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4040: Biology of Violence: How Understanding the Brain, Behavior, and Environment Can Break the Vicious Circle of Aggression

About the Course:

"Biology of Violence: How Understanding the Brain, Behavior, and Environment Can Break the Vicious Circle of Aggression"

This book investigates violence from a biological perspective, drawing from a wide range of animal and human research. Dr. Niehoff argues that genes, mature brain chemistry, and environment all interact to determine the likelihood of violence. The book covers biological factors, such as neuroanatomy, brain chemistry, hormones, and genetics, and various clinical conditions, including psychosis, personality disorders, drug addiction, premenstrual tension, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder,-and posttraumatic stress disorder. The book concludes with a discussion of new therapeutic strategies that can help society deal with violent individuals with alternatives to incarceration.

Author

Niehoff, Debra, Ph.D.

About the Author:

Debra Niehoff, Ph.D., first became interested in the neurobiology of emotional behavior as an undergraduate assistant to Klaus Miczek, a well-known authority on animal aggression. She received her doctoral degree from the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. She has worked as a research neuroscientist in both academic and industrial settings, where she has studied regional differences in brain chemistry and function. In 1987, she founded Biotext, a biomedical communications and consulting company located in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Course Objectives:

  1. to describe major animal research on the biology of aggression

  2. to identify the major neuroanatomical pathways that have been implicated in violence

  3. to discuss the interaction of genes, biochemistry, and the environment

  4. to understand the biology that underlies various clinical conditions that are associated with violent behavior

  5. to explain how biological research has led to workable alternatives to incarceration for the treatment of violent offenders

Exam Questions

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