Aggression is associated with greater subsequent alcohol consumption: A shared neural basis in the ventral striatum.

TitleAggression is associated with greater subsequent alcohol consumption: A shared neural basis in the ventral striatum.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
JournalAggressive behavior
Volume44
Issue3
Pagination285-293
ISSN0096-140X
Abstract

Alcohol use and abuse (e.g., binge drinking) are among the most reliable causes of aggressive behavior. Conversely, people with aggressive dispositions (e.g., intermittent explosive disorder) are at greater risk for subsequent substance abuse. Yet it remains unknown why aggression might promote subsequent alcohol use. Both aggressive acts and alcohol use are rewarding and linked to greater activity in neural reward circuitry. Through this shared instantiation of reward, aggression may then increase subsequent alcohol consumption. Supporting this mechanistic hypothesis, participants' aggressive behavior directed at someone who had recently rejected them, was associated with more subsequent beer consumption on an ad-lib drinking task. Using functional MRI, both aggressive behavior and beer consumption were associated with greater activity in the bilateral ventral striatum during acts of retaliatory aggression. These results imply that aggression is linked to subsequent alcohol abuse, and that a mechanism underlying this effect is likely to be the activation of the brain's reward circuitry during aggressive acts.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ab.21751
DOI10.1002/ab.21751
Short TitleAggress Behav
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