WorldWideScience

Sample records for oxytocin enhances social

  1. Intranasal oxytocin enhances socially-reinforced learning in rhesus monkeys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa A Parr

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available There are currently no drugs approved for the treatment of social deficits associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD. One hypothesis for these deficits is that individuals with ASD lack the motivation to attend to social cues because those cues are not implicitly rewarding. Therefore, any drug that could enhance the rewarding quality of social stimuli could have a profound impact on the treatment of ASD, and other social disorders. Oxytocin (OT is a neuropeptide that has been effective in enhancing social cognition and social reward in humans. The present study examined the ability of OT to selectively enhance learning after social compared to nonsocial reward in rhesus monkeys, an important species for modeling the neurobiology of social behavior in humans. Monkeys were required to learn an implicit visual matching task after receiving either intranasal (IN OT or Placebo (saline. Correct trials were rewarded with the presentation of positive and negative social (play faces/threat faces or nonsocial (banana/cage locks stimuli, plus food. Incorrect trials were not rewarded. Results demonstrated a strong effect of socially-reinforced learning, monkeys’ performed significantly better when reinforced with social versus nonsocial stimuli. Additionally, socially-reinforced learning was significantly better and occurred faster after IN-OT compared to placebo treatment. Performance in the IN-OT, but not Placebo, condition was also significantly better when the reinforcement stimuli were emotionally positive compared to negative facial expressions. These data support the hypothesis that OT may function to enhance prosocial behavior in primates by increasing the rewarding quality of emotionally positive, social compared to emotionally negative or nonsocial images. These data also support the use of the rhesus monkey as a model for exploring the neurobiological basis of social behavior and its impairment.

  2. Oxytocin and MDMA ('Ecstasy') enhance social reward in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Linnet; Hicks, Callum; Caminer, Alex; Goodwin, Jack; McGregor, Iain S

    2015-07-01

    Oxytocin (OT), vasopressin (AVP) and 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') all increase social interaction in rats, perhaps by enhancing the rewarding value of social encounters. Here, we used the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm to assess the intrinsic rewarding effects of OT, AVP and MDMA, and whether these effects are enhanced by the presence of a conspecific, or a dynamic, tactile object (a tennis ball). Adult male rats received conditioning sessions in a CPP apparatus twice a day (vehicle at 10 a.m., drug at 3 p.m.). Experiment 1 involved conditioning with OT (0.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.)), AVP (0.005 mg/kg, i.p.) or MDMA (5 mg/kg, i.p.). Experiments 2 and 3 involved conditioning with the same treatments but in the presence of a conspecific receiving the same treatment (social-CPP) or in the presence of a tennis ball (object-CPP), respectively. Conditioned place preference was assessed 24 h, 2 weeks and 4 weeks later. OT, AVP and MDMA did not produce a conventional CPP. However, when the conditioning environment also contained a conspecific both OT and MDMA induced a significant CPP lasting for at least 4 weeks. Rats given OT and MDMA also developed a more modest yet significant CPP for the environment where they encountered a tennis ball. These results indicate that OT and MDMA can augment the rewarding effects of social interaction, but also interaction with a dynamic and tactile non-social object. AVP does not condition social- or object-CPPs and may promote social proximity by inducing generalized anxiety and defensive aggregation.

  3. Oxytocin enhances the appropriate use of human social cues by the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) in an object choice task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, J L; Rault, J-L; Appleton, B; Lill, A

    2015-05-01

    It has been postulated that the neuropeptide, oxytocin, is involved in human-dog bonding. This may explain why dogs, compared to wolves, are such good performers on object choice tasks, which test their ability to attend to, and use, human social cues in order to find hidden food treats. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of intranasal oxytocin administration, which is known to increase social cognition in humans, on domestic dogs' ability to perform such a task. We hypothesised that dogs would perform better on the task after an intranasal treatment of oxytocin. Sixty-two (31 males and 31 females) pet dogs completed the experiment over two different testing sessions, 5-15 days apart. Intranasal oxytocin or a saline control was administered 45 min before each session. All dogs received both treatments in a pseudo-randomised, counterbalanced order. Data were collected as scores out of ten for each of the four blocks of trials in each session. Two blocks of trials were conducted using a momentary distal pointing cue and two using a gazing cue, given by the experimenter. Oxytocin enhanced performance using momentary distal pointing cues, and this enhanced level of performance was maintained over 5-15 days time in the absence of oxytocin. Oxytocin also decreased aversion to gazing cues, in that performance was below chance levels after saline administration but at chance levels after oxytocin administration.

  4. Vaginocervical stimulation enhances social recognition memory in rats via oxytocin release in the olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larrazolo-López, A; Kendrick, K M; Aburto-Arciniega, M; Arriaga-Avila, V; Morimoto, S; Frias, M; Guevara-Guzmán, R

    2008-03-27

    The ability of vaginocervical stimulation (VCS) to promote olfactory social recognition memory at different stages of the ovarian cycle was investigated in female rats. A juvenile social recognition paradigm was used and memory retention tested at 30 and 300 min after an adult was exposed to a juvenile during three 4-min trials. Results showed that an intact social recognition memory was present at 30 min in animals with or without VCS and at all stages of the estrus cycle. However, whereas no animals in any stage of the estrus cycle showed retention of the specific recognition memory at 300 min, those in the proestrus/estrus phase that received VCS 10 min before the trial started did. In vivo microdialysis studies showed that there was a significant release of oxytocin after VCS in the olfactory bulb during proestrus. There was also increased oxytocin immunoreactivity within the olfactory bulb after VCS in proestrus animals compared with diestrus ones. Furthermore, when animals received an infusion of an oxytocin antagonist directly into the olfactory bulb, or a systemic administration of alpha or beta noradrenaline-antagonists, they failed to show evidence for maintenance of a selective olfactory recognition memory at 300 min. Animals with vagus or pelvic nerve section also showed no memory retention when tested after 300 min. These results suggest that VCS releases oxytocin in the olfactory bulb to enhance the social recognition memory and that this may be due to modulatory actions on noradrenaline release. The vagus and pelvic nerves are responsible for carrying the information from the pelvic area to the CNS.

  5. Oxytocin and social functioning

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Candace; Barrera, Ingrid; Brothers, Shaun; Ring, Robert; Wahlestedt, Claes

    2017-01-01

    Social anxiety is a form of anxiety characterized by continuous fear of one or more social or performance situations. Although multiple treatment modalities (cognitive behavioral therapy, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors/selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines) exist for social anxiety, they are effective for only 60% to 70% of patients. Thus, researchers have looked for other candidates for social anxiety treatment. Our review focuses on the peptide oxytocin as a...

  6. Activation of Supraoptic Oxytocin Neurons by Secretin Facilitates Social Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takayanagi, Yuki; Yoshida, Masahide; Takashima, Akihide; Takanami, Keiko; Yoshida, Shoma; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Nishijima, Ichiko; Sakamoto, Hirotaka; Yamagata, Takanori; Onaka, Tatsushi

    2017-02-01

    Social recognition underlies social behavior in animals, and patients with psychiatric disorders associated with social deficits show abnormalities in social recognition. Oxytocin is implicated in social behavior and has received attention as an effective treatment for sociobehavioral deficits. Secretin receptor-deficient mice show deficits in social behavior. The relationship between oxytocin and secretin concerning social behavior remains to be determined. Expression of c-Fos in oxytocin neurons and release of oxytocin from their dendrites after secretin application were investigated. Social recognition was examined after intracerebroventricular or local injection of secretin, oxytocin, or an oxytocin receptor antagonist in rats, oxytocin receptor-deficient mice, and secretin receptor-deficient mice. Electron and light microscopic immunohistochemical analysis was also performed to determine whether oxytocin neurons extend their dendrites into the medial amygdala. Supraoptic oxytocin neurons expressed the secretin receptor. Secretin activated supraoptic oxytocin neurons and facilitated oxytocin release from dendrites. Secretin increased acquisition of social recognition in an oxytocin receptor-dependent manner. Local application of secretin into the supraoptic nucleus facilitated social recognition, and this facilitation was blocked by an oxytocin receptor antagonist injected into, but not outside of, the medial amygdala. In the medial amygdala, dendrite-like thick oxytocin processes were found to extend from the supraoptic nucleus. Furthermore, oxytocin treatment restored deficits of social recognition in secretin receptor-deficient mice. The results of our study demonstrate that secretin-induced dendritic oxytocin release from supraoptic neurons enhances social recognition. The newly defined secretin-oxytocin system may lead to a possible treatment for social deficits. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights

  7. Social support, oxytocin, and PTSD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, Miranda; Koch, Saskia B. J.; Nawijn, Laura; Frijling, Jessie L.; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Veltman, Dick J.

