Using machine learning technology, researchers provide new insight into the neural mechanisms that govern anger and aggression.
Have you ever been cut off while driving and found yourself swearing and laying on the horn? Or come home from a long day at work and lashed out at whoever left the dishes unwashed?
From petty anger to the devastating violence we see in the news, acts of aggression can be difficult to comprehend. Research has yielded puzzling paradoxes about how rage works in the brain.
But a new study from Caltech, pioneering a machine-learning research technique in the hypothalamus, reveals unexpected answers on the nature of aggression.
The hypothalamus is a brain region linked to many innate survival behaviors like mating, hunting, and the fight-or-flight response. Scientists have long believed that neurons in the hypothalamus are functionally specific—that is, certain groups of neurons correlate to certain specific behaviors.