1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Aggressive behaviour is at the basis of many harms in society, such as violent crime. The efforts to explain, study, and possibly reduce aggression span various disciplines, including neuroscience. The specific brain networks which are involved in the modulation of aggressive behaviour include cortical asymmetry and brain areas such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). Recent non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) research suggests that both transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) can play a role in the modulation of aggressive behaviour by directly changing brain activity. In this review, we systematically explore and discuss 11 experimental studies that aimed to modulate aggressive behaviour or self-reported aggression using NIBS. Out of these 11 studies, nine significantly up- or downregulated aggression by using tDCS or cTBS targeting the DLPFC, VLPFC or VMPFC. The potential applications of these findings span both the clinical and the forensic psychological domains. However, the results are limited by the methodological heterogeneity in the aggression measures used across the studies, and by their generally small sample sizes. Future research should consider improving the localization and specificity of NIBS by employing neuro-navigational instruments and standardized scoring methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number200
Pages (from-to)2-22
Number of pages23
JournalBrain Sciences
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Taylor Aggression Paradigm (TAP)
  • aggression
  • approach and withdrawal motivation
  • continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS)
  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)
  • non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS)
  • prefrontal cortex (PFC)
  • transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
  • ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC)
  • TASK
  • HOT SAUCE
  • NEUROMODULATION
  • FRONTAL CORTICAL ACTIVITY
  • PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION
  • ENHANCING ANGER PERCEPTION
  • DOUBLE-BLIND
  • SEX-DIFFERENCES
  • PROACTIVE AGGRESSION

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