A new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge has found that low levels of the chemical serotonin are linked to anger in people.
Lead researcher Molly Crockett said the chemical appears to keep aggressive social responses in check. "Because we directly manipulated serotonin levels and observed an effect on behavior we can say there is a causal link between serotonin and aggressive responses," Crockett said.
AdvertisementThe serotonin levels in 20 healthy volunteers were manipulated by researchers in an effort to analyze combative responses among them. An amino acid that is required to make serotonin can only be obtained through food. Researchers say that this might explain why hungry people are aggressive.
In the study, people deprived of food were more likely to prevent other people from getting money in a money game. "It is an anger-driven response," Crockett said.
The details are reported in the journal Science.