Research Provides Insight Into Brain Activity During Intimate Partner Aggression

Brain Activity During Intimate Partner Aggression News

Brain News

A group of researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University explored the neurobiological causes of intimate partner aggression. The study is published in the journal Biological Psychology.

The Study

The researchers used a series of experiments to explore brain activity in 51 heterosexual romantic couples who experienced intimate partner violence in real-time. They asked the participants to fill out a questionnaire about the frequency of experienced or executed violence.

They also recorded the couples’ brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as they played a computer game against 3 people, one at a time, including their romantic partner, a close friend, and a stranger. In reality, they were playing against a computer.

At the end of the study, the participants were debriefed by the researchers to prevent elevated risk factors for intimate partner violence.

The Findings

The results reveal that intimate partner aggression is linked to blunted brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) or the brain region associated with forming perceptions of people based on closeness or value. This violence also has a unique signature in the brain, frequently being influenced by the respective partner’s retaliating behavior. In fact, the researchers found that women’s intimate partner aggression is often self-defense against their male partners’ provocation.

One of the lead researchers, David Chester, elaborates, “There is something distinct happening at the neural level when people decide whether to harm their romantic partners, a process that differs in a meaningful way from decisions about whether to harm friends or strangers”.

The study is significant in its potential to help researchers create more accurate brain models and effective interventions aimed at reducing intimate partner aggression across the wide spectrum of gender identities and sexual orientations.

To Know More You May Relate To

Chester, D. S., Martelli, A. M., West, S. J., Lasko, E. N., Brosnan, P., Makhanova, A., Meltzer, A. L., & McNulty, J. K. (2021). Neural mechanisms of intimate partner aggression. Biological psychology, 165, 108195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2021.108195

Up Next

Can Talking To Strangers Help With Depression?

Can Talking To Strangers Ease Depression

Mental Health News

A group of researchers at the University of Sussex explored how talking to strangers can reduce depression. The study is published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The Study

The researchers recruited participants on a weekly basis. The latter played a scavenger hunt game using a mobile app called GooseChase. They then had to talk to a stranger or simply observe the stranger.

After the experiment, they completed “General” and “Daily” surveys. They also answered pre-conversation and post-conversation questionnaires that assesse


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Partying With A Purpose: Are There Mental Health Benefits Of Celebrations?

What Are The Mental Health Benefits Of Celebrations

A recent study explored the health benefits of celebrations.

Experts have linked celebrations to reduced risks of mental health conditions.

Why Are Healthy Celebrations Beneficial?

Social celebrations are joyous occasions that essentially include eating, drinking, and gathering together. A recent study conducted by Indiana University revealed that such celebrations are beneficial for health, mental and physical. Its benefits include:

Perceived social support in c

READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

False Memories: Why Do Psychopaths Forget Negative Events?

False Memories

Psychology News

A team of researchers at the University of Bari, Italy, explored the link between psychopathy and the creation of false memories. The study is published in the British Journal of Psychology.

The Study

The researchers asked 120 participants, aged 18–65 years, to complete the Psychopathic Personality Inventory. They assessed the participants’ self-centered impulsivity, fearless dominance, and cold-heartedness.

The latter


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Parents’ Political Ideology Impacts How Their Children Punish Others: Study

Parents’ Political Ideology Impacts

Psychology News

A team of researchers at New York University explored how parents’ political ideology dictates their children’s punishment for others. The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

The Study

The researchers examined 269 children, aged 3−8 years, and their parents from across the United States. They conducted a series of experiments and surveys.

The children were subject to conditions in which they would demonstrate the need to meet out punishment to others within and outside a social group. On the other hand, the parents completed a qu


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Research Reveals How Stress Affects Romantic Relationships

How Stress Affects Romantic Relationships

Mental Health News

A team of researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, explored how stress affects romantic relationships. The study is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The Study

The researchers surveyed a daily diary study of 79 newlywed couples. They assessed factors like stressful life events, partner’s negative and positive behaviors, partner perception, etc.

The Findings

The results revealed that


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Billy Milligan: The Man With “24” Faces The Boy Who Stayed Awake For 11 Days Straight How Netflix’s “Wednesday” Explores Adolescent Stress And Therapy What Harry Potter Teaches Us About Mental Health? Nocturnal Panic Attacks: What are they & how to recover 10 Best Healthy Foods To Beat The Holiday Blues What Are The Struggles During Holidays & 5 Ways To Prevent It Holiday Depression: 13 Tips To Beat Holiday Blues I am feeling so “behind” in life 7 Frustrating Things About Living With BPD Are You An Impulse Shopper? 9 Tips To Stop Impulse Buying The Healing Power Of Music Therapy