Trauma - Violence and the Brain

Divorce and/or abandonment can create a long-lasting wound. It can set up children to believe that the parent would not have left if the child(ren) had done better or behaved better. (Eldredge, John. Wild at Heart, Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul. p 71. TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001.)

Abused children tend to treat others as they were treated. The callousness they often exhibit is just a more extreme version of that seen in children whose parents were harsh in punishment, critical, and threatening. (Goleman, Daniel Jay, PhD. Emotional Intelligence, pp198-199.NY: Bantam Books, 1995.)

Maltreatment can have enduring effects on a child's developing brain, diminishing growth and reducing activity in key areas. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Scars That Won't Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse. Reprints may by ordered by email.)

Abuse/trauma during a critical period can alter one’s ability to trust, feel connected to others, think rationally, etc., especially if it occurs during prenatal development and/or during the first 2 years of life. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery, pp 21-22, 26, 45. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Children who are yelled at, criticized, told they are stupid, etc., usually either become very docile or openly rebellious. (Hay, Louise L. You Can Heal Your Life, pp 34-36. CA: Hay House, Inc., 1984.)

Once programmed into the subconscious, verbal abuses (e.g., stupid child) become defined as “truths” that unconsciously shape both the behavior and potential of the child throughout life. (Lipton, Bruce, PhD. The Biology of Belief, pp 160-164CA: Mountain of Love/Elite Books, 2005.)

Studies by researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada appear to correlate abuse during childhood with changes to the brain (e.g., genes that code for cortisol receptors were about 40 percent less active in people who had been abused as children than in those who had not). Over the past decade or so, researchers at McGill U have shown correlations between affectionate mothering in animals and altered gene expression of genes that allowed them to dampen their physiological response to stress. These latest studies seem to show that a similar effect appears in human brains, as well. (Carey, Benedict. After Abuse, Changes in the Brain. NYT, 2009.)

Child abuse can cause permanent damage to the neural structure and function of the developing brain. Much more effort must be made to prevent childhood abuse and neglect. (Teicher, Martin H. Childhood Scars that Won’t Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse. NY: Scientific American, July 2002.)

Abuse is most likely to be done by a person who was him/herself abused. The pattern of abuse tends to “imprint” as the restriction of expression of feelings. (Viscott, David. MD. Emotional Resilience, p 324NY: Crown Publishers Inc., 1996.)

Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused in the United States; in 90% of cases by someone (usually a male) that the boy knows. Straight males are more likely to sexually abuse a boy than gay males. Most abusers were once abused. (Gurian, Michael. The Wonder of Boys, pp 233-243. NY: Jeremy p. Tarcher/Putnam, 1996.)

Shame-humiliation dynamics always accompany child abuse. If synapses are never built due to neglect, or destroyed by stress neurochemicals, the individual may be left without the ability to connect, trust, or experience empathy (e.g., extreme instances may result in sociopathy). (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery, pp 197-198. NY: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

In adulthood, 25%-35% of children who were abused, abuse their own children physically or sexually. About 40% of children, who witnessed either parent striking the other, will become spouse beaters. (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind, pp 130-132. NY: A Dutton Book 1998.)

Traumatic events during early childhood can disrupt a critical period of growth, damaging the adult brain. The circuits of personality take about 20 years to be built. (Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes. p 132. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002.)

The male brain is hard-wired for aggression (e.g., related to testosterone). Violence is a different matter; it is taught/learned. (Gurian, Michael. The Wonder of Boys. p 6-8. NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1996.)

By age four, the majority of early offenders already had shown consistent patterns of aggression, bullying, tantrums and coercive interactions with others. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 9. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Maternal stress and exposure to alcohol is the worst possible combination for producing aggression in offspring, particularly when it occurs early in pregnancy. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. p 62. Ghosts from the Nursery. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Offensive aggression (competing for dominance) is impacted by male sex hormones and is more typical of males; defensive aggression (protective of oneself and one’s family) can be equally exhibited by females. (Wilson, Glenn. The Great Sex Divide. p 116-117. England: Peter Owen Publishers, 1989.)

