Hello again classmates.

We are back for another class of psychology. This is going to be quite a special and unique one, I promise.

It is about what happens in the brain when you hate or dislike someone!


Photo credit: Thrive Global


Just like when we like or love someone,

A lot of processes happen in the brain when you hate or dislike someone.

It is the same brain that does this work, no?!


Photo credit: GoodTherapy


So, there is a part of the brain called the “cortex”.

In this cortex, there is what we call the “premotor cortex”.

The premotor cortex is the part of the brain that is largely responsible for planning and execution of motion.

Moments like when you feel attacked or in the presence of someone you dislike, the premotor cortex ensures prepares you to act aggressively when feeling hateful, either to defend or as an attack!


Photo credit: Science 2.0


There are other parts including the medial frontal gyrus, the medial insula and the right putamen.

All those parts put together with the premotor cortex forms what we will call the “hate circuit”.


The frontal gyros is the part of the brain that deals with the yes or no decisions we make.

When you hate somebody this part of the brain is constantly in conflict, wondering if you should act negatively on these feelings.

The medial insula is responsible for sensory processing, decision-making, and motor control.

The right putamen is involved in learning and motor control, including speech articulation, language functions, reward, cognitive functioning, and addiction.


According to Psych Matters South Africa,

“This activation of the premotor cortex also triggers the autonomic nervous system, creating “fight or flight” responses, increasing cortisol and adrenalin”.

Both these hormones deplete the adrenals and contribute to weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, depression and chronic illness. Therefore, the cycle of bodily and mental dis-ease continues.


Hatred also triggers the mind to try to predict what the actions of the person being hated may do, as a way to protect you, but this leads to further anxiety, restlessness, obsessive thinking and paranoia, which also then influences negatively in the way you engage in relationships. It’s important to note that all these reactions affect only the hater, and not the hated, breaking down your nervous – immune – and endocrine system, and your mental well-being.


There you have it!

One trigger in you makes all these processes happen in your brain, in a flash!

That is what happens in the brain when you hate or dislike someone.