limbic system as a neural mechanism

  • Created by: Aimee W x
  • Created on: 14-03-22 12:38
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  • limbic system as a neural mechanism
    • a network of structures lying beneath the cortex that consists of the Amygdala, Hippocampus and Hypothalamus
      • Amygdala: emotional centre in the brain that plays a role in how an animal responds to environmental challenges. the reactivity of has been shown to be a predictor in aggressive behaviour in humans.
      • hippocampus: involved in the formation of long term memories linked to aggression. memories processed allow animals to compare the conditions of a threat with past experiences. impairment here prevents the nervous system outting threats into context, causing amygdala to react inappropriately.
    • support for the role of the Amygdala comes form researchers. They found amygdalectomy reduces aggression in previous violent individuals. however a side effect is the loss of emotion, initiative and enthusiasm, suggests amygdala does not directly cause aggression but is involved in processing associated emotions such as anger.
    • support for the role of the hippocampus comes form researchers. they used MRI scans of violent offenders and found the hippocampus differed in size in either hemisphere unlike a group of violent offenders who had evaded the law. it cas concluded this asymmetry might have impaired the ability of the hippocampus and amygdala to work together, leading to impulsive aggression in unsuccessful psychopath groups.
      • this is positive as it suggests the idea that memories are processed in hippocampus have an influence on aggressive behaviour.


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