Neurotransmitters: Indirect Molecular Invitations to Aggression

Authored by: Raymond E. Collins

The Ashgate Research Companion to Biosocial Theories of Crime

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409408437
eBook ISBN: 9781315612768
Adobe ISBN: 9781317044055


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In his seminal work, Decoding the Human Message, Henri-Marie Laborit offers the proposition that aggression represents the very purpose of neurology and this further suggests that aggression must be an inevitable consequence of the existence of a neurological system. Laborit presents us with the premise that the preservation of existence is the primordial imperative for any organism. He further observes that, unlike plant life (which derives its source of energy directly from the sun through photosynthesis—and therefore does not require locomotion to preserve its existence), animal life has no such capacity to transform energy directly from the sun. Rather, animals need to locomote in order to forage for an energy source (Laborit, 1977). “Thus, according to Laborit, aggression is endemic to any form of animal life” (emphasis in original) (Pallone and Hennessey, 1996: 22).

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