Date of this Version

7-1-2000

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Accepted version

Lyvers, M. (2000). Cognition, emotion, and the alcohol-aggression relationship: Comment on Giancola. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 8 (4), 607-608.

This article is published by APA Publications and copyright is held by the American Psychological Association. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.

Access publisher version via the APA Journal home page.

Abstract

Dr. Giancola’s thesis that the alcohol-aggression relationship can be explained by alcohol-induced disruption of executive cognitive functions mediated by the prefrontal cortex is critically examined. At moderate doses, alcohol has been reported to increase aggression in animals as diverse as fish, rats, cats, monkeys, and humans. Although alcohol depresses prefrontal cortex activity and disrupts executive cognitive performance in humans, alcohol’s anxiolytic actions, and/or its disinhibiting effects on subcortical structures implicated in anger and aggression, may be at least as important as the higher cognitive functions cited by Dr. Giancola in accounting for the alcohol-aggression relationship. Other drugs that alter prefrontal cortex activity have also been reported to influence aggressive responding in humans and other animals, and implications of this are briefly discussed.

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