The brain’s adaptation to chronic fear and anger can trigger permanent changes in hormone levels, which may be picked up by the genes and passed on, (e.g., generations may become successively more aggressive). Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 167-168. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Thinking aggressive thoughts can alter blood flow to the brain and interfere with abilities to control angry impulses. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 82-83. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Studies of violent males (e.g., aggressive criminals) with non-violent males: higher androgen levels were found in the blood and saliva of the violent types. (Wilson, Glenn. The Great Sex Divide. p 116-118. England: Peter Owen Publishers, 1989.)

Maternal stress and exposure to alcohol is the worst possible combination for producing aggression in offspring, particularly when it occurs early in pregnancy. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. p 62. Ghosts from the Nursery. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Studies of violent males (e.g., aggressive criminals) with non-violent males: higher androgen levels were found in the blood and saliva of the violent types. (Wilson, Glenn. The Great Sex Divide. p 116-118. England: Peter Owen Publishers, 1989.)

Studies: no difference in responses of abused and nonabused children when reading facial expressions in pictures for happiness, sadness, and fear. Abused children tended to identify more faces as showing anger, however, rather than fear or sadness. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 200-201. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Powerful romantic feelings are frequently only a step away from painful explosions of rage. The defensiveness that produces romantic ardor also sets the psychological stage for such explosions of rage and spousal violence (rooted in the intertwining of powerful needs with feelings of being trapped and the hunger for freedom). (Goldberg, Herb, PhD. The New Male-Female Relationship. p 41-42. NY: Signet Books, 1983.)

Under conditions of extreme threat or rage, when the brain is flooded with stress hormones, the analytical cortex is not in charge. The limbic brain and midbrain are quickest to respond to mobilize the individual to action. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 33. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Studies of factors that set the stage for rage that produces spousal violence. There is simultaneous need and resentment. Partners become excessively dependent on each other, while at the same time there is latent hunger for individual growth. (Goldberg, Herb, PhD. The New Male-Female Relationship. p 44-48. NY: Signet Books, 1983.)

Individuals who have been guilty of battering a spouse have been found by neuroimaging to be impelled by the fear of abandonment. When shown enactments of abandonment (e.g., a battered spouse announced his/her independence and leaves) areas of the batterers brain associated with anxiety and anger fire up. (Lynch, Zack, PhD., with Byron Laursen. The Neuro Revolution, p. 36-37. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2009.)

Parts of the brain of a severely abused and neglected child can be substantially smaller than that of a healthy child. (Brain Connection. Scientific Learning Corporation.)

The right cerebral hemisphere processes the pictures in the same way whether they are actual footage or a dramatic recreation. The limbic system provides similar emotional responses in both situations. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain, p 80-81.PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Prenatal or early childhood injury may be less damaging overall (e.g., neural circuits not yet committed to specific functions). From mid-adolescence on, injury can cause more damage (e.g., slower growth of new synapses, myelination is nearing completion). (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain, pp 39-41. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Genetic factors or toxins may prevent cells from reaching their proper position. If extreme, the fetus will be aborted. If milder, a pathologist may detect the malformation. If even milder, a psychiatrist may detect the distortion (e.g., in brains of violent criminals) later on in life. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 54. NY:Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Trauma can have a lifelong impact on learning ability, even a seemingly trivial incident like a bump on the head. For example, if the fragile temporal lobes are injured, a child may experience processing, emotional, and/or memory function problems. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 28. CA: The Brain Store, 2005.)

PET scan study. Individuals who imagined violent daydreams showed decreased activity in the orbito-frontal cortex. (Conway, Jim and Sally. Women In Midlife Crisis. p 80-82. IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1971.)

Under conditions of extreme threat or rage, when the brain is flooded with stress hormones, the analytical cortex is not in charge. The limbic brain and midbrain are quickest to respond to mobilize the individual to action. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 33. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Stage 1 development is during 1st year of life; stage 2 begins about age 15. Development is shaped by the child’s experiences. Level of care, nurturing, and caregiver’s emotional state can impact development at the cellular level. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 42-46. VT: Park Street Press, 2002.)

Viewing violent images (e.g., TV, movies, videos) can activate the prefrontal cortex. The orbitofrontal cortex is in intimate contact with the emotional centers in the amygdalae and other limbic system components. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 68-74. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

A button-pusher is someone who triggers negative reactions in his/her relationship. There are two parts to the equation: the button-pusher’s tendencies, and your own vulnerabilities. (Townsend, John, PhD. Who’s Pushing Your Buttons. p xii-xiii. TN: Integrity Publishers, 2004.)

