Cretan scientist sheds light on causes of aggressive behaviour
A new scientific study headed by a Greek scientist has shed light on the mechanisms in the brain that are responsible for aggressive behaviour.
Aggression is a behaviour that occurs throughout the animal kingdom and is present in human beings from the earliest years of their life.
Like all behaviours, aggression stems from the brain. To date, however, the identity of specific neurons involved in aggressive behaviour remains largely mysterious.
Scientists, headed by Stephanos Stagourakis of the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Medical Institute, University of Stockholm, experimented with male mice and published their findings in the neuroscience journal “Nature Neuroscience”, reporting that a previously unknown neuron group (PMv), located in the hypothalamus of the brain, plays a key role in initiating and organising aggression.
Stagourakis and his colleagues used the modern technology of optogenetics (“manipulation” of the genes by means of light) and managed to control the aggressiveness of experimental animals by activating or suspending the action of these brain cells.
As a result, they were able to either make the mice attack, or hinder their attack.