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Article Date: 25 Nov 2009 – 0:00 PST

Outrageous prices may not be the only thing causing anger at the petrol pumps. A new study, published in the open access journal BMC Physiology, has shown that rats exposed to fumes from leaded and unleaded gasoline become more aggressive.

Amal Kinawy, from Cairo University, Egypt, examined the emotionally incendiary properties of gasoline in three groups of male rats, each exposed to either leaded-gas fumes, unleaded-gas fumes or clean air. As well as observing the animals’ behavior, she studied any resulting neurological and physiological changes. She said, “Millions of people every day are exposed to gasoline fumes while refuelling their cars. Exposure can also come from exhaust fumes and, particularly in the developing world, deliberate gasoline sniffing as a means of getting high”.

The research demonstrates that rats exposed to either kind of fuel vapor showed increased aggressive behavior, such as more time spent in belligerent postures and increased numbers of actual attacks, in comparison to the clean air group. Examination of the animals’ brains after the experiment revealed significant differences between all three groups. According to Kinawy, “Rats exposed to unleaded gasoline showed indications of increased damage caused by free radicals and altered levels of neurotransmitters in the brain cortex region, in comparison with the control or leaded gasoline groups. Furthermore, inhalation of both fuels induced significant fluctuations in neurotransmitters in the hypothalamus, hippocampus and cerebellum”.

Kinawy concludes, “Heightened aggression may be yet another risk for the human population chronically exposed to urban air polluted by automobile smoke”.

Notes:
Impact of gasoline inhalation on some neurobehavioural characteristics of male rats
Amal A Kinawy
BMC Physiology (in press)
http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcphysiol/

Source: Graeme Baldwin
BioMed Central 

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/172002.php

New Discoveries About the Experience of Anger

ScienceDaily (Nov. 30, 2009) — Younger people, those with children and less-educated individuals are more likely to experience anger, according to new UofT research that examines one of the most common negative emotions in society.

Drawing upon national survey data of more than 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older, Professor Scott Schieman from the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto has published new findings about the experience of anger. In a chapter in the forthcoming International Handbook of Anger, to be released in January 2010, Schieman documents the basic social patterns and contexts of anger. His main findings include:

  • Younger people experience more frequent anger than older adults. This is mainly due to the fact that younger people are more likely to feel time pressures, economic hardship, and interpersonal conflict in the workplace (three core stressors that elevate anger levels);
  • Feeling rushed for time is the strongest predictor of anger, especially the “low-grade” forms like feeling annoyed;
  • Having children in the household is associated with angry feelings and behaviour (i.e., yelling) and these patterns are stronger among women compared to men;
  • Compared to people with fewer years of education, the well-educated are less likely to experience anger, and when they do, they are more likely to act proactively (e.g., trying to change the situation or talking it over);
  • Individuals who experience more financial strain tend to report higher levels of anger. This relationship is much stronger among women and younger adults.

“The sociological analysis of anger can shed light on the ways that the conditions of society influence emotional inequality,” says Schieman. “Why do some people seem to experience more anger than others? And what does this say about social inequality and its impact in our everyday lives?”

The International Handbook of Anger is edited by Michael Potegal, Gerhard Stemmler and Charles Spielberger.

Source:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130131326.htm



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