The Neurobiology of Impulsive Aggression

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

This selective review provides a model of the neurobiology of impulsive aggression from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. It is argued that prototypical cases of impulsive aggression, those associated with anger, involve the recruitment of the acute threat response system structures; that is, the amygdala, hypothalamus, and periaqueductal gray. It is argued that whether the recruitment of these structures results in impulsive aggression or not reflects the functional roles of ventromedial frontal cortex and dorsomedial frontal and anterior insula cortex in response selection. It is also argued that impulsive aggression may occur because of impaired decision making. The aggression may not be accompanied by anger, but it will reflect disrupted evaluation of the rewards/benefits of the action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-9
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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