Amygdala connectivity and aggression

Franca Tonnaer, Linda van Zutphen, Adrian Raine, Maaike Cima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Neurobiological models propose that reactive aggression is predicated on impairments in amygdala-prefrontal connectivity that subserves moral decision-making and emotion regulation. The amygdala is a key component within this neural network that modulates reactive aggression. We provide a review of amygdala dysfunctional brain networks leading to reactive aggressive behavior. We elaborate on key concepts, focusing on moral decision-making and emotion regulation in a developmental context, and brain network connectivity factors relating to amygdala (dys)function-factors which we suggest predispose to reactive aggression. We additionally discuss insights into the latest treatment interventions, providing the utilization of the scientific findings for practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBrain and Crime
EditorsHanna Swaab, Gerben Meynen
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128213766
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

SeriesHandbook of Clinical Neurology


  • Aggression
  • Amygdala/diagnostic imaging
  • Brain
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Humans
  • Moral Decision-Making
  • Anger
  • Functional connectivity
  • Amygdala
  • Reactive aggression
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Emotion regulation
  • Moral decision-making
  • Moral development


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