Biology of Aggression / Edition 1

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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 veterinary medicine.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Regina Rosa Lopez, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book examines the biological factors of aggression at multiple levels, from genetics to pharmacology. The book covers the recent literature in this area, and combines the information for a better understanding of the complex interplay.
Purpose: According to the editor, the goal is to summarize and synthesize recent advances in the biological study of aggression. These are worthy objectives because this will guide further research, and may have treatment implications. The authors were able to meet these objectives.
Audience: The book is written for researchers in neuroscience, psychiatry, cognitive and developmental psychology, behavioral psychology, behavioral biology, and veterinary medicine. I agree that this is the appropriate audience, because the book is more research oriented than clinically focused.
Features: The book is composed of many contributions from credible people in the field. The editor's credentials and numerous publications make him an expert in the field. The book covers the recent research on the biology of aggression and organizes it according to levels of analysis. This includes: genetics, neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, hormones, development, pharmacology, and psychophysiology. In order to guide future research, the book points out the limitations of the research and the inconsistencies of the current knowledge. A shortcoming is the print quality of some of the figures. Color would improve the quality. Also, more figures would be helpful in illustrating points that are difficult to conceptualize for someone without a research background.
Assessment: This is an extremely comprehensive overview of the biological aspects of aggression. As a clinician, I think it is important to understand the concepts discussed in the book in order to better formulate and treat my patients with aggression.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195168761
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/25/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Section 1. Genes
Chapter 1. Genetic Aspects of Aggression in Nonhuman Animals
Chapter 2. Human Quantitative Genetics of Aggression
Chapter 3. Crustacean Models of Aggression
Section 2. Neurotransmitters
Chapter 4. Brain Serotonin and Aggressive Disposition in Humans and Non-human Primates
Chapter 5. Monoamines, GABA, Glutamate, and Aggression
Chapter 6. Nitric Oxide and Aggression
Chapter 7. Neuropeptides and Aggression
Section 3 . Hormones
Chapter 8. Contexts and Ethology of Vertebrate Aggression: Implications for the Evolution of Hormone Behavior Interactions
Chapter 9. Androgens and Aggression
Chapter 10. The Role of Estrogen Receptors in the Regulation of Aggressive Behaviors
Chapter 11. Maternal Aggression
Chapter 12. Stress and Aggressive Behaviors
Stress 4. Development
Chapter 13. Conditioned Defeat
Chapter 14. Development of Aggression
Chapter 15. Neurobiology of Aggression in Children
Section 5 . Pharmacology and Psychophysiology
Chapter 16. Drugs of Abuse and Aggression
Chapter 17. Psychopharmacology of Human Aggression: Laboratory and Clinical Studies
Chapter 18. Psychophysiology of Human Antisocial Behavior

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