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However, the team broke ground by implanting the brains of living mice with a probe that can both microinject drugs and collect brain fluid samples.
Using this novel in vivo microdialysis approach, the researchers were able to observe an increase in glutamate release in the DRN during moments of aggression between the mice. Levels of serotonin also increased in the DRN and the medial prefrontal cortex during intensely aggressive behavior, but not during "normal adaptive aggression."
What the team concludes, therefore, is that glutamate input to the DRN is critical for escalating aggressive behavior and thus causes a surge of serotonin in the DRN.
The researchers hope that their findings, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, may suggest targets for future extreme antisocial behavior treatments.