Memo TV - Epigenetic, neural and cognitive memories of traumatic stress and violence

Institutions
  • FB Psychologie
Publications
    Moran, James K.; Weierstall, Roland; Elbert, Thomas (2014): Differences in brain circuitry for appetitive and reactive aggression as revealed by realistic auditory scripts Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience ; 8 (2014). - 425. - eISSN 1662-5153

Differences in brain circuitry for appetitive and reactive aggression as revealed by realistic auditory scripts

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Aggressive behavior is thought to divide into two motivational elements: The first being a self defensively motivated aggression against threat and a second, hedonically motivated ‘appetitive’ aggression. Appetitive aggression is the less understood of the two, often only researched within abnormal psychology. Our approach is to understand it as a universal and adaptive response, and examine the functional neural activity of ordinary men (N=50) presented with an imaginative listening task involving a murderer describing a kill. We manipulated motivational context in a between-subjects design to evoke appetitive or reactive aggression, against a neutral control, measuring activity with Magnetoencephalography (MEG). Results show differences in left frontal regions in delta (2-5 Hz) and alpha band (8-12 Hz) for aggressive conditions and right parietal delta activity differentiating appetitive and reactive aggression. These results validate the distinction of reward-driven appetitive aggression from reactive aggression in ordinary populations at the level of functional neural brain circuitry.

Origin (projects)

    Schaal, Susanne; Heim, Lale; Elbert, Thomas (2014): Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Appetitive Aggression in Rwandan Genocide Perpetrators Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma ; 23 (2014), 9. - S. 930-945. - ISSN 1092-6771. - eISSN 1545-083X

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Appetitive Aggression in Rwandan Genocide Perpetrators

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The objectives of this study were to investigate rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and levels of appetitive aggression and potential risk factors for appetitive aggression in a sample of 200 Rwandan genocide perpetrators. Five percent of the perpetrators presented with PTSD, and high levels of appetitive aggression were common. High levels of appetitive aggression were associated with male gender, a high number of past committed offenses, and low levels of positive and elevated levels of negative religious coping. Considering the substantial extent of appetitive aggression, the reintegration of these individuals into the community should consider the inclusion of programs that restrain appetitive aggression and restore psychological functioning to facilitate a peaceful coexistence.

Origin (projects)

Funding sources
Name Project no. Description Period
Europäische Union665/13no information
Further information
Period: 01.08.2013 – 31.07.2018