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KINDS OF AGGRESSION AND THEIR PHYSIOLOGICAL BASIS

NCJ Number
55082
Journal
COMMUNICATIONS IN BEHAVIORAL BIOLOGY Volume: 2 Issue: 2 Dated: PART A (AUGUST 1968) Pages: 65-87
Author(s)
K E MOYER
Date Published
1968
Length
23 pages
Annotation
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL BASES OF AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR ARE IDENTIFIED FROM A REVIEW OF TWO DECADES OF RESEARCH STUDIES AND IT IS ARGUED THAT AGGRESSION IS NOT A UNITARY PHENOMENON.
Abstract
RESEARCH HAS REVEALED THAT THERE ARE SEVERAL KINDS OF AGGRESSION, EACH OF WHICH HAS A PARTICULAR NEURAL AND ENDOCRINE BASIS: (1) PREDATORY AGGRESSION, (2) INTERMALE AGGRESSION, (3) FEAR-INDUCED AGGRESSION, (4) IRRITABLE AGGRESSION, (5) TERRITORIAL AGGRESSION, (6) MATERNAL AGGRESSION, AND (7) INSTRUMENTAL AGGRESSION. TYPES OF AGGRESSION ARE CLASSIFIED ON THE BASIS OF ELICITING STIMULUS SITUATIONS, AND ALTHOUGH THE CLASSES MAY OVERLAP, DIFFERENT EXPERIMENTAL MANIPULATIONS WILL DIFFERENTIALLY AFFECT THE VARIOUS KINDS OF AGGRESSION. PREDATORY AGGRESSION IS ELICITED BY A NARROW RANGE OF STIMULI; THE LATERAL HYPOTHALAMUS IS PARTICULARLY INVOLVED. INTERMALE AGGRESSION IS ELICITED BY A STRANGE MALE OF THE SAME SPECIE AND IS INHIBITED BY PARTICULAR 'SUBMISSIVE' POSTURES OF THAT MALE. FEAR-INDUCED AGGRESSION OCCURS ONLY IN CASES WHERE ESCAPE HAS BEEN ATTEMPTED BUT IS NOT POSSIBLE; IN GENERAL, IT IS INDUCED BY LESIONS IN THE AMYGDALA AND SOME OTHER TEMPORAL AREAS. IRRITABLE AGGRESSION MAY BE INCREASED BY FRUSTRATION, DEPRIVATION, AND PAIN; IT PARTICULARLY INVOLVES THE VENTRO-MEDIAL HYPOTHALAMUS, AND PARADOXICALLY, IS INCREASED BY EITHER STIMULATION OR ABLATION OF THAT AREA. TERRITORIAL AGGRESSION AND MATERNAL AGGRESSION BOTH APPEAR TO BE SPECIFIC TO THE SITUATION INVOLVED AND WHAT LITTLE EVIDENCE THERE IS INDICATES THAT THE REPRODUCTIVE HORMONES ARE INVOLVED. INSTRUMENTAL AGGRESSION MAY BE BASED ON ANY OF THE ABOVE CASES, AS IT CONSISTS OF AN INCREASE IN THE TENDENCY FOR AN ORGANISM TO ENGAGE IN DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR WHEN THAT BEHAVIOR HAS BEEN REINFORCED IN THE PAST. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS INCLUDED. (KBL)