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 impulsiveaggression 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). Neurobiological mechanisms for impulsive-aggression: The role of maoa. Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 17, 297–313. https://doi.org/10.1007/7854_2013_272