    2014-01-01

    A lack of social support and recognition by the environment is one of the most consistent risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and PTSD patients will recover faster with proper social support. The oxytocin system has been proposed to underlie beneficial effects of social support as

  8. Oxytocin and the neural mechanisms regulating social cognition and affiliative behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Heather E; Young, Larry J

    2009-10-01

    Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and released into the circulation through the neurohypophyseal system. Peripherally released oxytocin facilitates parturition and milk ejection during nursing. Centrally released oxytocin coordinates the onset of maternal nurturing behavior at parturition and plays a role in mother-infant bonding. More recent studies have revealed a more general role for oxytocin in modulating affiliative behavior in both sexes. Oxytocin regulates alloparental care and pair bonding in female monogamous prairie voles. Social recognition in male and female mice is also modulated by oxytocin. In humans, oxytocin increases gaze to the eye region of human faces and enhances interpersonal trust and the ability to infer the emotions of others from facial cues. While the neurohypopheseal oxytocin system has been well characterized, less is known regarding the nature of oxytocin release within the brain. Here we review the role of oxytocin in the regulation of prosocial interactions, and discuss the neuroanatomy of the central oxytocin system.

  9. Oxytocin, testosterone, and human social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, Bernard J

    2016-05-01

    I describe an integrative social-evolutionary model for the adaptive significance of the human oxytocinergic system. The model is based on a role for this hormone in the generation and maintenance of social familiarity and affiliation across five homologous, functionally similar, and sequentially co-opted contexts: mothers with offspring, female and male mates, kin groups, individuals with reciprocity partners, and individuals within cooperating and competing social groups defined by culture. In each situation, oxytocin motivates, mediates and rewards the cognitive and behavioural processes that underlie the formation and dynamics of a more or less stable social group, and promotes a relationship between two or more individuals. Such relationships may be positive (eliciting neurological reward, reducing anxiety and thus indicating fitness-enhancing effects), or negative (increasing anxiety and distress, and thus motivating attempts to alleviate a problematic, fitness-reducing social situation). I also present evidence that testosterone exhibits opposite effects from oxytocin on diverse aspects of cognition and behaviour, most generally by favouring self-oriented, asocial and antisocial behaviours. I apply this model for effects of oxytocin and testosterone to understanding human psychological disorders centrally involving social behaviour. Reduced oxytocin and higher testosterone levels have been associated with under-developed social cognition, especially in autism. By contrast, some combination of oxytocin increased above normal levels, and lower testosterone, has been reported in a notable number of studies of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, and, in some cases, higher oxytocin involves maladaptively 'hyper-developed' social cognition in these conditions. This pattern of findings suggests that human social cognition and behaviour are structured, in part, by joint and opposing effects of oxytocin and testosterone, and that extremes of such joint

  10. The association between oxytocin and social capital.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeo Fujiwara

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Oxytocin is known to be related to social behaviors, including trust. However, few studies have investigated the association between oxytocin levels and social capital. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that endogenous oxytocin levels are positively associated with social capital. We also considered whether the association differed across gender because previous studies have shown differential effects of OT on social behaviors depending on gender. METHODS: We recruited a convenience sample of 50 women and 31 men in Japan via community sampling from whom we obtained urine sample with which to measure oxytocin levels. Individual-level cognitive social capital (social trust and mutual aid and structural social capital (community participation were assessed using a questionnaire. We used multivariate regression, adjusted for covariates (age, number of children, self-rated health, and education, and stratified by gender to consider associations between oxytocin and social capital. RESULTS: Among women, oxytocin was inversely associated with social trust and mutual aid (p<0.05. However, women participating in only 1 organization in the community showed higher oxytocin than women who participated in either no organizations (p<0.05 or 2 or more organization (i.e. inverse-U shape association. Among men, no association was observed between oxytocin and either form of cognitive and structural social capital. CONCLUSION: Women who perceived low cognitive social capital showed higher oxytocin levels, while structural social capital showed inverse-U shape association with oxytocin. No association between oxytocin and social capital was found among men. Further study is needed to elucidate why oxytocin was inversely associated with cognitive social capital only among women.

  11. Hypothalamic oxytocin mediates social buffering of the stress response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adam S; Wang, Zuoxin

    2014-08-15

    While stressful life events can enhance the risk of mental disorders, positive social interactions can propagate good mental health and normal behavioral routines. Still, the neural systems that promote these benefits are undetermined. Oxytocin is a hormone involved in social behavior and stress; thus, we focus on the impact that social buffering has on the stress response and the governing effects of oxytocin. Female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) were exposed to 1 hour immobilization stress and then recovered alone or with their male partner to characterize the effect of social contact on the behavioral, physiological, and neuroendocrine stress response. In addition, we treated immobilized female voles recovering alone with oxytocin or vehicle and female voles recovering with their male partner with a selective oxytocin receptor antagonist or vehicle. Group sizes varied from 6 to 8 voles (N = 98 total). We found that 1 hour immobilization increased anxiety-like behaviors and circulating levels of corticosterone, a stress hormone, in female prairie voles recovering alone but not the female prairie voles recovering with their male partner. This social buffering by the male partner on biobehavioral responses to stress was accompanied by increased oxytocin release in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Intra-paraventricular nucleus oxytocin injections reduced behavioral and corticosterone responses to immobilization, whereas injections of an oxytocin receptor antagonist blocked the effects of the social buffering. Together, our data demonstrate that paraventricular nucleus oxytocin mediates the social buffering effects on the stress response and thus may be a target for treatment of stress-related disorders. Published by Society of Biological Psychiatry on behalf of Society of Biological Psychiatry.

  12. Oxytocin attenuates social and non-social avoidance: Re-thinking the social specificity of Oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harari-Dahan, Osnat; Bernstein, Amit

    2017-07-01

    Re-examining decades of the social construal of Oxytocin, the General Approach-Avoidance Hypothesis of Oxytocin (GAAO) predicts that Oxytocin will modulate responding to emotionally-evocative and personally-relevant social and non-social stimuli due to its action on the neural substrate of approach and avoidance motivation. We report the first critical experimental test of GAAO predictions by means of a double-blind intra-nasal administration of Oxytocin vs. placebo in 90 healthy adults (N=90, 50% women). As predicted, we found that among men and women for whom negative emotion (anxious arousal) is motivationally-relevant, intra-nasal administration of Oxytocin reduced behavioral avoidance of emotionally-evocative negatively-valenced social and non-social stimuli, but not closely matched emotionally-neutral stimuli. Findings cannot be explained by extant social theories of Oxytocin. We discuss the implications of the present findings for basic and translational clinical Oxytocin research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Promoting social behavior with oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andari, Elissar; Duhamel, Jean-René; Zalla, Tiziana; Herbrecht, Evelyn; Leboyer, Marion; Sirigu, Angela

    2010-03-02

    Social adaptation requires specific cognitive and emotional competences. Individuals with high-functioning autism or with Asperger syndrome cannot understand or engage in social situations despite preserved intellectual abilities. Recently, it has been suggested that oxytocin, a hormone known to promote mother-infant bonds, may be implicated in the social deficit of autism. We investigated the behavioral effects of oxytocin in 13 subjects with autism. In a simulated ball game where participants interacted with fictitious partners, we found that after oxytocin inhalation, patients exhibited stronger interactions with the most socially cooperative partner and reported enhanced feelings of trust and preference. Also, during free viewing of pictures of faces, oxytocin selectively increased patients' gazing time on the socially informative region of the face, namely the eyes. Thus, under oxytocin, patients respond more strongly to others and exhibit more appropriate social behavior and affect, suggesting a therapeutic potential of oxytocin through its action on a core dimension of autism.

  14. A general approach-avoidance hypothesis of oxytocin: accounting for social and non-social effects of oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harari-Dahan, Osnat; Bernstein, Amit

    2014-11-01

    We critically reexamine extant theory and empirical study of Oxytocin. We question whether OT is, in fact, a "social neuropeptide" as argued in dominant theories of OT. We critically review human and animal research on the social and non-social effects of Oxytocin, including behavioral, psychophysiological, neurobiological, and neuroimaging studies. We find that extant (social) theories of Oxytocin do not account for well-documented non-social effects of Oxytocin. Furthermore, we find a range of evidence that social and non-social effects of Oxytocin may be mediated by core approach-avoidance motivational processes. We propose a General Approach-avoidance Hypothesis of Oxytocin (GAAO). We argue that the GAAO may provide a parsimonious account of established social and non-social effects of Oxytocin. We thus re-conceptualize the basic function(s) and mechanism(s) of action of Oxytocin. Finally, we highlight implications of the GAAO for basic and clinical research in humans

  15. Intranasal oxytocin increases neural responses to social reward in post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawijn, Laura; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Koch, Saskia B J; Frijling, Jessie L; Veltman, Dick J; Olff, Miranda

    2017-02-01

    Therapeutic alliance and perceived social support are important predictors of treatment response for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Intranasal oxytocin administration may enhance treatment response by increasing sensitivity for social reward and thereby therapeutic alliance and perceived social support. As a first step to investigate this therapeutical potential, we investigated whether intranasal oxytocin enhances neural sensitivity to social reward in PTSD patients. Male and female police officers with (n = 35) and without PTSD (n = 37) were included in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over fMRI study. After intranasal oxytocin (40 IU) and placebo administration, a social incentive delay task was conducted to investigate neural responses during social reward and punishment anticipation and feedback. Under placebo, PTSD patients showed reduced left anterior insula (AI) responses to social rewards (i.e. happy faces) compared with controls. Oxytocin administration increased left AI responses during social reward in PTSD patients, such that PTSD patients no longer differed from controls under placebo. Furthermore, in PTSD patients, oxytocin increased responses to social reward in the right putamen. By normalizing abberant insula responses and increasing putamen responses to social reward, oxytocin administration may enhance sensitivity for social support and therapeutic alliance in PTSD patients. Future studies are needed to investigate clinical effects of oxytocin. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press.

