The Chemical Coding of Aggression in Brain

  • Donald J. Reis
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 10)


In the past several years there has been increasing evidence that several compounds of low molecular weight in the brain believed to function in the central as well as in the peripheral nervous system as neurotransmitters may serve to modulate the expression of aggressive behavior. These agents are synthesized, stored, and released by specific and discrete neural systems in the brain. They include the catecholamines norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA), the indole-5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) and the amine acetylcholine (ACh). In the following paper I would like to present evidence suggesting that each of these agents may have selective and independent actions in mediating the expression of two neurologically distinct classes of aggression: affective and predatory aggression.


Lateral Hypothalamus Noradrenergic Neuron Compulsive Sexual Activity Attack Behavior Tyrosine Hydroxylase Activity 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald J. Reis
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neurobiology, Department of NeurologyCornell University Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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