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Biological Basis in Primate Populations

What can primate behavior tell us about violence in early modern human groups?

In this chapter experts discuss the roots of violence from an evolutionary and biological perspective. Beginning with chimpanzees and bonobos, humankind's close genetic relatives, you will learn about the type of violence common to these primates, its utility for group success, and its counterpoint in evidence of moral behavior. The adoption of violence, including specific types of aggression and its long-term impact on primates, suggests a similarity to early modern human groups.

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Adaptive Behavior: physical traits or behavior produced by natural selection. For an adaptation to persist and spread in a population it must be beneficial. Dept. of Anthropology, University of Missouri-Columbia   

Amygdala: in the brain, one of the integrative centers for emotions, emotional behavior and learning, motivation, and fear-related memory. It also regulates additional cognitive processes, such as memory or attention The Amygdala and Emotion

Other: the condition or quality of being different, particularly if the differences in question are strange, bizarre, or exotic. The concept of 'othering' creates opportunities for designating others as sub-human in order to justify hate crimes. Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods

Pre-Frontal Cortex: an area in the brain that regulates problem solving, emotions, and complex thought. New York Academy of Sciences

PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Mayo Clinic 

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