My research aims to clarify the role of NMDA and GABAA receptors in the escalation of aggression by alcohol and benzodiazepines. Animals self-administer a moderate dose of alcohol and aggressive behavior is evaluated using the resident-intruder paradigm. NMDA or GABAA receptor agonists or antagonists are administered following self-administration to determine their impact on alcohol-heightened aggression. Benzodiazepine-escalated aggression is evaluated using benzodiazepine-insensitive GABAA α1, α2, or α3 receptor knock-in mutants and their wild-type C57BL/6J counterparts. Mutant and wild type animals are administered doses of midazolam preceding evaluation of aggressive behavior in the resident-intruder paradigm. We aim to determine which alpha subunits are necessary for the disinhibiting effects of benzodiazepines.