Conclusions

Many aggressive behaviors are neither maladaptive nor the result of neurological disease. Even when violent behavior and neurological lesions coexist, they may not be causally related. A violent lifestyle may lead to head trauma and neurological abnormalities that are the consequence, rather than the cause, of aggression. While fully accepting these qualifications, behavioral neuroscience is enriched by recognizing both that a diverse array of neurological lesions may contribute to violent behavior in human beings and that abnormalities at different levels of the neuraxis produce distinctive subtypes of aggression. Basic and clinical studies that consolidate and extend our understanding of the multiregional, hierarchical neural networks regulating aggression are urgently needed to refine diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to violent individuals.

See Also the Following Articles

ANGER • BEHAVIORAL NEUROGENETICS • BEHAVIORAL PHARMACOLOGY • COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, OVERVIEW • HYPOTHALAMUS • NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT • PREFRONTAL CORTEX • PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINOLOGY • SEXUAL BEHAVIOR • VIOLENCE AND THE BRAIN

Suggested Reading

Benjamin, S. (1999). A neuropsychiatric approach to aggressive behavior. In Neuropsychiatry and Mental Health Services (F. Ovsiew, Ed.), pp. 149-196. American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DC.

Davidson, R. J., Putnam, K. M., and Larson, C. L. (2000). Dysfunction in the neural circuitry of emotion regulation—A possible prelude to violence. Science 289, 591-594. De Waal, F. B. M. (2000). Primates—A natural history of conflict resolution. Science 289, 586-590. Mann, J. J. (1998). The neurobiology of suicide. Nature Med. 4, 2530.

Raine, A., Lencz, T., Bihrle, S., LaCasse, L., and Colletti, P. (2000). Reduced prefrontal gray matter volume and reduced autonomic activity in antisocial personality disorder. Arch. Gen. Psychiatr. 57, 119-127.

Saver, J. L., Salloway, S., Devinsky, O., and Bear, D. M. (1996). The neuropsychiatry of aggression. In Neuropsychiatry: A Comprehensive Textbook (B. S. Fogel, R. B. Schiffer, and S. M. Rao, Eds.), pp. 523-548. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore. Volavka, J. (1995). Neurobiology of violence. American Psychiatric

Press, Washington, DC. Volavka, J. (1999). The neurobiology of violence: An update. J. Neuropsych. Clin. Neurosci. 11, 307-314.

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