The ground breaking study found that the same area of our brain controls both our appetite for food and for aggression
scientists pinpoint the exact area of the brain where anger originates, making Clockwork Orange-type therapies possibleBreakthrough: Scientists think they’ve found the ‘anger spot’
Scientists have pinpointed the exact area where violence and anger originates, which could pave the way to aggression-curbing treatments such as those in movie A Clockwork Orange.
The discovery was found during a study into the ventromedial hypothalamus, or VMH, in the brain.
This part of the brain’s circuit is usually associated with appetite, as it was found that animals with damage to the area ate more and became obese.
But the study also found that the VMH has a darker side, as one element of it is thought to control aggression and provides the spark to ignite violence.
This could lead doctors to creating a form of anti-aggression treatment, such as the therapies used in cult flick A Clockwork Orange.
But a leading scientist warned it was only a distant possibility, and that is if the ethical and legal issues surrounding it could be resolved.
US lead scientist Dr Dayu Lin, from New York University, said: “That said, our results argue that the ventrolateral part of the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMHvl) should be studied further as part of future efforts seeking to correct behaviours from bullying to sexual predation.”
In Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 movie A Clockwork Orange, set in a dystopian near-future society, sociopath delinquent Alex is subjected to an experimental aversion therapy to cure him of his craving for “ultraviolence”. But by rendering him incapable of wrongdoing, the treatment also robs Alex of his free will.
The new study focused on aggression in mice, which have many of the same brain circuits found in humans.