  16. Working hard for oneself or others: Effects of oxytocin on reward motivation in social anxiety disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Angela; Treadway, Michael T; Hofmann, Stefan G

    2017-07-01

    There is some evidence to suggest that oxytocin promotes social behavior, especially for disorders characterized by social dysfunction, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD). The goal of this study was to examine the effect of oxytocin on reward motivation in SAD. We tested whether oxytocin promotes prosocial, or antisocial, self-directed decisions, and whether its effects depended on social anxiety severity and attachment. Fifty-two males with SAD received 24 international units of oxytocin or placebo, and completed a reward motivation task that measured willingness to work for self vs. other monetary rewards. Although there was no main drug effect, social anxiety severity moderated the effect of oxytocin. Less socially anxious individuals who received oxytocin worked harder for other vs. own rewards, compared to high socially anxious individuals. Attachment did not moderate this effect. Among people with SAD, oxytocin enhances prosocial behaviors in individuals with relatively lower levels of social anxiety. National Institutes of Health ClinicalTrials.gov Registry #NCT01856530. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01856530?term=oxytocin+pro-social&rank=2. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Nasal Oxytocin for Social Deficits in Childhood Autism: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadds, Mark R.; MacDonald, Elayne; Cauchi, Avril; Williams, Katrina; Levy, Florence; Brennan, John

    2014-01-01

    The last two decades have witnessed a surge in research investigating the application of oxytocin as a method of enhancing social behaviour in humans. Preliminary evidence suggests oxytocin may have potential as an intervention for autism. We evaluated a 5-day "live-in" intervention using a double-blind randomized control trial. 38 male…

  18. The effects of oxytocin on social cognition in borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servan, A; Brunelin, J; Poulet, E

    2018-02-01

    impact on recognition and discrimination of emotions and on hypervigilance towards social threats. However, oxytocin could hinder trust and cooperation. These data lead us to consider oxytocin as a treatment for emotion recognition deficit and hypervigilance towards social threats in borderline personality disorder. A beneficial effect of oxytocin of this nature may be obtained only in patients without deficits in trust and cooperation because of a risk of aggravating relational instability. There was no current evidence for the interest of oxytocin in enhancing affective and cognitive empathy in borderline personality disorder. Further studies are needed to evaluate the clinical interest of combining oxytocin with psychotherapeutic approaches such as dialectical behavioral therapy or mentalisation-based treatment. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  19. Oxytocin: parallel processing in the social brain?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dölen, Gül

    2015-06-01

    Early studies attempting to disentangle the network complexity of the brain exploited the accessibility of sensory receptive fields to reveal circuits made up of synapses connected both in series and in parallel. More recently, extension of this organisational principle beyond the sensory systems has been made possible by the advent of modern molecular, viral and optogenetic approaches. Here, evidence supporting parallel processing of social behaviours mediated by oxytocin is reviewed. Understanding oxytocinergic signalling from this perspective has significant implications for the design of oxytocin-based therapeutic interventions aimed at disorders such as autism, where disrupted social function is a core clinical feature. Moreover, identification of opportunities for novel technology development will require a better appreciation of the complexity of the circuit-level organisation of the social brain. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  20. Research review: Social motivation and oxytocin in autism--implications for joint attention development and intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavropoulos, Katherine K M; Carver, Leslie J

    2013-06-01

    The social motivation hypothesis (SMH) suggests that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are less intrinsically rewarded by social stimuli than their neurotypical peers. This difference in social motivation has been posited as a factor contributing to social deficits in ASD. Social motivation is thought to involve the neuropeptide oxytocin. Here, we review the evidence for oxytocin effects in ASD, and discuss its potential role in one important social cognitive behavior. Systematic searches were conducted using the PsychINFO and MEDLINE databases and the search terms 'oxytocin' and 'autism'; the same databases were used for separate searches for 'joint attention', 'intervention', and 'autism', using the same inclusion criteria as an earlier 2011 review but updating it for the period 2010 to October 2012. Several studies suggest that giving oxytocin to both individuals with ASD and neurotypical individuals can enhance performance on social cognitive tasks. Studies that have attempted to intervene in joint attention in ASD suggest that social motivation may be a particular obstacle to lasting effects. The review of the evidence for the SMH suggests a potential role for oxytocin in social motivation deficits in ASD. Because of its importance for later communicative and social development, the focus here is on implications of oxytocin and social motivation in the development of and interventions in joint attention. Joint attention is a central impairment in ASD, and as a result is the focus of several behavioral interventions. In describing this previous research on joint attention interventions in ASD, we pay particular attention to problems encountered in such studies, and propose ways that oxytocin may facilitate behavioral intervention in this area. For future research, integrating behavioral and pharmacological interventions (oxytocin administration) would be a worthwhile experimental direction to improve understanding of the role of oxytocin in ASD

  1. A single dose of oxytocin nasal spray improves higher-order social cognition in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guastella, Adam J; Ward, Philip B; Hickie, Ian B; Shahrestani, Sara; Hodge, Marie Antoinette Redoblado; Scott, Elizabeth M; Langdon, Robyn

    2015-11-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with significant impairments in both higher and lower order social cognitive performance and these impairments contribute to poor social functioning. People with schizophrenia report poor social functioning to be one of their greatest unmet treatment needs. Recent studies have suggested the potential of oxytocin as such a treatment, but mixed results render it uncertain what aspects of social cognition are improved by oxytocin and, subsequently, how oxytocin might best be applied as a therapeutic. The aim of this study was to determine whether a single dose of oxytocin improved higher-order and lower-order social cognition performance for patients with schizophrenia across a well-established battery of social cognition tests. Twenty-one male patients received both a single dose of oxytocin nasal spray (24IU) and a placebo, two weeks apart in a randomized within-subjects placebo controlled design. Following each administration, participants completed the social cognition tasks, as well as a test of general neurocognition. Results revealed that oxytocin particularly enhanced performance on higher order social cognition tasks, with no effects on general neurocognition. Results for individual tasks showed most improvement on tests measuring appreciation of indirect hints and recognition of social faux pas. These results suggest that oxytocin, if combined to enhance social cognition learning, may be beneficial when targeted at higher order social cognition domains. This study also suggests that these higher order tasks, which assess social cognitive processing in a social communication context, may provide useful markers of response to oxytocin in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Oxytocin and Social Cognition in Affective and Psychotic Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Rodriguez, M. Mercedes; Mahon, Katie; Russo, Manuela; Ungar, Allison K.; Burdick, Katherine E.

    2014-01-01

    Impairments in social cognition are now recognized as core illness features in psychotic and affective disorders. Despite the significant disability caused by social cognitive abnormalities, treatments for this symptom dimension are lacking. Here, we describe the evidence demonstrating abnormalities in social cognition in schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder, as well as the neurobiology of social cognition including the role of oxytocin. We then review clinical trials of oxytocin administration in psychotic and affective disorders and the impact of this agent on social cognition. To date, several studies have demonstrated that oxytocin may improve social cognition in schizophrenia; too few studies have been conducted in affective disorders to determine the effect of oxytocin on social cognition in these disorders. Future work is needed to clarify which aspects of social cognition may be improved with oxytocin treatment in psychotic and affective disorders. PMID:25153535

  3. Oxytocin enhances orienting to social information in a selective group of high-functioning male adults with autism spectrum disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Althaus, M.; Groen, Y.; Wijers, A. A.; Noltes, H.; Tucha, O.; Hoekstra, P. J.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The study investigated the effects of nasally administered oxytocin on neurophysiological orienting to empathy-evoking pictures in normally intelligent male adults with and without an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It further investigated whether these effects might be moderated by the

  4. Oxytocin facilitation of acceptance of social advice is dependent upon the perceived trustworthiness of individual advisors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Ruixue; Xu, Lei; Zhao, Weihua; Ma, Xiaole; Xu, Xiaolei; Kou, Juan; Gao, Zhao; Becker, Benjamin; Kendrick, Keith M

    2017-09-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin may increase social cohesion by making us more willing to trust others and/or to conform to their opinions. Here we investigated whether intranasal oxytocin can influence acceptance of advice given on solving everyday social problems by either individual expert (psychologist) or non-expert advisors with or without influencing their perceived likeability or trustworthiness. In a double-blind, between-subject, placebo-control design study in 160 male and female subjects, intranasal oxytocin (24IU) only significantly enhanced acceptance of advice given by female psychologists who were rated as the most trustworthy advisors. However, oxytocin itself did not alter either trustworthiness or likeability ratings. The oxytocin effect on acceptance of the female psychologist's advice was not maintained after a week, with subjects mainly reverting to their original solutions. These findings suggest that while oxytocin can transiently increase acceptance of advice from the most trustworthy individuals this is because it makes subjects more likely to conform to their opinions rather than enhancing their perceived trustworthiness or likeability. Thus in every day contexts oxytocin may primarily promote social cohesion by facilitating conformity towards the opinions of the most trusted individuals. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Intranasal Oxytocin Failed to Affect Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Social Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcutt, Sarah E.; Burke, Kimberly; de Waal, Frans B. M.

