Biochemical Factors in Aggression and Violence

As society delegates the use of violence to legal and legitimate authorities, so is the control of aggression and violence a concern for civilians who wish to prevent its occurrence among the general public. Knowledge of the internal biochemical and genetic factors able to modulate aggressive behavior can help to understand the phenomenon, even if external influences are also responsible. Internal biochemical factors are either neurotransmitters, acting within the nervous system, or hormones, circulating within the whole organism. Both of these have in common the ability to stimulate or inhibit biological receptors present in the cells.

Aggression and violence should not be studied without exploring the biological basis of the so-called fight-or-flight response, whereby the autonomic nervous system supports reactions against threats. Although primarily a defense ...

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