Alcohol use and abuse (e.g., binge drinking) are among the most reliable causes of aggressive behavior. Conversely, people with aggressive dispositions (e.g., intermittent explosive disorder) are at greater risk for subsequent substance abuse. Yet it remains unknown why aggression might promote subsequent alcohol use. Both aggressive acts and alcohol use are rewarding and linked to greater activity in neural reward circuitry. Through this shared instantiation of reward, aggression may then increase subsequent alcohol consumption. Supporting this mechanistic hypothesis, participants’ aggressive behavior directed at someone who had recently rejected them, was associated with more subsequent beer consumption on an ad-lib drinking task. Using functional MRI, both aggressive behavior and beer consumption were associated with greater activity in the bilateral ventral striatum during acts of retaliatory aggression. These results imply that aggression is linked to subsequent alcohol abuse, and that a mechanism underlying this effect is likely to be the activation of the brain's reward circuitry during aggressive acts.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - May 1 2018|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the R. S. Lipman Research Fund for the
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- ventral striatum
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychology (all)