On Central Controls for Aggression

  • P. H. Klopfer


The Lorenzian notion of a mechanism that accumulates “aggressive energy” that must then be periodically discharged is seen to underlie much current thinking on the nature of aggression. This view is rejected in favor of a dynamic system akin to that of Pribram and Melges for the generation of emotion. The proximal “mechanisms” that control aggressive acts (to the extent that components of the system can be isolated) are far more numerous than even Moyer’s multisystem scheme envisages, and are functionally (and likely anatomically) distinct. Far from representing the discharge of an endogenously produced energy, aggressive acts represent activities internally selected to maintain tranquility.


Central Control Reef Fish Motor Pattern Siamese Fighting Fish Betta Splendens 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. H. Klopfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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