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Biology of Aggression (Hardcover)
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Biology of Aggression (Hardcover)
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Unchecked aggression and violence take a significant toll on
society. Even if we manage to avoid being the direct victim of a
violent act, the effects of aggression and violence reach us all:
We hear about the mauling of a woman by an aggressive dog, our
children are bullied at school, or we deal with impulsive violence
while commuting to work or attending a sporting event. Reflecting
psychology in general, the dominant roles of learning and
environmental influences - both social and nonsocial - have
traditionally been prominent in discussions of the etiology of
human aggression. Biological factors have not been considered
sufficiently important to investigate in the search for ways of
dealing with human aggression or violence. With recent advances in
pharmacology and genetic manipulation techniques, however, new
interest has developed in the biological mechanisms of both
non-human and human aggression. Although aggression is certainly a
complex social behavior with multiple causes, molecular biological
factors should not be overlooked, as they may well lead to
interventions that prevent excess aggressive behaviors. The primary
goal of this book is to summarize and synthesize recent advances in
the biological study of aggression. As most aggressive encounters
among human and non-human animals represent a male proclivity, the
research in this book describes and discusses studies using the
most appropriate murine model: testosterone-dependent offensive
inter-male aggression, which is typically measured in
resident-intruder or isolation-induced aggression tests. The
research also emphasizes various molecules that have been linked to
aggression tests. The research also emphasizes various molecules
that have been linked to aggression by the latest gene-targeting
and pharmacological techniques. Although the evidence continues to
point to androgens and serotonin (5-HT) as major hormonal and
neurotransmitter factors in aggressive behavior, recent work with
GABA, dopamine, vasopressin, and other factors, such as nitric
oxide, has revealed significant interactions with the neural
circuitry underlying aggression. This book is organized according
to levels of analysis. The first section examines the genetic
contributions to aggression in species ranging from crustaceans to
humans. The section summarizes the involvement of various
neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in aggressive behavior. The
third section summarizes the influence of hormones on aggression,
primarily in humans. All chapters emphasize future directions for
research on aggression and reveal important domains that have
received comparatively less attention in this literature.
Considered together, these chapters provide up-to-date coverage of
the biology of aggression by some of the leading authorities
currently working in this field. Biology of Aggression will direct
future research to continue the recent advances in the
pharmacological and genetic approaches to understanding aggression
and violence. It promises to be a valuable resource for
professional and student researchers in neuroscience, psychiatry,
cognitive and developmental psychology, behavioral biology, and
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