Brain Mechanisms of Aggressive Behavior; An Updated Review
Title Page & Abstract Page 1

Title page & Abstract
Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Behavioral Descriptions
Page 4

Motivational Mechanisms
Page 5

Defense Motivational Mechanism
Pages 6-7

Offense Motivational Mechanism
Page 8

Interactions &
Hormone Effects

Page 9

Relations in Hypothalamus
Page 10

Sensory Analyzers of Offense & Patrol/Marking
Page 11

Sensory Analyzers of Familiarity
Page 12

Sensory Analyzers of Defense
Pages 13-14

Motor Patterning Mechanisms
Page 15

Sensory Analyzers for Releasing & Directing Stimuli
Page 16

Testing the Model
Page 17

Acknowledgements & References
Pages 18-19-20-21-22-23-24-25

Brain Mechanisms of Aggressive Behavior;
An Updated Review

This is the preprint of an article published by Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews in Volume 30 (3) pp 304-318, 2006. The copyright is held by the journal publisher, Elsevier Ltd, but the copyright agreement allows the author to post a pre-print version on Internet websites.


During the 25 years since a motivational systems model was proposed to explain the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior (Adams, 1979a) considerable research has been carried out. Updating the model in the light of this research requires several changes. A previous distinction between submission and defense systems is abandoned and, instead, it is proposed that two distinct subsets of the defense motivational mechanism may be recognized, one for anti-predator defense and the other for consociate defense. Similarly, the offense motivational mechanism is now considered to have at least two subsets, one mediating territorial and the other competitive fighting. Data continue to indicate that the defense motivational mechanism is located in the midbrain central gray and adjoining tissue. Also data tend to support the hypothesis that the offense motivational mechanism is located in the hypothalamus at the level of the anterior hypothalamus. Consideration is also given to a motivational system for patrol/marking which is related to aggressive behavior. Research is reviewed that bears on the neural structure of motivating and releasing/directing stimuli and motor patterning mechanisms of offense, defense and patrol/marking, as well as the location of learning and hormonal effects, and attention is given to how the model can be tested.

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