Neuroscience of Aggression

  • Dorfman H
  • Meyer-Lindenberg A
  • Buckholtz J
ISSN: 1866-3370
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Aggression may be present across a large part of the spectrum of psychopathology, and underlies costly criminal antisocial behaviors. Human aggression is a complex and underspecified construct, confounding scientific discovery. Nevertheless, some biologically tractable subtypes are apparent, and one in particular-impulsive (reactive) aggression-appears to account for many facets of aggression-related dysfunction in psychiatric illness. Impulsive-aggression is significantly heritable, suggesting genetic transmission. However, the specific neurobiological mechanisms that mediate genetic risk for impulsive-aggression remain unclear. Here, we review extant data on the genetics and neurobiology of individual differences in impulsive-aggression, with particular attention to the role of genetic variation in Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) and its impact on serotonergic signaling within corticolimbic circuitry.




Dorfman, H. M., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., & Buckholtz, J. W. (2014). Neuroscience of Aggression. Current topics in behavioral neurosciences (Vol. 17, pp. 297–313). Retrieved from

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