Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
Professors Semir Zeki and John Romaya from the University of London have identified the part of the brain that triggers and stores feelings of hate. It is interesting to note this area of the brain also stores and triggers aggression. These studies are a part of previous ones done on the brain areas associated with romantic and maternal love from the same university.
During the study, 17 men and women were shown images of someone they hate as well as people they love and neutral faces. Brain imagining was done as the pictures were viewed. Distinctive activity took place in specific parts of the brain that researchers are calling the hate circuit of the brain. This circuit is definitely not a part of the same circuit that triggers the emotions of fear, threat and danger.
This circuit is in sections of the cortex and sub-cortex of the brain. The circuit also contains parts involved in making aggressive behaviors and takes that to the process of taking action.
While Professor Zeki expressed this will lead to more studies into the different types of hate, one may begin to wonder if an abuser who says he loves his victim may also feel some type of hate at the same time. This may lead to the triggering of the aggressive behavior in the brain towards the victim. The type of aggressive behavior depends on how the abuser reacts to the feeling he or she is having. This also leads to the theory that has been around for years that most abusers were abused as children or witness acts of violence on a regular basis in their home. If a father beats a mother, a child’s brain my program the aggressive behavior reaction to do the same. Or if a mother verbally abuses a child, the aggressive behavior reaction may be to scream and belittle the future victim.
It will be interesting to see the further results of these studies. For further information:
The Laboratory of Neurobiology