Title page & Abstract
Defense Motivational Mechanism
Offense Motivational Mechanism
Relations in Hypothalamus
Sensory Analyzers of Offense & Patrol/Marking
Sensory Analyzers of Familiarity
Sensory Analyzers of Defense
Motor Patterning Mechanisms
Sensory Analyzers for Releasing & Directing Stimuli
Testing the Model
Acknowledgements & References
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.