THREAT AND AGGRESSION
Thermoregulation and hunger are primarily regulated by mechanisms that monitor and maintain the organism’s internal environment (although, as we have seen, external cues are also important). Other motives, in contrast, depend primarily on external triggers, and an example is our reaction to intense threat. In this case, the instigation is the lion about to pounce, or the bully about to strike us down. Even so, our discussion of threat will bring us to the same themes that arose in our discussion of hunger. Our bodies make numerous internal adjustments in response to the threat; these adjustments are tightly controlled by complex regulatory mechanisms that seem to function similarly in humans and in other species. Genetic mechanisms are crucial, and—once again— these genetic mechanisms interact constantly with environment and our experiences.
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