Thursday, October 30, 2008

The neuroscience of hate

A brain imaging study by researchers at University College London looked at the parts of the brain that are activated by hate. They found that this 'hate circuit' was distinct from those related to threat, fear and danger although it did share a part of the brain related to aggression. The circuit was distinct from that associated with romantic love although it did share at least two common structures with it. To generate hate seventeen people had their brains scanned while looking at a picture of someone they hated. The 'hate circuit' included structures in the cortex and the sub-cortex important in generating aggressive behaviour and translating this into physical action and a part of the frontal cortex involved in predicting the actions of others. Hate activated parts of the brain called the putamen and insula which are both also involved in romantic love although love de-activated the parts of the brain associated with judgement and reasoning more than hate.

You can find out more about this research at

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