Of mice, men, sex and violence

Scientific American has a fascinating article on experiments that show the location of "attack-promoting neurons" and how they come together in a combination of aggression and mating. A set of neurons, called VMHvl, appears to be involved in male-male encounters that end up in the mouse equivalent of fisticuffs. And the same neurons were active when these male mice mated with females. Using light as stimulus, the researchers found a way to "shut off" these neurons, reducing the chances of a fight breaking out among the mice. The scientists say this area of inquiry does show some promise in discovering the neuronal basis for anger management. Article

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