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Impulsive-aggressive traits, serotonin function, and alcohol-enhanced aggression
Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center Publications and Presentations
  • Carl E. Fulwiler, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Joy Eckstine, Tufts-New England Medical Center
  • Sapna Kalsy, Tufts-New England Medical Center
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Psychiatry
Publication Date
Document Type
Adult; Aggression; Alcohol Drinking; Ethanol; Humans; Impulsive Behavior; Male; Personality Inventory; Prolactin; Serotonin; Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Although alcohol consumption is involved in most acts of violence, most people do not become violent when they drink. Individuals also respond differently to alcohol on laboratory measures of aggression. The objective of this study was to determine whether individual differences in the effects of alcohol on a laboratory measure of aggression are related to specific personality traits and/or serotonin function, as measured by prolactin response to pharmacochallenge. Psychometric scales for impulsiveness, aggression, and anger, as well as a probe for suspiciousness, were administered to 10 healthy male social drinkers. Trait serotonin function was determined by citalopram challenge. The effect of alcohol on the Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm was determined by comparing aggression scores with and without 1 g/kg alcohol. Impulsivity scores were significantly correlated with the change in aggressive responding after alcohol. Aggression, anger, and suspiciousness scores were not. Prolactin response did not predict the effect of alcohol on aggressive responding. The results suggest that trait impulsiveness may mediate the effects of alcohol on aggression in normal males.
DOI of Published Version
J Clin Pharmacol. 2005 Jan;45(1):94-100. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Carl E. Fulwiler, Joy Eckstine and Sapna Kalsy. "Impulsive-aggressive traits, serotonin function, and alcohol-enhanced aggression" Vol. 45 Iss. 1 (2004) ISSN: 0091-2700 (Linking)
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