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Lecture 16

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John Bassili

Lecture 16 notes Aggression in Humans and Animals - Data on within-species (intraspecific) murders show that humans tend to kill their own more than any other species of animal - Konrad Lorenz distinguished between two types of species of animals. There are those animal that are naturally equipped with ways to kill (lions-teeth, claws) and there are those that are not so equipped (birds) - According to Lorenz, during the process of evolution, those animals that were naturally equipped learned to inhibit the use of their power to kill their own species. Instead they used their abilities in other ways (hunting, threatening, ritualized fighting) - Another inhibition has to do with appeasement gestures, they often take the form of submission - Humans are not naturally equipped with the ability to kill each other easily - We have advanced cognitive skills. These skills have allowed us to develop weapons - Lorenz suggested that since humans have acquired means to kill each other and do not have strong inhibitions about killing members of their own species, they tend to kill each other more than other animals Aggression and the Brain - There are areas of the brain that seem directly responsible for aggression in animals - When electrodes are inserted in the hypothalamus or the amygdala, and these areas are stimulated with very low current, the animal becomes immediately aggressive - Clini
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