    2017-01-01

    Oxytocin has been suggested as a treatment to promote positive social interactions in people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). However, it is difficult to test this effect outside of the laboratory in realistic social situations. One way to resolve this issue is to study behavioral changes in closely related species with complex social relationships, such as chimpanzees. Here, we use captive, socially housed chimpanzees to evaluate the effects of oxytocin in a socially complex environment. After administering intranasal oxytocin or a placebo to an individual chimpanzee (total n = 8), she was returned to her social group. An experimenter blind to the condition measured the subject's social behavior. We failed to find a behavioral difference between conditions. As one of the goals for oxytocin administration as a treatment for ASD is increasing prosocial behaviors during ‘real world’ encounters, it is problematic that we failed to detect behavioral changes in our closest living relatives. However, our null findings may be related to methodological challenges such as determining an effective dose of oxytocin for chimpanzees and how long oxytocin takes to cross the blood-brain barrier. Thus, more research on intranasal oxytocin dosing and uptake are needed to continue exploring whether oxytocin changes social behavior in naturalistic settings and as a treatment for ASD. PMID:28845444

  6. Life in groups: the roles of oxytocin in mammalian sociality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison eAnacker

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, scientific understanding of the many roles of oxytocin in social behavior has advanced tremendously. The focus of this research has been on maternal attachments and reproductive pair-bonds, and much less is known about the substrates of sociality outside of reproductive contexts. It is now apparent that oxytocin influences many aspects of social behavior including recognition, trust, empathy, and other components of the behavioral repertoire of social species. This review provides a comparative perspective on the contributions of oxytocin to life in mammalian social groups. We provide background on the functions of oxytocin in maternal attachments and the early social environment, and give an overview of the role of oxytocin circuitry in support of different mating systems. We then introduce peer relationships in group-living rodents as a means for studying the importance of oxytocin in non-reproductive affiliative behaviors. We review species differences in oxytocin receptor distributions in solitary and group-living species of South American tuco-tucos and in African mole-rats, as well as singing mice. We discuss variation in oxytocin receptor levels with seasonal changes in social behavior in female meadow voles, and the effects of oxytocin manipulations on peer huddling behavior. Finally, we discuss avenues of promise for future investigation, and relate current findings to research in humans and non-human primates. There is growing evidence that oxytocin is involved in social selectivity, including increases in aggression toward social outgroups and decreased huddling with unfamiliar individuals, which may support existing social structures or relationships at the expense of others. Oxytocin’s effects reach beyond maternal attachment and pair bonds to play a role in affiliative behavior underlying friendships, organization of broad social structures, and maintenance of established social relationships with individuals

  7. Research Review: Social motivation and oxytocin in autism – implications for joint attention development and intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavropoulos, Katherine K. M.; Carver, Leslie J.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Scope The social motivation hypothesis (SMH) suggests that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are less intrinsically rewarded by social stimuli than their neurotypical peers. This difference in social motivation has been posited as a factor contributing to social deficits in ASD. Social motivation is thought to involve the neuropeptide oxytocin. Here, we review the evidence for oxytocin effects in ASD, and discuss its potential role in one important social cognitive behavior. Methods Systematic searches were conducted using the PsychINFO and MEDLINE databases and the search terms “oxytocin”, and “autism”; the same databases were used for separate searches for “joint attention”, “intervention”, and “autism”, using the same inclusion criteria as an earlier 2011 review but updating it for the period 2010 to October 2012. Findings Several studies suggest that giving oxytocin to both individuals with ASD and typically developing individuals can enhance performance on social cognitive tasks. Studies that have attempted to intervene in joint attention in ASD suggest that social motivation may be a particular obstacle to lasting effects. Conclusions The review of the evidence for the SMH suggests a potential role for oxytocin in social motivation deficits in ASD. Because of its importance for later communicative and social development, the focus here is on implications of oxytocin and social motivation in the development of and interventions in joint attention. Joint attention is a central impairment in ASD, and as a result is the focus of several behavioral interventions. In describing this previous research on joint attention interventions in ASD, we pay particular attention to problems encountered in such studies, and propose ways that oxytocin may facilitate behavioral intervention in this area. For future research, integrating behavioral and pharmacological interventions (oxytocin administration) would be a worthwhile

  8. Oxytocin and Social Sensitivity: Gene Polymorphisms in Relation to Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Ideation

    OpenAIRE

    McQuaid, Robyn J.; McInnis, Opal A.; Matheson, Kimberly; Anisman, Hymie

    2016-01-01

    Although the neuropeptide oxytocin has been associated with enhanced prosocial behaviors, it has also been linked to aggression and mental health disorders. Thus, it was suggested that oxytocin might act by increasing the salience of social stimuli, irrespective of whether these are positive or negative, thus increasing vulnerability to negative mental health outcomes. The current study (N = 243), conducted among White university students, examined the relation of trauma, depressive symptoms ...

  9. Oxytocin and social affiliation in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Ruth

    2012-03-01

    A conceptual model detailing the process of bio-behavioral synchrony between the online physiological and behavioral responses of attachment partners during social contact is presented as a theoretical and empirical framework for the study of affiliative bonds. Guided by an ethological behavior-based approach, we suggest that micro-level social behaviors in the gaze, vocal, affective, and touch modalities are dynamically integrated with online physiological processes and hormonal response to create dyad-specific affiliations. Studies across multiple attachments throughout life are presented and demonstrate that the extended oxytocin (OT) system provides the neurohormonal substrate for parental, romantic, and filial attachment in humans; that the three prototypes of affiliation are expressed in similar constellations of social behavior; and that OT is stable over time within individuals, is mutually-influencing among partners, and that mechanisms of cross-generation and inter-couple transmission relate to coordinated social behavior. Research showing links between peripheral and genetic markers of OT with concurrent parenting and memories of parental care; between administration of OT to parent and infant's physiological readiness for social engagement; and between neuropeptides and the online synchrony of maternal and paternal brain response in social-cognitive and empathy networks support the hypothesis that human attachment develops within the matrix of biological attunement and close behavioral synchrony. The findings have conceptual implications for the study of inter-subjectivity as well as translational implications for the treatment of social disorders originating in early childhood, such as autism spectrum disorders, or those associated with disruptions to early bonding, such as postpartum depression or child abuse and neglect. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Social Behavior. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All

  10. Oxytocin promotes social bonding in dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Teresa; Nagasawa, Miho; Mogi, Kazutaka; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2014-06-24

    Recent evidence suggests that enduring social bonds have fitness benefits. However, very little is known about the neural circuitry and neurochemistry underlying the formation and maintenance of stable social bonds outside reproductive contexts. Oxytocin (OT), a neuropeptide synthetized by the hypothalamus in mammals, regulates many complex forms of social behavior and cognition in both human and nonhuman animals. Animal research, however, has concentrated on monogamous mammals, and it remains unknown whether OT also modulates social bonds in nonreproductive contexts. In this study we provide behavioral evidence that exogenous OT promotes positive social behaviors in the domestic dog toward not only conspecifics but also human partners. Specifically, when sprayed with OT, dogs showed higher social orientation and affiliation toward their owners and higher affiliation and approach behaviors toward dog partners than when sprayed with placebo. Additionally, the exchange of socio-positive behaviors with dog partners triggered the release of endogenous OT, highlighting the involvement of OT in the development of social relationships in the domestic dog. These data provide new insight into the mechanisms that facilitate the maintenance of close social bonds beyond immediate reproductive interest or genetic ties and complement a growing body of evidence that identifies OT as one of the neurochemical foundations of sociality in mammalian species.

