Outline neural and/or hormonal mechanisms in aggression. (4 marks)

For this question you should briefly discuss the roles of seretonin, dopamine, testosterone or cortisol in aggression. Make sure you don't spend too much time on this question - there's no need to write about all four in detail for only four marks!

Low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin have been associated with an increased impulsive and aggressive behaviour. Serotonin usually prevents stimulation of the amygdala, so if there are low levels of serotonin in the brain, the amygdala will be more active when stimulated by external events, causing the person to act on their impulses and making aggression more likely.

The male sex hormone testosterone is also thought to increase levels of aggression from young adulthood onwards. It is thought that testosterone may influence areas of the brain that control behavioural reactions, such as the amygdala and the hypothalamus. Testosterone also influences the levels of other hormones which are thought to be involved in aggression, such as vasopressin.

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