Cellular memories may be developed through experiences of vicarious abuse (e.g., physical, emotional, mental, sexual, spiritual). (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. Audio Cassettes. NY: Sound Ideas, Simon & Schuster Audio Division, 1997.)

The pain of the woman’s childhood is imprinted on her cells. Until and unless she deals with her past, her feelings will tend to be out of proportion to the events that trigger them. (Roth, Geneen. When Food is Love. p 157. NY: Penguin Group, 1991, 1992.)

Stage 1 development is during 1st year of life; stage 2 begins about age 15. Development is shaped by the child’s experiences. Level of care, nurturing, and caregiver’s emotional state can impact development at the cellular level. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 42-46. VT: Park Street Press, 2002.)

Refer to Cellular Memory for additional information.

Known by a plethora of other names, this is not a game. Rather it is a highly dangerous activity used to alter one’s state of consciousness. The goal is to achieve a euphoric state by stopping the flow of oxygen-containing blood to the brain. Permanent injury and/or death can result, often inadvertently. (Source.)

Prisoners in red and yellow wings were more inclined to violence than those in the blue and green wings. Yellow is highly stimulating—a possible relationship between violent street crime and sodium yellow street lighting. (Graham, Helen. Discover Color Therapy. p 13. CA: Ulysses Press, 1998.)

When the content of the presentation has emotional significance, the use of a colored background in overhead transparencies / PowerPoint® slides can influence the brains of listeners to go to a subconscious memory (e.g., abuse or trauma), involving that color. Even if the memory is positive it can distract the brain from absorbing information from the current presentation. (Discussion with brain researchers.)

Pink has been found to have a tranquilizing and calming effect within minutes of exposure. People cannot be aggressive even if they want to because the color pink saps their energy. (Graham, Helen. Discover Color Therapy. p 13. CA: Ulysses Press, 1998.)

Study of 1000 boys and girls, ages 15-18, who were involved in competitive sports. Juvenile delinquency is greater for those involved in competitive sports. (Nedley, Neil, MD. Proof Positive. p 310-320. OK: Nedley, 1998, 1999.)

Effects of Corticotropin Releasing Factor or CRF in limbic brain regions have been associated with increased fear, alertness, decreased appetite and libido, all functions relevant in the fight or flight response and dysregulated in depression and anxiety disorders. Overactivity of the CRF/CRF1 receptor system has been demonstrated to be one of the long term neurobiological sequelae of early life trauma, a major risk factor for the development of affective disorders. In fact, both rodents and non-human primates exposed to adverse experiences in early life exhibit evidence of hyperactivity of the CRF system as adults. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3666571/)

Studies: the damage from some early experiences cannot be undone. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 21-22. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Portions of the brain related to independent capabilities (e.g., making decisions) tend not to develop when children are not permitted to make decisions, or are punished when they attempt to do so. (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind. p 128-129. NY: A Dutton Book 1998.)

The chronic overactivation of neurochemical responses to threat in the CNS, particularly in the earliest years of life, can result in lifelong states of either dissociation or hyperarousal. Dissociation triggers an increase in dopamine, lowering of pain perception, and altering of one’s sense of time and space. Children may employ a combination of hyperarousal and dissociation for self-protection. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 167-168. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Any type of threat can trigger the brain to downshift. A threat is anything that triggers a sense of helplessness in the individual. (Caine, Renate Nummela, and Geoffrey Caine. Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. p 72, 86. VA: ASCD, 1991.)

The concept of downshifting appears to fit with both what is now known about the triune nature of the human brain, and what can continually be seen happening in instructional settings and in daily living. Learning failure results when threat shuts down the brain. The neocortex functions fully only when one feels secure. (Hart, Leslie A. Human Brain and Human Learning. p 108-110. NY:Longman Inc., 1983.)

Refer to Downshifting and the Brain for additional information.

Compulsive eating is a dramatic restaging of the suffering and/or violence that people witnessed as children in their families. One’s relationship to food is a microcosm of learned self-worth, the stage upon which people reenact their childhood. If they were abused, they will abuse with food. The degree to which they are violent, abusive, self-punishing is in proportion to the degree of violence, abuse, and punishment they received. (Roth, Geneen. When Food is Love. p 61-62, 103. NY:Penguin Group, 1991, 1992.)

See Gourmand Syndrome (below) for additional information.