  11. Oxytocin, stress and social behavior: neurogenetics of the human oxytocin system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumsta, Robert; Heinrichs, Markus

    2013-02-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin has had key roles throughout mammalian evolution in the regulation of complex social cognition and behaviors, such as attachment, parental care, pair-bonding, as well as social exploration and recognition. Recently, studies have begun to provide evidence that the function of this neuropeptide is impaired in mental disorders associated with social deficits. In this review, we focus on the genetic mechanisms of inter-individual variation in the social neuropeptide signaling. We discuss molecular genetic studies which identified variations in specific genes contributing to individual differences in social behavior and cognition, with a focus on the gene coding for the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) emerging as a particularly promising candidate. We conclude that molecular studies are warranted to elucidate functional consequences of variants that have shown stable associations with sociobehavioral phenotypes. With regard to the variability in individual responses to oxytocin administration, we advocate the need for pharmacogenetic approaches in order to test how the efficacy of oxytocin administration is modulated by genetic variation of OXTR or other genes involved in oxytocin signaling. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Neonatal oxytocin and vasopressin manipulation alter social behavior during the juvenile period in Mongolian gerbils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jack H; Cavanaugh, Jon; French, Jeffrey A

    2017-07-01

    Oxytocin and vasopressin are important modulators of a wide variety of social behaviors, and increasing evidence is showing that these neuropeptides are important organizational effectors of later-life behavior as well. We treated day-old gerbil pups with oxytocin, vasopressin, an oxytocin receptor antagonist, a vasopressin V1a receptor antagonist, or saline control, and then measured received parental responsiveness during the early postnatal period and juvenile social behavior during weaning. Neonatal vasopressin treatment enhanced sociality in males, but not females, at both developmental time points. When pups were individually placed outside the nest, parents were more responsive to male pups treated with vasopressin compared with littermates, and vasopressin treated male pups exhibited increased play with littermates as juveniles. These results show that vasopressin during very early life can enhance social interactions throughout early development. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Oxytocin modulates human communication by enhancing cognitive exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, Miriam; Kokal, Idil; Blokpoel, Mark; Liu, Rui; Stolk, Arjen; Roelofs, Karin; van Rooij, Iris; Toni, Ivan

    2017-12-01

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide known to influence how humans share material resources. Here we explore whether oxytocin influences how we share knowledge. We focus on two distinguishing features of human communication, namely the ability to select communicative signals that disambiguate the many-to-many mappings that exist between a signal's form and meaning, and adjustments of those signals to the presumed cognitive characteristics of the addressee ("audience design"). Fifty-five males participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled experiment involving the intranasal administration of oxytocin. The participants produced novel non-verbal communicative signals towards two different addressees, an adult or a child, in an experimentally-controlled live interactive setting. We found that oxytocin administration drives participants to generate signals of higher referential quality, i.e. signals that disambiguate more communicative problems; and to rapidly adjust those communicative signals to what the addressee understands. The combined effects of oxytocin on referential quality and audience design fit with the notion that oxytocin administration leads participants to explore more pervasively behaviors that can convey their intention, and diverse models of the addressees. These findings suggest that, besides affecting prosocial drive and salience of social cues, oxytocin influences how we share knowledge by promoting cognitive exploration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Differential effects of oxytocin on social sensitivity in two distinct breeds of dogs (Canis familiaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovács, Krisztina; Kis, Anna; Pogány, Ákos; Koller, Dóra; Topál, József

    2016-12-01

    Dogs have been proven to show several human-analogue social behaviors, and recent research raises the possibility that the oxytocin system is related to these. However, despite dogs' general tendency to excel in the domain of social cognition, there is increasing evidence that dogs' ability to utilize human signals may vary with breed. Moreover, breeds may show differences not only in their 'inborn' communicative abilities, but also in their learning skills related to these. The aim of the present study was to explore breed differences and breed-specific effects of oxytocin administration on different aspects of social responsiveness. Dogs from two markedly different breeds, Border Collies (cooperative workers) and Siberian Huskies (independent workers) were tested. After having received intranasal administration of oxytocin or placebo, subjects participated in three behavioral tests measuring social responsiveness. Our results show that there are several behavioral differences between the two breeds and also that there are differential effects of the oxytocin treatment. Border Collies were in general more susceptible to the 'social' effects of oxytocin compared to Siberian Huskies: after oxytocin administration they (1) looked more at the experimenter in the 'Unreachable food' situation, (2) looked more at the owner and shifted their gaze more between the sound source and the owner in a potentially dangerous situation, and (3) looked longer at the experimenter's eyes in the 'Tolerance of prolonged eye contact' test. These findings suggest that selection for enhanced cooperative abilities, possibly complemented by the effect of different social environments the two breeds experience, affects dogs' performance in several behavioral tests and that the neurohormonal background differently modulates social behavior in different working breeds. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Induces a Social Altruism Bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Nina; Scheele, Dirk; Gerhardt, Holger; Strang, Sabrina; Enax, Laura; Weber, Bernd; Maier, Wolfgang; Hurlemann, René

    2015-11-25

    Current psychological concepts of social and ecological responsibility emphasize the relevance of altruism, suggesting that more altruistic individuals are more likely to engage in sustainable behaviors. Emerging evidence indicates a central role of the neuropeptide oxytocin in promoting altruism. Whether this influence extends to ecological responsibility or is limited to the social domain remains unknown. In two independent experiments involving 172 human participants, we addressed this question by exposing subjects to a sustainability-related monetary donation task, with the option to support either socially or ecologically framed charities. We found that oxytocin induced a context-dependent change in altruistic behavior away from pro-environmental toward pro-social donations, while keeping constant the overall proportion of donated money. This pro-social bias transcended to the domain of sustainable consumption. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that altruistic priorities vary as a function of oxytocin system activity, which has implications for the promotion of pro-environmental attitudes and eco-friendly behaviors. Individual responses to ecological and social sustainability require a shift in personal priorities away from selfish to more altruistic behaviors. Emerging evidence indicates a central role of the hypothalamic peptide oxytocin in promoting altruism, but whether the influence of oxytocin benefits altruistic decision-making in the context of ecological and social sustainability is unclear. In two independent behavioral experiments involving 172 human subjects, we show that heightened oxytocin system activity induces a social altruism bias at the cost of ecological responsibility. Our results have fundamental implications for policy interventions and business strategies designed to sustain ecological resources by suggesting that a social framing may attract more individuals to engage in pro-environmental and eco-friendly behaviors. Copyright

  16. Oxytocin and Social Sensitivity: Gene Polymorphisms in Relation to Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Ideation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robyn Jane McQuaid

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Although the neuropeptide oxytocin has been associated with enhanced prosocial behaviors, it has also been linked to aggression and mental health disorders. Thus, it was suggested that oxytocin might act by increasing the salience of social stimuli, irrespective of whether these are positive or negative, thus increasing vulnerability to negative mental health outcomes. The current study (N = 243, conducted among White university students, examined the relation of trauma, depressive symptoms including suicidal ideation in relation to a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP within the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR, rs53576, and a SNP on the CD38 gene that controls oxytocin release, rs3796863. Individuals with the polymorphism on both alleles (AA genotype of the CD38 SNP had previously been linked to elevated plasma oxytocin levels. Consistent with the social sensitivity perspective, however, in the current study, individuals carrying the AA genotype displayed elevated feelings of alienation from parents and peers as well as increased levels of suicidal ideation. Moreover, they tended to report elevated depressive symptoms compared to CC homozygotes. It was also observed that the CD38 genotype moderated the relation between trauma and suicidal ideation scores, such that high levels of trauma were associated with elevated suicidal ideation among all CD38 genotypes, but this relationship was stronger among individuals with the AA genotype. In contrast, there was no relationship between the OXTR SNP, rs53576, depression or suicidal ideation. These findings support a social sensitivity hypothesis of oxytocin, wherein the AA genotype of the CD38 SNP, which has been considered the ‘protective allele’ was associated with increased sensitivity and susceptibility to disturbed social relations and suicidal ideation.

  17. Endogenous peripheral oxytocin measures can give insight into the dynamics of social relationships: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine eCrockford

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide, oxytocin, receives increasing attention due to its role in stress regulation and promoting affiliative social behavior. Research across mammals points to a complex pattern whereby social context and individual differences moderate the endogenous release of oxytocin as well as moderate the effects that exogenous administration of oxytocin has on social behavior. In addition to measuring central release of oxytocin or exogenous administration of oxytocin on social behavior, for example via inhalation, it is becoming evident that measuring endogenous peripheral oxytocin levels is an additional, informative tool. This is particularly so when oxytocin can be measured from non-invasively collected samples, such as in urine. Although it is still debated as to whether peripheral measures of oxytocin relate to central measures of oxytocin, anatomical and functional evidence indicate a link between the two. We argue that non-invasive measures of peripheral oxytocin hold several research and potential therapeutic advantages. Principally, study subjects can be sampled repeatedly in different social contexts where social history between interaction partners can be taken into account. Several hormones can be measured simultaneously allowing examination of the influence of oxytocin interactions with other hormones on motivational states. Valence of relationships as well as changes in relationship quality over time can be measured through endocrine responses. Also, the approach of identifying natural social contexts that are associated with endogenous oxytocin release offers the potential of behavioral therapy as an addition or alternative to chemical therapy in the field of mental health.

  18. Oxytocin signaling in the medial amygdala is required for sex discrimination of social cues

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Shenqin; Bergan, Joseph; Lanjuin, Anne; Dulac, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    eLife digest Oxytocin is a hormone that promotes milk production, contractions during childbirth, and many social interactions in humans and other creatures. It has also been implicated in conditions like autism or schizophrenia, which show altered social interactions. Oxytocin is made and released by cells in the brain called neurons. The oxytocin-producing neurons are clustered in a brain region called the hypothalamus, and oxytocin can act over a long distance in the brain or in the body. ...

