VIOLENCE, WHAT DOES THE NEUROSCIENCE SAY?

Several studies in neuroscience, psychobiology and anthropology, has sought to know where is the violence origin, since some authors affirm that “Homo sapiens is the most violent primate on the planet against the female of the same species and their own young”.

Across studies for image, has been able to determine that the brains of people who are homicidal as well as the suicides, present striking differences compared to a non-violent individual. In case of the aggressive persons, the executive centers, which modulate the impulsive reactions, are slowed down and even they can manage to be completely disconnected. On the contrary, the most primitive areas, where the fears and the negative emotions are managed, are more active.

In a study on the customs relative to the contact mother-son of 49 tribes from all over the world, Prescott, J. (1974), found that the slightly affective groups with his children, and with very little contact skin to skin, showed high levels of violence in adulthood. Nevertheless, the aggressiveness was almost void between the peoples that support a very close contact with their children. Prescott, J. W. (1974). “Cross-cultural studies of violence”, en Aggressive Behavior: Current Progress in Pre-Clinical and Research, Brain Information Report nº 37.  

Further investigations demonstrate that the violence is intimately related to the cerebral circuits that give the aptitude to feel pleasure; the bases to experience it are acquired across the physical and emotional contact by the mother (the first source of love). At the very beginning of the baby’s life, occurs an association or neural dissociation that will be registered in the circuits in which the well-being and the pain are managed. “When not touched and is not surrounded by affection to children, cerebral pleasure systems are not developed. The results are a few individuals and a culture based on selfishness, violence, and authoritarianism”

As you can see love is the antagonist of the violence, Cozolino, l. (2014), exposes that the first one is related to the production of serotonin as a neurotransmitter which is linked to the sense of well-being; before the violence occurs adrenaline, associated with stress and struggle for survival. Cozolino, L. (2014). The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain. 2nd. Ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Therefore it is determinant to cerebral level, the way in which the individuals develop. Those that are raised by love; they manage to be stable emotionally and to show less aggressiveness, whereas those who have been raised by emotional distance, mistreatment or abandon tend to be more violent individuals.

Ruth Talavera Flores

RUTH1

Research Associate & IRIANS’s Representative for

the Iberian Peninsula and Mexico

IRIANS – The Neuroscience Institute

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