Experiences in infancy that result in the child’s inability to regulate strong emotions can lead to future violent behavior. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p Xiii . NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Constant exposure to visual depictions of conflict, violence, and suffering can create dysfunctional circuits in brain areas that mediate emotion. Results may include PTSD. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 77-79. PA: Rodale, 2003.

Refer to Emotions and the Brain for additional information.

Some foods (e.g., sugary sweets) trigger release of endorphins. However, a huge release of endorphins all at once can actually suppress immune system function (e.g., natural killer cells). (Hafen, Brent Q., et al. Mind/Body Health. p 29-31. MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1996.)

Preliminary studies: social violence, suicide, and aggressive behavior may be associated with an imbalance in the intake of essential fatty acids. (Gurian, Michael, PhD, and Patricia Henley, with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! p 88-89. CA:Jossey-Bass, 2001.)

Violence inevitably follows fear in its wake. In harmony there is no violence. (Chopra, Deepak, MD. Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. p 27-30. NY: Harmony Books, 1993.)

Schizophrenia may be triggered by fetal exposure to the flu virus during the second trimester of pregnancy. This environmentally-induced genetic alternation may produce an increased risk of violent behavior in subsequent generations. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 80. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Changes in hormone levels (due to chronic fear/anger) can become permanent, become encoded in the genes, and passed on to the new generations, which may become successively more aggressive. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 167-168. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Refer to Glial Cells – the Other Brain for additional information.

A brain disorder that occurs in a small percentage of people who have suffered from strokes, brain tumors, or head traumas—causes an intense craving for fine foods. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 74-75. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Injury somewhere in the right frontal part of the brain can turn some people into fine-food lovers of the highest order. (Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes. p 3. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002.)

Compulsive eating is a dramatic restaging of the suffering and/or violence that people witnessed as children in their families. One’s relationship to food is a microcosm of learned self-worth, the stage upon which people reenact their childhood. If they were abused, they will abuse with food. The degree to which they are violent, abusive, self-punishing is in proportion to the degree of violence, abuse, and punishment they received. (Roth, Geneen. When Food is Love. p 61-62, 103. NY: Penguin Group, 1991, 1992.)

The brain can become profoundly changed by a physical blow, which can cause small lesions at specific sites. Even a single blow to the head can trigger subsequent recurring violent behavior. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 170. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Injury somewhere in the right frontal part of the brain can turn some people into fine-food lovers of the highest order. (Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes. p 3. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002.)

Headbanging is a type of dance which involves violently shaking the head in time with music, most commonly rock music and heavy metal. Reportedly the term was coined during Led Zeppelin's first US tour in 1969. Australian researchers (reported in BMJ) who investigated headbanging at music concerts, reported that mild traumatic brain injury or neck injury can occur when the tempo of the song is about 146 beats per minute and the range of motion is greater than 75 degrees.

Most homosexual orientation develops during gestation. Patterns tend to be firmly in place by age 5. Discusses lack of success of change therapies (e.g., push bisexuals to confine behaviors to opposite sex only, or enforce celibacy, or push the individuals to attempt suicide). (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 171-186. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

The trauma of growing up gay in a world that is run primarily by straight men is deeply wounding in a unique and profound way. Straight men have other issues and struggles that are no less wounding, but they are quite different from those of a gay man. ( Downs, Alan, PhD. The Velvet Rage. Overcoming the Pain of Growing up Gay in a Straight Man’s World. p 5-6. NY: Da Capo Press, 2005. 2006.)

Refer to Sexual Orientation and the Brain for additional information.

A child who has been traumatized tends to exhibit hypervigilance. These hypervigilant and/or hyperaroused children tend to be ostracized as they grow older. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 163-164. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Laughter is typically a sign that healthy and valuable learning (emotional as well as intellectual) has just occurred. Life-competent people often use it to deflect threats (e.g., amused laughter is disarming). (Siebert, Al, PhD. The Survivor Personality. p 21-24. NY: A Perigee Book, 1996.)

Refer to the Brain and Laughter for additional information.

Trauma can have a lifelong impact on learning ability, even a seemingly trivial incident like a bump on the head (e.g., if fragile temporal lobes are injured, a child may experience processing, emotional, and/or memory function problems). (Jensen, Eric.Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 28. CA:The Brain Store, 2005.)