  19. [Oxytocin: the hormone of love, trust and social bond. Clinical use in autism and social phobia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Du Pan, R C

    2012-03-21

    Oxytocin, an octapeptide synthesized in the hypothalamus, stimulates milk election and uterine contractions. In the brain this hormone acts as a neuropeptide. It could inhibit through the GABAergic system the activity of limbic amygdala, which is involved in the response to fear. Oxytocin could also induce the protective behaviour of the mother towards its offspring through the dopaminergic system. In mankind, oxytocin plays a role in trust, empathy, generosity, stress and sexuality. Clinical studies are testing potential benefits of oxytocin administration in autism, depression and social phobia. Results are still preliminary.

  20. Oxytocin biases men but not women to restore social connections with individuals who socially exclude them

    OpenAIRE

    Xu, Xiaolei; Yao, Shuxia; Xu, Lei; Geng, Yayuan; Zhao, Weihua; Ma, Xiaole; Kou, Juan; Luo, Ruixue; Kendrick, Keith M.

    2017-01-01

    We normally react to individuals who exclude us socially by either avoiding them or increasing our attempts to interact with them. The neuropeptide oxytocin can promote social bonds and reduce social conflict and we therefore investigated whether it facilitates more positive social responses towards individuals who exclude or include us. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subject design 77 healthy Chinese male and female participants received intranasal oxytocin (40 IU) or placebo...

  1. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate enhances mood and prosocial behavior without affecting plasma oxytocin and testosterone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Oliver G; Eisenegger, Christoph; Gertsch, Jürg; von Rotz, Robin; Dornbierer, Dario; Gachet, M Salomé; Heinrichs, Markus; Wetter, Thomas C; Seifritz, Erich; Quednow, Boris B

    2015-12-01

    Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a GHB-/GABAB-receptor agonist. Reports from GHB abusers indicate euphoric, prosocial, and empathogenic effects of the drug. We measured the effects of GHB on mood, prosocial behavior, social and non-social cognition and assessed potential underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms. GHB (20mg/kg) was tested in 16 healthy males, using a randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Subjective effects on mood were assessed by visual-analogue-scales and the GHB-Specific-Questionnaire. Prosocial behavior was examined by the Charity Donation Task, the Social Value Orientation test, and the Reciprocity Task. Reaction time, memory, empathy, and theory-of-mind were also tested. Blood plasma levels of GHB, oxytocin, testosterone, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), cortisol, aldosterone, and adrenocorticotropic-hormone (ACTH) were determined. GHB showed stimulating and sedating effects, and elicited euphoria, disinhibition, and enhanced vitality. In participants with low prosociality, the drug increased donations and prosocial money distributions. In contrast, social cognitive abilities such as emotion recognition, empathy, and theory-of-mind, and basal cognitive functions were not affected. GHB increased plasma progesterone, while oxytocin and testosterone, cortisol, aldosterone, DHEA, and ACTH levels remained unaffected. GHB has mood-enhancing and prosocial effects without affecting social hormones such as oxytocin and testosterone. These data suggest a potential involvement of GHB-/GABAB-receptors and progesterone in mood and prosocial behavior. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The influence of oxytocin on interpersonal rhythmic synchronization and social bonding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gebauer, Line; Witek, Maria; Hansen, Niels Chr.

    oxytocin. In this study we investigated the role of oxytocin on interpersonal rhythmic synchronization, and its relation to pro-social effects, using an interactive finger tapping setup. Pairs of two tapped together, and both participants in each pair received either oxytocin or a non-active placebo...... as nasal spray. Our preliminary analyses showed trends in which intranasally administered oxytocin improved interpersonal synchronization. In this poster we present the full data set and analysis of the effect of oxytocin on interpersonal synchronization and social bonding....

  3. The role of oxytocin in familiarization-habituation responses to social novelty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mattie eTops

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Stress or arousal responses to novel social contexts ease off when individuals get familiar with the social context. In the present study we investigated whether oxytocin is involved in this process of familiarization-habituation, as oxytocin is known to increase trust and decrease anxiety. Fifty-nine healthy female subjects took part in the same experimental procedure in two sessions separated by four weeks. In the first (novelty session state trust scores were significantly positively correlated with salivary oxytocin levels, while in the second (familiarity session state trust scores were significantly negatively correlated with salivary oxytocin levels. In a path model, oxytocin was associated with increased trust in the novelty session and trust was associated with decreased oxytocin levels in the familiarity session. The results are consistent with the idea that oxytocin decreases stress-to-novelty responses by promoting familiarization to novel social contexts.

  4. Social evolution. Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagasawa, Miho; Mitsui, Shouhei; En, Shiori; Ohtani, Nobuyo; Ohta, Mitsuaki; Sakuma, Yasuo; Onaka, Tatsushi; Mogi, Kazutaka; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2015-04-17

    Human-like modes of communication, including mutual gaze, in dogs may have been acquired during domestication with humans. We show that gazing behavior from dogs, but not wolves, increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners, which consequently facilitated owners' affiliation and increased oxytocin concentration in dogs. Further, nasally administered oxytocin increased gazing behavior in dogs, which in turn increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners. These findings support the existence of an interspecies oxytocin-mediated positive loop facilitated and modulated by gazing, which may have supported the coevolution of human-dog bonding by engaging common modes of communicating social attachment. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  5. Salubrious effects of oxytocin on social stress-induced deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adam S.; Wang, Zuoxin

    2012-01-01

    Social relationships are a fundamental aspect of life, affecting social, psychological, physiological, and behavioral functions. While social interactions can attenuate stress and promote health, disruption, confrontations, isolation, or neglect in the social environment can each be major stressors. Social stress can impair the basal function and stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, impairing function of multiple biological systems and posing a risk to mental and physical health. In contrast, social support can ameliorate stress-induced physiological and immunological deficits, reducing the risk of subsequent psychological distress and improving an individual's overall well-being. For better clinical treatment of these physiological and mental pathologies, it is necessary to understand the regulatory mechanisms of stress-induced pathologies as well as determine the underlying biological mechanisms that regulate social buffering of the stress system. A number of ethologically relevant animal models of social stress and species that form strong adult social bonds have been utilized to study the etiology, treatment, and prevention of stress-related disorders. While undoubtedly a number of biological pathways contribute to the social buffering of the stress response, the convergence of evidence denotes the regulatory effects of oxytocin in facilitating social bond-promoting behaviors and their effect on the stress response. Thus, oxytocin may be perceived as a common regulatory element of the social environment, stress response, and stress-induced risks on mental and physical health. PMID:22178036

  6. Oxytocin (OT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) act on OT receptors and not AVP V1a receptors to enhance social recognition in adult Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhimin; Larkin, Tony E; Malley, Maureen O'; Albers, H Elliott

    2016-05-01

    Social recognition is a fundamental requirement for all forms of social relationships. A majority of studies investigating the neural mechanisms underlying social recognition in rodents have investigated relatively neutral social stimuli such as juveniles or ovariectomized females over short time intervals (e.g., 2h). The present study developed a new testing model to study social recognition among adult males using a potent social stimulus. Flank gland odors are used extensively in social communication in Syrian hamsters and convey important information such as dominance status. We found that the recognition of flank gland odors after a 3min exposure lasted for at least 24h, substantially longer than the recognition of other social cues in rats and mice. Intracerebroventricular injections of OT and AVP prolonged the recognition of flank gland odor for up to 48h. Selective OTR but not V1aR agonists, mimicked these enhancing effects of OT and AVP. Similarly, selective OTR but not V1aR antagonists blocked recognition of the odors after 20min. In contrast, the recognition of non-social stimuli was not blocked by either the OTR or the V1aR antagonists. Our findings suggest both OT and AVP enhance social recognition via acting on OTRs and not V1aRs and that the recognition enhancing effects of OT and AVP are limited to social stimuli. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Plasma Oxytocin Immunoreactive Products and Response to Trust in Patients with Social Anxiety Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoge, EA; Lawson, EA; Metcalf, CA; Keshaviah, A; Zak, PJ; Pollack, MH; Simon, NM

    2013-01-01

    Background Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (GSAD) is characterized by excessive fear and avoidance of several types of social and performance situations. The pathophysiology is not well understood, but research in animals and humans has provided evidence that oxytocin helps regulate normal social affiliative behavior. Previous work in healthy male subjects demonstrated a rise in plasma oxytocin after receiving a high trust signal. To examine the oxytocin system in GSAD, we measured plasma oxytocin in GSAD patients and controls, before and after the social “Trust Game,” a neuroeconomic test examining trust behavior and reaction to trust using real monetary incentives. Methods Thirty-nine subjects with GSAD and 28 healthy controls provided three blood samples for oxytocin measurement before the Trust Game, and one sample after the game. Plasma estradiol was also measured at baseline. The Trust Game protocol version prioritized the sending of a signal of high cooperation and trust to all participants. All analyses controlled for gender and estradiol levels. Results Mean oxytocin levels post-Trust Game (p=0.025), and overall (area under the curve, p=0.011) were lower in GSAD patients compared to controls, after controlling for sex and estradiol. There was no significant change in oxytocin levels after the Game in either group. Conclusions We report low plasma oxytocin levels in patients with generalized social anxiety disorder during a pro-social laboratory task paradigm. Additional research will be important to further examine the relationship between oxytocin and social behavior in GSAD. PMID:22807189

  8. Oxytocin biases men but not women to restore social connections with individuals who socially exclude them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiaolei; Yao, Shuxia; Xu, Lei; Geng, Yayuan; Zhao, Weihua; Ma, Xiaole; Kou, Juan; Luo, Ruixue; Kendrick, Keith M

    2017-01-12

    We normally react to individuals who exclude us socially by either avoiding them or increasing our attempts to interact with them. The neuropeptide oxytocin can promote social bonds and reduce social conflict and we therefore investigated whether it facilitates more positive social responses towards individuals who exclude or include us. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subject design 77 healthy Chinese male and female participants received intranasal oxytocin (40 IU) or placebo before playing a modified virtual ball-tossing game with three fictitious partners who either showed exclusion, inclusion or neutral behavioral interactions with them. Results showed that both male and female subjects threw the ball more often to individuals who excluded rather than included them, although oxytocin did not alter this or awareness/feelings of exclusion or inclusion. However, when subjects returned a week later males, but not females, in the oxytocin group exhibited an increased liking for, and preference for playing again with, players who had previously excluded them. This oxytocin effect was positively associated with independent traits. Our findings suggest that in a collectivist culture oxytocin may promote the desire of males, but not females, with a stronger independent orientation to rebuild social connections with individuals who have previously excluded them.

