The role of brain structure in aggression

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The role of brain structure (AO1)

Research has suggested that aggressive behaviours are controlled by specific brain areas - prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus and amygdala

Bard (AO2)

Removed cat's cortex's and found that this made the cats overly aggressive and responded to the slightest provocation with arch backs, growling and bared teeth. When he also removed their hypothalamus this 'sham rage' disappeared.

Raine et al (AO2)

PET scans to study whether the brains of violent murderers were different to the brains of non-murderers. 41 convicted murderers were studied. A control group of non-murderers was matched for sex and age.

They found a significant difference in activity levels in man brain areas between the murders and non-murderers. The murderers' brain showed much less activity in the frontal cortex, the amygdala the thalamus and the hippocampus.

The areas identified as having abnormal activity

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