Complex learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat). (Caine, Renate Nummela Caine, and Geoffrey Caine. Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain, NY: Addison-Wesley, 1994. Also available on their website.)

A learned pattern includes information plus the emotions experienced while the learning took place. If pain and fear were present, both recall and learning can be impaired. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 32-36. VT:Park Street Press, 2002.)

Laughter is typically a sign that healthy and valuable learning (emotional as well as intellectual) has just occurred. Life-competent people often use it to deflect threats (e.g., amused laughter is disarming). (Siebert, Al, PhD. The Survivor Personality. p 21-24. NY:A Perigee Book, 1996.)

Refer to Learning and the Brain for additional information.

Males are more aggressive than females, more prone to psychopathic personality disorders, and more inclined towards most forms of criminal misconduct. (Wilson, Glenn. The Great Sex Divide. p 115-116. England: Peter Owen Publishers, 1989.)

Violence is built into both genders. (Dossey, Larry, MD. Healing Beyond the Body. p 96-97. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2001.)

Women are much less susceptible to brain injuries than men because the male brain is so laterally specialized. (Tanenbaum, Joe. Male & Female Realities, Understanding the Opposite Sex. p 116. Nevada: Robert Erdmann Publishing, 1990.)

Males tend to be more offensively violent, females more defensively violent (e.g., women can be dangerous when they believe that they are defending their family members). (Wilson, Glenn. The Great Sex Divide. p 124-125. England: Peter Owen Publishers, 1989.)

Female murderers nearly always kill members of their own family or close friends. The victims of male murderers may be anyone. (Wilson, Glenn. The Great Sex Divide. p 119-120. England: Peter Owen Publishers, 1989.)

Females show less loss of function overall after trauma to either hemisphere. Males may be aphasic from anterior or posterior damage to left hemisphere, females only if damage is to the anterior area. (Durden-Smith, Jo, and Diane deSimone. Sex and the Brain. p 52-54. NY: Arbor House Publishing, 1983.)

Studies: Children under age five who had experienced serious trauma from birth to age 34 months showed retained behavior memories, and reenacted the trauma in play. Traumatic events may create mental images that can last a lifetime. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 42. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

False Memory studies: The frontal lobes in small children are insufficiently developed to allow them to track carefully where an idea originated (e.g., first-hand experience, heard from someone else). They’re not “lying” per se; it’s just that their source memory is yet underdeveloped. (Bragdon, Allen D., and David Gamon PhD. Brains that Work a Little Bit Differently. p 12-14. NY: Barnes and Noble, 2000.)

Old traumas stored in the body as cellular memory may be sensed as a color, or look like shapes or images, especially if the trauma was experienced prior to the development of language. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. Audio Cassettes. NY: Sound Ideas, Simon & Schuster Audio Division, 1997.)

Attention is very narrowly focused during trauma>Whatever is the center of attention, relevant or incidental, is filed as a sharp flashbulb memory. If trauma is exceptionally severe or prolonged, the stress hormones produced may damage the hippocampus, resulting in a fragmented or incomplete conscious memory. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p. 95-96. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

Whenever a traumatic memory surfaces, forge new associations by reliving the trauma without something negative happening. This lessens their power. To endlessly rehearse without making new associations increases their power. (Johnson, Steven. Mind Wide Open. p 202-204. NY: Scribner, 2004.)

Study: 70% of all young prostitutes and 80% of female drug users in the USA had been molested by a family member; 80% of children in Los Angeles Juvenile Hall had been molested. (Conway, Jim and Sally. Women In Midlife Crisis. p 110-112. IL:Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1971.)

All human beings have been traumatized in some way and have tendencies toward personality facets. Multiple Personality Disorder is an exaggerated form. (Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind. Candace Pert, PhD. Audio Cassettes. Sounds True, Boulder, CO.)

Refer to Dysfunctions of the Brain for additional information.

Female murderers nearly always kill members of their own family or close friends. The victims of male murderers may be anyone. (Wilson, Glenn. The Great Sex Divide. p 119-120. England: Peter Owen Publishers, 1989.)