  9. Oxytocin's impact on social face processing is stronger in homosexual than heterosexual men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thienel, Matthias; Heinrichs, Markus; Fischer, Stefan; Ott, Volker; Born, Jan; Hallschmid, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Oxytocin is an evolutionarily highly preserved neuropeptide that contributes to the regulation of social interactions including the processing of facial stimuli. We hypothesized that its improving effect on social approach behavior depends on perceived sexual features and, consequently, on sexual orientation. In 19 homosexual and 18 heterosexual healthy young men, we investigated the acute effect of intranasal oxytocin (24IU) and placebo, respectively, on the processing of social stimuli as assessed by ratings of trustworthiness, attractiveness and approachability for male and female faces. Faces were each presented with a neutral, a happy, and an angry expression, respectively. In heterosexual subjects, the effect of oxytocin administration was restricted to a decrease in ratings of trustworthiness for angry female faces (poxytocin administration robustly increased ratings of attractiveness and approachability for male faces regardless of the facial expression (all p ≤ 0.05), as well as ratings of approachability for happy female faces (poxytocin's enhancing impact on social approach tendencies, suggesting that differences in sexual orientation imply differential oxytocinergic signaling. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Intranasal oxytocin modulates neural functional connectivity during human social interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K; Chen, Xiangchuan; Chen, Xu; Haroon, Ebrahim

    2018-02-10

    Oxytocin (OT) modulates social behavior in primates and many other vertebrate species. Studies in non-primate animals have demonstrated that, in addition to influencing activity within individual brain areas, OT influences functional connectivity across networks of areas involved in social behavior. Previously, we used fMRI to image brain function in human subjects during a dyadic social interaction task following administration of either intranasal oxytocin (INOT) or placebo, and analyzed the data with a standard general linear model. Here, we conduct an extensive re-analysis of these data to explore how OT modulates functional connectivity across a neural network that animal studies implicate in social behavior. OT induced widespread increases in functional connectivity in response to positive social interactions among men and widespread decreases in functional connectivity in response to negative social interactions among women. Nucleus basalis of Meynert, an important regulator of selective attention and motivation with a particularly high density of OT receptors, had the largest number of OT-modulated connections. Regions known to receive mesolimbic dopamine projections such as the nucleus accumbens and lateral septum were also hubs for OT effects on functional connectivity. Our results suggest that the neural mechanism by which OT influences primate social cognition may include changes in patterns of activity across neural networks that regulate social behavior in other animals. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Relations between plasma oxytocin and cortisol: The stress buffering role of social support

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robyn J. McQuaid

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Stress responses in humans can be attenuated by exogenous oxytocin administration, and these stress-buffering properties may be moderated by social factors. Yet, the influence of acute stressors on circulating endogenous oxytocin levels have been inconsistent, and limited information is available concerning the influence of social support in moderating this relationship. In the current investigation, undergraduate women (N = 67 were assessed in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST with either social support available from a close female friend or no social support being available. An additional set of women served as controls. The TSST elicited marked elevations of state anxiety and negative emotions, which were largely attenuated among women who received social support. Furthermore, baseline oxytocin levels were inversely related to women's general feelings of distrust, as well as basal plasma cortisol levels. Despite these associations, oxytocin levels were unaffected by the TSST, and this was the case irrespective of oral contraceptive use or estrogen levels. In contrast, plasma cortisol elevations were elicited by the psychosocial stressor, but only in women using oral contraceptives, an effect that was prevented when social support was available. Taken together, these data provisionally suggest that changes in plasma oxytocin might not accompany the stress attenuating effects of social support on cortisol levels. Moreover, as plasma oxytocin might not reliably reflect brain oxytocin levels, the linkage between oxytocin and prosocial behaviors remains tenuous.

  12. Oxytocin and the oxytocin receptor underlie intrastrain, but not interstrain, social recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macbeth, A H; Lee, H-J; Edds, J; Young, W S

    2009-07-01

    We studied three lines of oxytocin (Oxt) and oxytocin receptor (Oxtr) knockout (KO) male mice [Oxt(-/-), total Oxtr(-/-) and partial forebrain Oxtr (Oxtr(FB/FB))] with established deficits in social recognition to further refine our understanding of their deficits with regard to stimulus female's strain. We used a modified social discrimination paradigm in which subjects are singly housed only for the duration of the test. Additionally, stimulus females are singly housed throughout testing and are presented within corrals for rapid comparison of investigation by subject males. Wild-type (WT) males from all three lines discriminated between familiar and novel females of three different strains (C57BL/6, BALB/c and Swiss-Webster). No KO males discriminated between familiar and novel BALB/c or C57BL/6 females. Male Oxt(-/-) and Oxtr(-/-) mice, but not Oxtr(FB/FB) mice, discriminated between familiar and novel Swiss-Webster females. As this might indicate a global deficit in individual recognition for Oxtr(FB/FB) males, we examined their ability to discriminate between females from different strains and compared performance with Oxtr(-/-) males. WT and KO males from both lines were able to distinguish between familiar and novel females from different strains, indicating the social recognition deficit is not universal. Instead, we hypothesize that the Oxtr is involved in 'fine' intrastrain recognition, but is less important in 'broad' interstrain recognition. We also present the novel finding of decreased investigation across tests, which is likely an artifact of repeated testing and not because of stimulus female's strain or age of subject males.

  13. Intranasal Oxytocin Selectively Modulates Social Perception, Craving, and Approach Behavior in Subjects With Alcohol Use Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Jennifer M; Arcuni, Peter A; Weinstein, Dawn; Woolley, Josh D

    2016-01-01

    A pharmacotherapy that both improves social abilities and promotes abstinence may be particularly helpful for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. Recent clinical and preclinical evidence suggests that oxytocin has prosocial and antiaddiction effects. We performed a pilot, laboratory-based, preclinical trial of oxytocin in subjects with alcohol abuse (as per Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4 Edition criteria) to evaluate therapeutic potential and assess tolerability. Social perceptual ability, cue-induced craving, and approach bias for alcohol and appetitive imagery were quantified after intranasal oxytocin and placebo administration to 32 nontreatment-seeking individuals with alcohol abuse in a double-blind, crossover study. Because attachment style can moderate the effects of oxytocin, we also explored whether attachment style moderated oxytocin's effects on our behavioral measures. Oxytocin significantly improved recognition of easier items on a social perception task, but had no significant group-level effect on cue-induced craving. However, oxytocin effects on craving were moderated by attachment anxiety, with oxytocin reducing craving in more anxiously attached individuals and increasing craving in less anxiously attached individuals. Subjects did not display an approach bias to alcohol images on the placebo day, preventing meaningful analysis of this measure. Subjects did display an approach bias to appetitive images on the placebo day, which was significantly reduced by oxytocin administration. No adverse reactions were observed. Intranasal oxytocin has potential to improve social perception, reduce cue-induced alcohol cravings, and reduce appetitive approach bias in subjects with alcohol abuse, and can be safely tolerated in this population. The effects of oxytocin are complex, however, and require further investigation.

