What is the neuroscience of rage?


The neuroscience of rage is discussed in a conversation between Tim Ferriss and Dr. Gabor Maté on the . They delve into the mechanisms and implications of rage, informed by the work of neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp.

Key Points:

  1. Brain Systems:

    • Jaak Panksepp identified brain systems shared with other mammals, including systems for care, grief/panic, fear, lust, seeking, play, and rage.
    • Rage arises when boundaries are transgressed. Healthy anger is an immediate, protective response that dissipates once no longer required 1.
  2. Childhood Suppression:

    • When children cannot express anger from boundary violations, it gets suppressed and remains unresolved like a "volcano" inside.
    • Tim Ferriss and Dr. Maté discuss how early suppression of anger can lead to it manifesting in harmful ways later in life 1.
  3. Processing Rage:

    • Dr. Maté advises experiencing rage fully, recognizing its presence in the body—muscles, nervous system, and visceral experiences.
    • Using the "RAIN" approach (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture) helps in fully experiencing and understanding rage without suppression or harmful expression 2.
    • Accepting and making friends with all aspects of oneself, including rage, is critical for healing and self-understanding.

This approach highlights the importance of processing and metabolizing rage healthily rather than suppressing it, emphasizing the profound impact of childhood experiences on adult emotional responses.

Understanding Rage

Gabor Maté discusses the neuroscience behind rage and anger, emphasizing the importance of healthy anger as a protective response to boundary transgressions. He explains how suppressed anger from childhood experiences can manifest as an internal volcano, sharing insights on the long-lasting effects and the process of metabolizing rage.

Tim Ferriss Show

Dr. Gabor Maté — The Myth of Normal, Metabolizing Anger, Processing Trauma, and More