Positive images help keep the hemispheres in balance. Negative images (e.g., horror, carnage, suffering, death, injury) shift activity to the right hemisphere and it can become overwhelmed and dysfunctional. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 71-74. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Children who suffered birth complications together with maternal rejection/neglect in their first year of life were far more likely to become violent offenders in adults. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 89-90. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Watching a violent movie or watcing violence on the news, will make you feel more angry, aggressive, negative, and powerless. (Newberg, Andrew, MD, and Mark Robert Waldman. How God Changes Your Brain—Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist. p 140-141. NY: Ballantine Books, 2009.)

Constant exposure to visual depictions of conflict, violence, and suffering can create dysfunctional circuits in brain areas that relate to emotion. Results may include PTSD. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 77-79. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Noradrenaline or norepinephrine is the alarm hormone designed to alert the system to respond to danger. Stressful environments, when the levels of serotonin and noradrenaline are being built, can create lifetime patterns. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 43-44. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Studies: behavioral effects following prenatal drug exposure (e.g., hyperactivity was associated with exposure to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, nicotine). (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 299-304. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Maltreatment during pregnancy and first 2 years after birth often leads to violent older children and adults. Precursors include toxins, lack of necessary stimulation, and breaks in caregiving. Some factors associated with violent behavior can be modified by early interventions (e.g., teratogens). (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley.Ghosts from the Nursery. p 10-15, 299-304. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

According to US Dream Academy President, Wentley Phipps, nearly 70% of those incarcerated in American prisons are children of prisoners; and 80% of today's federal prisoners are high-school dropouts. (WebsiteU.S. Dream Academy)

Portions of the brain related to independent capabilities (e.g., making decisions) tend not to develop when children are not permitted to make decisions, or are punished when they attempt to do so. (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind. p 128-129. NY: A Dutton Book 1998.)

Child’s brain post brain injury recovers more quickly (it is more generalized). The adult’s brain post-trauma shows less malleability and plasticity as it is more specialized. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. p 42-43. NY: Harmony Books, 2001.)

Opinions that with the exception of schizophrenia and sociopathic behavior, childhood trauma (while it can have a dramatic negative effect on adult behavior) can be transformed into a positive force in one’s life. (Shaevitz, Marjorie Hansen. The Confident Woman. p 60-63. NY: Harmony Books, 1999.)

Studies: Children are able to recovery (overcome and catch up in many aspects of development) early deprivations “if later experience compensates.” (Ornstein, Robert, PhD, and Paul Ehrlich. New World New Mind. p 230. MA: Malor Books, 1989, 2000.)

Endless rehearsal, repeatedly reliving the experience, may slow down natural healing (e.g., children involved in lengthy criminal cases are 10 times more likely to remain disturbed than children whose cases were resolved quickly). (Seligman, Martin E p., PhD. What You Can Change…and What You Can’t. p 234-236. NY: Fawcett Books, 1993.)

Some individuals succeed in spite of the odds. Children are not affected equally by neglect, abuse, or trauma. Ameliorating factors vary greatly in the lives of individuals. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 146-160. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Powerful romantic feelings are frequently only a step away from painful explosions of rage. The defensiveness that produces romantic ardor also sets the psychological stage for such explosions of rage and spousal violence (rooted in the intertwining of powerful needs with feelings of being trapped and the hunger for freedom). (Goldberg, Herb, PhD. The New Male-Female Relationship. p 41-42. NY: Signet Books, 1983.)

Animals that experienced violence early in life showed greater sensitivity to vasopressin, and had abnormal serotonin patterns. Researchers believe the same thing happens in people. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 questions your brain has asked about itself but couldn’t answer until now. p 1225-129. NY: The Millbrook Press, 1998.)

Serotonin is key to modulating impulsive behaviors. Noradrenaline is the alarm hormone designed to alert the system to respond to danger. Stressful environments, when the levels of serotonin and noradrenaline are being built, can create lifetime patterns. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 43-44. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

If injured on the left side of the head (e.g., damage to Broca’s area), males may lose conscious speech. Females injured in the same place will likely keep on talking. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 48-50. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

Spinal-cord injury tends to be permanent, sudden, and profoundly life-altering. Three out of four people in wheelchairs are men or boys, victims of male attraction to fast cars, motorcycles, sports, and a propensity to engage in violence. The initial death of neurons and oligodendrocytes results from the blow to the spinal cord that sheared open cells, and to the release of neurotransmitters (e.g., glutamate) spilled in topic levels from damaged neurons. The disrupted blood flow from vascular damage kills other cells, as well. A second wave of cell death results from toxic conditions in the damaged region caused by microglia and astrocytes battling the injury. (Fields, R. Douglas, PhD. The Other Brain. p 80-83. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2009.)

