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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access October 2, 2014

Genetic and non-genetic determinants of aggression in combat sports

  • Piotr Gronek EMAIL logo , Dariusz Wieliński and Joanna Gronek
From the journal Open Life Sciences


Human aggression/impulsivity-related traits are influenced by complex genetic and non-genetic factors. The aggression/anxiety relationship is controlled by highly conserved brain regions including the amygdala, hypothalamus and periaqueductal gray of the midbrain, which is responsible for neural circuits triggering defensive, aggressive, or avoidant behavioral models. The social behavior network consists of the medial amygdala, medial hypothalamus and periaqueductal gray, and it positively modulates reactive aggression. An important role in the incidence of aggressive behavior is played by secreted factors such as testosterone, glucocorticoids, pheromones, as well as by expression of genes such as neuroligin-2, monoamine oxidase A, serotonin transporters, etc. The authors deliberate whether aggression in sport is advantageous (or even indispensable), or to what extent it can hamper attainment of sport success. Methods of reducing and inhibiting expression of aggression in athletes are indicated.


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Received: 2013-6-26
Accepted: 2014-5-7
Published Online: 2014-10-2

©2015 Piotr Gronek, et al.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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