chapter  1
16 Pages

The Basic Brain

This chapter emphasizes that violence is only a functional potentiality in humans, the expression of which, for the vast majority, depends on evolutionarily relevant cues. The majority of individuals in modern society do not have to engage in violence in any form since they can acquire resources peacefully by working, and they can rely on the trusted criminal justice system to protect what they have. The learned/natural debate is played out most familiarly in criminology among social learning and social control theorists. The most comprehensive account of antisocial aggression and violence at the neurohormonal level is the triple imbalance hypothesis (TIH) of Jack van Honk and colleagues. High levels of testosterone and low levels of cortisol are implicated in criminal behavior because T facilitates dominance striving, and both high T and low cortisol reduce fear and anxiety. Testosterone is the end product of the hypothalamic pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, and cortisol is the end product of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis.