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Article
September 1971

Violence and the Brain.

Arch Neurol. 1971;25(3):282. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00490030108017

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Abstract

This short monograph, authored by a neurosurgeon and a psychiatrist, deals with human violence which is admittedly one of the most pressing problems of modern society. Starting with the premise that the brain is the organ of behavior, the thesis is developed that the primary instinct of selfpreservation may, in threatening situations, be modified into the reaction of unprovoked violence. The authors believe that this translation occurs more readily in individuals with damaged or malfunctioning brains.

After several representative case histories to define the problem, there is a brief review of the current state of knowledge regarding those circuits involved in behavior with particular emphasis on the limbic system and the phylogenic development of these circuits which is presented in a fairly clear but secular fashion. This, then, leads to several case histories where studies were undertaken in a very small number of patients and data obtained by recording from

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