Cognition, emotion, and the alcohol - Aggression relationship: Comment on Giancola (2000)

M. Lyvers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
231 Downloads (Pure)


P. R. Giancola's (2000) thesis that the alcohol-aggression relationship can be explained by alcohol-induced disruption of executive cognitive functions mediated by the prefrontal cortex is critically examined. At moderate doses, alcohol has been reported to increase aggression in animals as diverse as fish, rats, cats, monkeys, and humans. Although alcohol depresses prefrontal cortex activity and disrupts executive cognitive performance in humans, alcohol's anxiolytic actions, and its disinhibiting effects on subcortical structures implicated in anger and aggression, may be at least as important as the higher cognitive functions cited by Giancola in accounting for the alcohol-aggression relationship. Other drugs that alter prefrontal cortex activity have also been reported to influence aggressive responding in humans and other animals, and implications of this are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-608
Number of pages2
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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