Association between the violence inhibitor and dopamine

Started by Volunto, Feb 07, 2023, 07:01 PM

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As studies show, the tendency to impulsive aggression can be explained by a dysfunctional interaction between the serotonin and dopamine systems in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. At the same time, it is the lack of serotonin that predisposes a person to impulsive aggression, while dopamine hyperfunction aggravates this condition. Serotonin is known to inhibit the production of dopamine, meaning low serotonin levels can lead to an overabundance of dopamine. Serotonin inhibits impulsive behavior, while dopamine promotes it by decreasing emotional regulation. Exacerbation of dopamine activity due to serotonin dysfunction can also stimulate a person to search for new sensations and, accordingly, violent behavior [100].

Also, one study directly links violent behavior in children and psychopathic predispositions in adulthood with altered dopamine system activity. At the same time, the cause of an excess of dopamine, which leads to increased aggressiveness, is a dysfunction of the serotonin system, which should regulate the production of dopamine and inhibit aggressive impulses.

It is worth considering the case when a person, on the contrary, has a low level of dopamine, for example, due to genetic predispositions. This should reduce the impulsiveness of behavior, and experiments on animals have demonstrated that blocking the production of dopamine decrease their aggressiveness upon contact with conspecifics. But it is obvious that reduced dopamine levels can lead to the problem of a person needing more stimulation in order to experience the same level of pleasure. This encourages individuals to look for additional sources of pleasure, such as substance use, risky behavior, or even violence.

Research shows that impulse disorders such as pyromania and kleptomania are associated with the release of extra dopamine, and this can cause a person to become addicted to certain criminal activities over time. Similarly, this can work with serial killers, who sometimes seek the "ultimate thrill" altogether. It is also suggested that serial killers from birth, by their very nature, need more stimulation in order to get the same pleasure that ordinary people or non-violent criminals experience.