Endogenous testosterone and cortisol modulate neural responses during induced anger control.

T.F. Denson, R.D. Ronay, W. von Hippel, M.M. Schira

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Research with violent offenders and delinquent adolescents suggests that endogenous testosterone concentrations have the strongest positive correlations with violence among men who have low concentrations of cortisol. The present study tested the hypothesis that testosterone and cortisol would similarly interact to determine neural activation in regions supporting self-regulation in response to anger provocation. Nineteen healthy Asian male participants were insulted and asked to control their anger during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). When cortisol levels were low, testosterone positively correlated with activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and thalamus, but not when cortisol levels were high. During induced anger control, functional connectivity was increased between the amygdala and a top-down prefrontal cortical control network. Moreover, the amygdala-PFC connectivity was strongest among those high in testosterone and low in cortisol. This research highlights a possible neural mechanism by which testosterone and cortisol may influence anger control. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2
    Pages (from-to)165-177
    Number of pages13
    JournalSocial Neuroscience
    Issue number8
    Early online date20 Jan 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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