressive people.
Environmental conditions can create a violent society. However, certain neurobiological changes affect these behaviors.
This knowledge, despite previous mistakes, can open the doors for the near future. One in which aggressiveness and violence can be therapeutically controlled.