[dropcap]C[/dropcap]HICAGO – If you are prone to fits anger and road rage it might be because you have a smaller emotional brain. Scientists have discovered regions of the brain that regulate emotions play an important role in aggressive behavior.
They found people with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) which sees sufferers experience brief episodes of disproportionate anger and aggression have significantly lower amounts of grey matter in these regions of the brain.
Experts studied the MRI scans of 168 people with and without IED. They discovered a direct link between those with a history of aggressive behavior and the level of reduction in grey matter volume.
They published results in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuro-imaging.
Dr Emil Coccaro, of the University of Chicago, said: “Intermittent explosive disorder is defined as recurrent, problematic, impulsive aggression.
“While more common than bipolar disorder and schizophrenia combined, many in the scientific and lay communities believe that impulsive aggression is simply bad behavior that requires an attitude adjustment.
“However our data confirm that IED is a brain disorder and not simply a disorder of personality.”
Dr Cameron Carter, of the University of California, added: “These important findings suggest that disrupted development of the brain’s emotion-regulating circuitry may underlie an individual’s propensity for rage and aggression.”