Aggression, Noxiousness, and Brain Stimulation in Unrestrained Rhesus Monkeys

  • R. Plotnik
  • D. Mir
  • J. M. R. Delgado


Although there are numerous reports of intra- and inter-species aggression elicited by electrical brain stimulation (Adams, 1968; Akerman, 1966; Delgado, 1955, 1966, 1968; Delgado et al., 1968; Heath, Monroe, & Mickle, 1960; Hess, 1957; Holst & Paul, 1962; Phillips, 1964; Roberts, Steinberg, & Means; Wassman & Flynn, 1962), there has been little research (Adams & Flynn, 1966) on the relationship between evoked aggression and reinforcing properties of the electrical brain stimulation (EBS). By determining the reinforcing properties of EBS, it is possible to differentiate between, what we have called, primary and secondary aggression. Primary aggression could be elicited by EBS through cerebral mechanisms which are independent of aversive sensations. Secondary aggression could be elicited by EBS or peripheral stimuli which first produce noxious sensations which subsequently cause aggression. This distinction is important because secondary aggression has been elicited by peripheral shock in hamsters and several strains of rats (Ulrich, 1966; Ulrich & Azrin, 1962), cats (Ulrich, Wolff, & Azrin, 1964) pigeons (Reynolds, Catania, & Skinner, 1963), and monkeys (Azrin, Hutchison, & Hake, 1963).


Brain Stimulation Instrumental Response Multiple Schedule Aggressive Response Aversive Stimulation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Plotnik
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Mir
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. M. R. Delgado
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySan Diego State CollegeSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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