The role of serotonin in the modulation of aggression

Studies using tryptophan manipulation
  • Alyson J. Bond
  • Janet Wingrove


Serotonin has been shown to have a major role in the modulation of aggressive behaviour in both animals and humans. An inverse relationship between indices of serotonergic function and impulsive aggressive behaviour has been repeatedly displayed but much of the evidence is correlational. A direct method of acutely manipulating levels of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, is by tryptophan depletion (TD). A drink containing large neutral amino acids but excluding tryptophan has been shown to substantially lower both tryptophan in the plasma and tissues and the rate of serotonin synthesis in the brain1. This technique has been used to investigate changes in anger and aggression.


Acute Tryptophan Depletion Tryptophan Depletion Serotonin Synthesis Large Neutral Amino Acid Serotonergic Function 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyson J. Bond
    • 1
  • Janet Wingrove
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Institute of PsychiatryKing’s CollegeLondonUK

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