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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sex and violence were inseparable in the brain of males

An international group of researchers from China, United States and South Korea found that the neurons responsible for aggression in the brain the males are closely connected with those that shape sexual behavior. In females, these neurons are divided into different groups. The study was conducted on mice, however, in varying degrees, the results can be extended to many other living beings.

photo: pixabay.com

Experts drew attention to the “tangle” of neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus of males that contain nerve cells whose work is associated with sex, and those who are responsible for aggression. As shown by experiments, if you artificially suppress the activity of genes involved in one of these aspects of behavior, together with this “disconnected” and the second aspect. Thus, if male mice by affecting their genes made “peace” at a time when they had very little interest in females, and Vice versa.

By the females it was otherwise — as a result of similar experiments, the experts managed to ensure that females do not show aggression, while continuing to demonstrate sexual behavior or, in contrast, was aggressive, but not sexually active. Scientists explain this by the fact that in the brain of females of the relevant population of neurons has been posted. The root cause of such differences, researchers are inclined to consider the fact that the very sexual behavior in contrast to aggression in males and females differs, though, because they need to produce qualitatively different actions.

Researchers do not exclude that their findings will help to better understand the biology not only of mice but also many other animals and probably even humans.

At the same time, the authors of new papers urging people not to draw too hasty conclusions on the basis of their findings, because in reality both sexual and aggressive behavior of mice (and especially people) are extremely complex mechanisms that are not reducible to the work of small groups of neurons.

The study was published in the scientific publication Nature Neuroscience.


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