Source: Lightspring/Shutterstock Rage is contagious. Does it seem like people around you are angrier than usual? Are you filled with rage? Have you lashed out at someone in an explosive outburst of anger or had a “rage attack” recently? If so, you are not alone. In the emotionally charged political climate following the 2016 Presidential election, multiple YouTube videos of people having hate-filled outbursts of anger have gone viral. Technically, the DSM-5 refers to rage attacks as “intermittent explosive disorder” (IED), which is characterized by categorical expression of pathological impulsive aggression. Earlier this year, two groundbreaking studies on the neuroscience of IED were published by researchers from the University of Chicago. The first study found that the neurobiology of IED is associated with lower white matter integrity of the long-range neural connections between the frontal and temporoparietal regions. The second study on IED pinpointed significantly lower gray matter volume in frontolimbic brain structures. Having less integrity in the white matter “information superhighways” between brain regions can lead to impaired social cognition. Having less gray matter in brain structures that regulate emotions, plays an important role in driving the biology of aggressive behavior. 4 Characteristics of People Prone to IED and Aggression by Royce Lee et al. … Read full this story
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