Male jealousy can lead to stalking, battering, homicide, and suicide. Females tend to berate themselves, and try to lure and seduce in order to rebuild the relationship. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. Why We Love. p 173-180. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2004.)

Oversecretion of cortisol can destroy synapses in a brain region involved in reading emotional responses in other people. These children develop a predisposition for aggressive, impulsive, and reactive behaviors. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 167-168. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Constant exposure to visual depictions of conflict, violence, and suffering can create dysfunctional circuits in brain areas that mediate emotion. Results may include PTSD. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 77-79. PA: Rodale, 2003.

The Hippocampi, tiny brain organs located in the limbic system, are believed to be the most sensitive region of the brain to stress. Prolonged stress can kill cells in the hippocampi as well as in other areas of the brain. (Caine, Renate Nummela, and Geoffrey Caine. Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. p 86-87, 139. VA: ASCD, 1991.)

Refer to Stress and the Brain for additional information.

If a man has a stroke and the left side of his brain is damaged, he may lose his ability to speak because the right side of his brain handles primarily spatial problems. (Stump, Jane Barr, PhD. What’s the Difference? How Men and Women Compare. p. 38. NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985.)

Women have a much lower risk of brain damage due to tumors and strokes than men do. If one side of a woman’s brain is damaged by a stroke, the other hemisphere can often take over. (Stump, Jane Barr, PhD. What’s the Difference? How Men and Women Compare. p 38. NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985.)

Older teenagers (17-19) are the most violent of all age groups. Males age 18 commit more murders and robberies than by any other group. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Study: Adolescents and young adults who watched more than 7 hours of television per week were more likely to commit an aggressive or violent act in later years. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 82-83. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Watching pictures of a disaster or traumatic event has a more powerful effect on one’s mental stability than reading about it. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 71-74. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Modern military training techniques (e.g., use of lifelike models or targets when training police and military snipers) are similar to many of today’s point-and-shoot video games. (Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes. p 212. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002.)

Constant exposure to visual depictions of conflict, violence, and suffering can create dysfunctional circuits in brain areas that mediate emotion. Results may include PTSD. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 77-79. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Refer to Television – Videos and the Brain for additional information.

Many types of people are vulnerable to being recruited. Extremists tend to use four recruitment steps:

  • Isolate them from their social environment—mix fact with fiction so they start to doubt
  • Indoctrinate them that only true Islam can renew and awaken them
  • Discourage them from associating with anyone who thinks differently from Islam
  • Dehumanize them by teaching that non- followers are not really human so killing them is not a crime; it is even a duty

(Bouzar, Dounia. “Escaping Radicalism.” Scientific American MIND, Pg 41-43. MayJune 2016.)

Males may tend to be more aggressively violent as they defend something they believe in strongly. Females may commit terrorist acts if committed to a cause, especially if they perceive it in relation to family members or an important ideology. (Wilson, Glenn. The Great Sex Divide. p 124-125. England: Peter Owen Publishers, 1989.)

Humans have three alternatives when faced with a threatening situation: fight, run away, or laugh. (Hafen, Brent Q., et al. Mind/Body Health. p 550-560. MA: Simon & Schuster, 1996.)

Reports indicate that some 300,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur annually in the United States. Athletes involved in sports such as football, hockey and boxing are at significant risk of TBI due to the high level of contact inherent in these sports. Head injuries are also extremely common in sports such as cycling, baseball, basketball, and skateboarding. Unfortunately, many sports head injuries lead to permanent brain damage or worse. TBI, is the leading cause of death in sports-related accidents. Any failure to identify and treat TBIs is especially harmful to younger individuals, as brain tissue is not fully developed in the brains of adolescents. Head injuries sustained among high school athletes often lead to detrimental damage. Injuries experienced at this stage of development can cause longer-lived symptoms and create vulnerability to further damage if another injury occurs. Other symptoms can include significant decline in school performance, worsening of ADHD symptoms, mood disorders, and impulsive and violent behaviors. (Source)

