According to the World Health Organization Statistics, over 1.6 million people per year worldwide lose their lives to violence. While aggression and violence can occur in different contexts, a substantial number of the violent and aggressive behaviours are accounted by individual acts. Mental health clinicians (including clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists) are often faced with the important, but challenging task of evaluating pathological forms of individual aggression in the clinical, forensic or school setting. The challenges posed by the evaluation, prediction and treatment of aggression are partly related to the fact that multiple (although still incompletely understood) factors may play a role in human aggression and violent behaviour.
Aggression may be classified in a number of ways, according to the target of aggression (self-directed or other directed), mode of aggression (physical or verbal) or aetiology model of aggression. The most widely utilized distinction is that of premeditated, instrumental or proactive versus impulsive aggression. Human aggression and violence might have multiple underpinnings (political, socio-economic, cultural, medical, and psychological).
The present seminar aims to provide a review of the most updated available research data on the neurobiological underpinnings of the pathological human individual aggression and violent criminal behavior, such as genetic predispositions, neuro-anatomical and neuro-functioning correlates, and neurotransmitters and neuroendocrinological abnormalities (such as hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis abnormalities). It will also review data on the role of epigenetic factors in mediating the predispositions for pathological aggression and criminal violent behavior and their possible implications for the development and the optimal timing of violence prevention strategies.
Language of Presentation:
The leader will present the didactic material and conduct the seminar discussions in English.
Eligibility for Participation:
The seminar is offered to psychology students from 3rd semester onward (Individuelle Ergänzung)