There is a lot of Hate out there but what causes it?
“If love is said to come from the heart, what about hate? Along with music, religion, irony and a host of other complex concepts, researchers are on the hunt for the neurological underpinnings of hatred. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has begun to reveal how the strong emotion starts to emerge in the brain.”
A neurobiologist named Semi Zeki of University College London’s Laboratory of Neurobiology led a study last year that scanned 17 adult brains as they gazed at the images of a person they claimed to hate. Across the board, areas in the medial frontal gyrus, right putamen, premotor cortex and medial insula activated. Parts of this so-called “hate circuit,”he researchers noted, are also involved in initiating aggressive behavior, but feelings of aggression itself—as well as anger, danger and fear—show different patterns in the brain than hatred does.
Hatred activates in the frontal cortex.
There is a lot more research that has to be done
“The study, by Professor Semir Zeki and John Romaya of the Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology at UCL, examined the brain areas that correlate with the sentiment of hate and shows that the ‘hate circuit’ is distinct from those related to emotions such as fear, threat and danger – although it shares a part of the brain associated with aggression. The circuit is also quite distinct from that associated with romantic love, though it shares at least two common structures with it.”
“A new study using MRI scans, led by Professor Jianfeng Feng, from the University of Warwick’s Department of Computer Science, has found that depression frequently seems to uncouple the brain’s ‘hate circuit.’
The study is published Oct. 4 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
The researchers used MRI scanners to scan the brain activity in 39 depressed people (23 female 16 male) and 37 control subjects who were not depressed (14 female 23 male). The researchers found the fMRI scans revealed significant differences in the brain circuitry of the two groups. The greatest difference observed in the depressed patients was the uncoupling of the so-called “hate circuit” involving the superior frontal gyrus, insula and putamen. Other major changes occurred in circuits related to risk and action responses, reward and emotion, attention and memory processing.
The new University of Warwick led research found that in significant numbers of the depressed test subjects they examined by fMRI that this hate circuit had become decoupled. Those depressed people also seemed to have experienced other significant disruptions to brain circuits associated with; risk and action, reward and emotion, and attention and memory processing. The researchers found that in the depressed subjects:
- The Hate circuits were 92% per cent likely to be decoupled
- The Risk/Action circuit was 92% likely to be decoupled
- The Emotion/Reward circuit was 82% likely to be decoupled
Professor Jianfeng Feng, from the University of Warwick’s Department of Computer studies said that:
“The results are clear but at first sight are puzzling as we know that depression is often characterized by intense self loathing and there is no obvious indication that depressives are less prone to hate others. One possibility is that the uncoupling of this hate circuit could be associated with impaired ability to control and learn from social or other situations which provoke feelings of hate towards self or others. This in turn could lead to an inability to deal appropriately with feelings of hate and an increased likelihood of both uncontrolled self-loathing and withdrawal from social interactions. It may be that this is a neurological indication that is more normal to have occasion to hate others rather than hate ourselves.”
All very interesting. The brain is a fascinating place.
This is why I love Science. There is hope for people who hate.