Have you ever wondered why some people are more aggressive and anger-prone than others? A new study, published in Biological Psychiatry, finds that serotonin level fluctuations have an impact on those brain regions that enable individuals to control their anger.
According to the University of Cambridge’s Research News, “The research revealed that low brain serotonin made communications between specific brain regions of the emotional limbic system of the brain (a structure called the amygdala) and the frontal lobes weaker compared to those present under normal levels of serotonin. The findings suggest that when serotonin levels are low, it may be more difficult for the prefrontal cortex to control emotional responses to anger that are generated within the amygdala.”
Of course, these findings don’t suggest that people *can’t* control themselves, just that for some people it may be harder to do so than for others. And that’s where personal responsibility and learning conflict resolution skills – such as knowing one’s anger triggers and effectively managing them – come into play.
Source: Luca Passamonti, Molly J. Crockett, Annemieke M. Apergis-Schoute, Luke Clark, James B. Rowe, Andrew J. Calder, Trevor W. Robbins. Effects of Acute Tryptophan Depletion on Prefrontal-Amygdala Connectivity While Viewing Facial Signals of Aggression. Biological Psychiatry, 13 September 2011.
(Image by ²°¹°° at fr.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)