Using a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College found significant differences in brain white matter of varsity football and hockey players compared with a group of noncontact-sport athletes following one season of competition. White matter is composed primarily of axons, the long fibers that transmit signals between neurons. According to Thomas W. McAllister MD, chair of the IU Department of Psychiatry: This study raises the question of whether we should look not only at concussions but also the number of times athletes receive blows to the head and the magnitude of those blows, whether or not they are diagnosed with a concussion.” Some athletes may be more susceptible to repeated head impacts that do not involve concussions, although much more research would be necessary to determine how to identify those athletes. It is as yet unclear whether the effects of nonconcussion head impacts are long-lasting or permanent, and whether they are cumulative. (Source)

The brain can be set up to exhibit violent behavior by a variety of factors (e.g., drugs, alcohol, tobacco, chronic stress, early child abuse, neglect, lack of stimulation required for normal brain development). (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 14-15. NY: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.

Watching a violent movie or watcing violence on the news, will make you feel more angry, aggressive, negative, and powerless. (Newberg, Andrew, MD, and Mark Robert Waldman. How God Changes Your Brain—Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist. p 140-141. NY: Ballantine Books, 2009.)

As compared to people who do not view violent movies, viewers of violent movies tend to believe there is more violence in the world. Consequently these individuals may be readier to respond violent to perceived threats (which may or may not be real). (Ornstein, Robert, PhD, and Paul Ehrlich. New World New Mind. p 91-93. MA: Malor Books, 1989, 2000.)

Animals that experienced violence early in life showed greater sensitivity to vasopressin, and had abnormal serotonin patterns. Researchers believe the same thing happens in people. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 questions your brain has asked about itself but couldn’t answer until now. p 1225-129. NY: The Millbrook Press, 1998.)

Studies: adult criminal violence resulted from interaction of two or more internal factors (e.g., cognitive and/or neuropsychiatric deficits) with early negative family circumstances. Maltreatment during pregnancy and first 2 years after birth often leads to violent older children and adults. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 10-15. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Violence inevitably follows fear in its wake. In harmony there is no violence. (Chopra, Deepak, MD. Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. p 27-30. NY: Harmony Books, 1993.)

When violent video games are played, they can create specialized killing centers in the brain (e.g., the brain devotes special circuits/dedicated networks to the game). (Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes. p 212. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002.)

Prenatal injuries to the brain can cause damage to the developing fetal brain, evidence of which can be found in the brains of violent criminals. If extreme damage (e.g., interruption in neuronal migration) the fetus will likely be aborted. Milder malformations may be identified by a pathologist or detected later by a psychiatrist. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 54. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Study: societies in which children were rarely touched affectionately had the highest rates of adult violence. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 34-35. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

Powerful romantic feelings are frequently only a step away from painful explosions of rage. The defensiveness that produces romantic ardor also sets the psychological stage for such explosions of rage and spousal violence (rooted in the intertwining of powerful needs with feelings of being trapped and the hunger for freedom). (Goldberg, Herb, PhD. The New Male-Female Relationship. p 41-42. NY: Signet Books, 1983.)

Each brain has its own set point for violence. This is determined by a large number of interconnected factors (e.g., Brain function, genetics, emotional issues, overall health, hx of brain trauma). All drugs have an effect on this set point and can increase or decrease its reactivity to an insult. Healthy individuals usually have a high degree of control over violent reactions. Changes in metabolism due to drug or alcohol abuse lead to diminished control (e.g., inappropriate behavioral response to spouse or partner). (Amen, Daniel G., MD. Change Your Brain Change Your Life. p 254-260. NY: Times Books, 1998.)

Viewing violent images (e.g., TV, movies, videos/DVDs) can activate the orbitofrontal cortex, and increase the risk of an acute attack of disabling symptoms in children and adults who suffer from mental illness. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 68-74. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Studies of wives who reported they had been slapped, punched, and kicked. Conclusions included a discouraging tenacity of couples to maintain their chaotic, violent relationships. (Goldberg, Herb, PhD. The New Male-Female Relationship. p 42-43. NY: Signet Books, 1983.)

According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and a report entitled Compensation and Working Conditions conducted by the University of Virginia , in 1998 alone, 700 homicides occurred in the workplace in the U.S. Along with the increase in desk rage has been the "Dilbertization" of the workplace. That is, implementing cost-cutting measures that place workers into increasingly smaller workplaces. Integra reports that 1 in 8 office workers now work in a cubicle.(Williams, Ray B. Look out - Here Comes Desk Rage.)

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