  14. Oxytocin and vasopressin neural networks: Implications for social behavioral diversity and translational neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Zachary V; Young, Larry J

    2017-05-01

    Oxytocin- and vasopressin-related systems are present in invertebrate and vertebrate bilaterian animals, including humans, and exhibit conserved neuroanatomical and functional properties. In vertebrates, these systems innervate conserved neural networks that regulate social learning and behavior, including conspecific recognition, social attachment, and parental behavior. Individual and species-level variation in central organization of oxytocin and vasopressin systems has been linked to individual and species variation in social learning and behavior. In humans, genetic polymorphisms in the genes encoding oxytocin and vasopressin peptides and/or their respective target receptors have been associated with individual variation in social recognition, social attachment phenotypes, parental behavior, and psychiatric phenotypes such as autism. Here we describe both conserved and variable features of central oxytocin and vasopressin systems in the context of social behavioral diversity, with a particular focus on neural networks that modulate social learning, behavior, and salience of sociosensory stimuli during species-typical social contexts. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Changes in social functioning and circulating oxytocin and vasopressin following the migration to a new country.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouin, Jean-Philippe; Pournajafi-Nazarloo, Hossein; Carter, C Sue

    2015-02-01

    Prior studies have reported associations between plasma oxytocin and vasopressin and markers of social functioning. However, because most human studies have used cross-sectional designs, it is unclear whether plasma oxytocin and vasopressin influences social functioning or whether social functioning modulates the production and peripheral release of these peptides. In order to address this question, we followed individuals who experienced major changes in social functioning subsequent to the migration to a new country. In this study, 59 new international students were recruited shortly after arrival in the host country and reassessed 2 and 5 months later. At each assessment participants provided information on their current social functioning and blood samples for oxytocin and vasopressin analysis. Results indicated that changes in social functioning were not related to changes in plasma oxytocin. Instead, baseline oxytocin predicted changes in social relationship satisfaction, social support, and loneliness over time. In contrast, plasma vasopressin changed as a function of social integration. Baseline vasopressin was not related to changes in social functioning over time. These results emphasize the different roles of plasma oxytocin and vasopressin in responses to changes in social functioning in humans. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Perception of social interaction compresses subjective duration in an oxytocin-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Rui; Yuan, Xiangyong; Chen, Kepu; Jiang, Yi; Zhou, Wen

    2018-05-22

    Communication through body gestures permeates our daily life. Efficient perception of the message therein reflects one's social cognitive competency. Here we report that such competency is manifested temporally as shortened subjective duration of social interactions: motion sequences showing agents acting communicatively are perceived to be significantly shorter in duration as compared with those acting noncommunicatively. The strength of this effect is negatively correlated with one's autistic-like tendency. Critically, intranasal oxytocin administration restores the temporal compression effect in socially less proficient individuals, whereas the administration of atosiban, a competitive antagonist of oxytocin, diminishes the effect in socially proficient individuals. These findings indicate that perceived time, rather than being a faithful representation of physical time, is highly idiosyncratic and ingrained with one's personality trait. Moreover, they suggest that oxytocin is involved in mediating time perception of social interaction, further supporting the role of oxytocin in human social cognition. © 2018, Liu et al.

  17. The effect of oxytocin on human-directed social behaviour in dogs (Canis familiaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kis, Anna; Ciobica, Alin; Topál, József

    2017-08-01

    The oxytocin system has recently received increasing attention due to its effect on complex human behaviours. In parallel to this, over the past couple of decades, the human-analogue social behaviour of dogs has been intensively studied. Combining these two lines of research (e.g. studying the relationship between dog social behaviour and the oxytocin system) is a promising new research area. The present paper reviews the existing literature on how oxytocin is related to different aspects of human-directed social behaviour in dogs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. PLASMA OXYTOCIN LEVELS PREDICT SOCIAL CUE RECOGNITION IN INDIVIDUALS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA

    OpenAIRE

    Strauss, Gregory P.; Keller, William R.; Koenig, James I.; Gold, James M.; Frost, Katherine H.; Buchanan, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    Lower endogenous levels of the neuropeptide oxytocin may be an important biological predictor of social cognition impairments in schizophrenia (SZ). Prior studies have demonstrated that lower-level social cognitive processes (e.g., facial affect perception) are significantly associated with reduced plasma oxytocin levels in SZ; however, it is unclear whether higher-level social cognition, which requires inferential processes and knowledge not directly presented in the stimulus, is associated ...

  19. Promoting social behavior with oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Andari, Elissar; Duhamel, Jean-René; Zalla, Tiziana; Herbrecht, Evelyn; Leboyer, Marion; Sirigu, Angela

    2010-01-01

    Social adaptation requires specific cognitive and emotional competences. Individuals with high-functioning autism or with Asperger syndrome cannot understand or engage in social situations despite preserved intellectual abilities. Recently, it has been suggested that oxytocin, a hormone known to promote mother-infant bonds, may be implicated in the social deficit of autism. We investigated the behavioral effects of oxytocin in 13 subjects with autism. In a simulated ball game where participan...

  20. Oxytocin as an Indicator of Psychological and Social Well-Being in Domesticated Animals: A Critical Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Loup Rault

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is often portrayed as a hormone specific to social behavior, reflective of positive welfare states, and linked to mental states. Research on oxytocin in domesticated animal species has been few to date but is rapidly increasing (in dog, pig, cattle, sheep, with direct implications for animal welfare. This review evaluates the evidence for the specificity of oxytocin as an indicator of: 1. Social, 2. Positive, and 3. Psychological well-being. Oxytocin has most often been studied in socially relevant paradigms, with a lack of non-social control paradigms. Oxytocin research appears biased toward investigating positive valence, with a lack of control in valence or arousal. Oxytocin actions are modulated by the environmental and social contexts, which are important factors to consider. Limited evidence supports that oxytocin's actions are linked to psychological states; nevertheless whether this is a direct effect of oxytocin per se remains to be demonstrated. Overall, it is premature to judge oxytocin's potential as an animal welfare indicator given the few and discrepant findings and a lack of standardization in methodology. We cover potential causes for discrepancies and suggest solutions through appropriate methodological design, oxytocin sampling or delivery, analysis and reporting. Of particular interest, the oxytocinergic system as a whole remains poorly understood. Appreciation for the differences that social contact and group living pose in domesticated species and the way they interact with humans should be key considerations in using oxytocin as a psychosocial indicator of well-being.

  1. Fear or greed? Oxytocin regulates inter-individual conflict by enhancing fear in men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Huimin; Kendrick, Keith M; Yu, Rongjun

    2016-09-01

    People may choose non-cooperation in social dilemmas either out of fear (if others choose to defect) or out of greed (when others choose to cooperate). Previous studies have shown that exogenous oxytocin motivates a "tend and defend" pattern in inter-group conflict in which oxytocin stimulates in-group cooperation and out-group defense. Using a double-blind placebo-controlled design combined with a modified Prisoner's dilemma game (PDG), we examined the effect of oxytocin on social motivations in inter-individual conflict in men. Results showed that compared with the placebo group, oxytocin-exposed participants were less cooperative in general. Specifically, oxytocin amplified the effect of fear on defection but did not influence the effect of greed. Another non-social control study confirmed participants' decisions were sensitive to social factors. Our findings suggest that even when social group conflict is removed, oxytocin promotes distrust of strangers in "me and you" inter-individual conflict by elevating social fear in men. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Peripheral administration of oxytocin increases social affiliation in the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Skyler J; Douglas, Natasha R; Holmes, Melissa M

    2014-04-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin regulates a wide variety of social behaviors across diverse species. However, the types of behaviors that are influenced by this hormone are constrained by the species in question and the social organization that a particular species exhibits. Therefore, the present experiments investigated behaviors regulated by oxytocin in a eusocial mammalian species by using the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). In Experiment 1, adult non-breeding mole-rats were given intraperitoneal injections of either oxytocin (1mg/kg or 10mg/kg) or saline on alternate days. Animals were then returned to their colony and behavior was recorded for minutes 15-30 post-injection. Both doses of oxytocin increased huddling behavior during this time period. In Experiment 2, animals received intraperitoneal injections of either oxytocin (1mg/kg), an oxytocin-receptor antagonist (0.1mg/kg), a cocktail of oxytocin and the antagonist, or saline across 4 testing days in a counterbalanced design. Animals were placed in either a 2-chamber arena with a familiar conspecific or in a small chamber with 1week old pups from their home colony and behaviors were recorded for minutes 15-30 post-injection. Oxytocin increased investigation of, and time spent in close proximity to, a familiar conspecific; these effects were blocked by the oxytocin antagonist. No effects were seen on pup-directed behavior. These data suggest that oxytocin is capable of modulating affiliative-like behavior in this eusocial species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Oxytocin signaling in the medial amygdala is required for sex discrimination of social cues

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Shenqin; Bergan, Joseph; Lanjuin, Anne; Dulac, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    The neural control of social behaviors in rodents requires the encoding of pheromonal cues by the vomeronasal system. Here we show that the typical preference of male mice for females is eliminated in mutants lacking oxytocin, a neuropeptide modulating social behaviors in many species. Ablation of the oxytocin receptor in aromatase-expressing neurons of the medial amygdala (MeA) fully recapitulates the elimination of female preference in males. Further, single-unit recording in the MeA uncove...

  4. Oxytocin Signaling in the Medial Amygdala is required for Sex Discrimination of Social Cues

    OpenAIRE

    Bergan, Joseph; Yao, Shenqin; Lanjuin, Anne; Dulac, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    The neural control of social behaviors in rodents requires the encoding of pheromonal cues by the vomeronasal system. Here we show that the typical preference of male mice for females is eliminated in mutants lacking oxytocin, a neuropeptide modulating social behaviors in many species. Ablation of the oxytocin receptor in aromatase expressing neurons of the medial amygdala (MeA) fully recapitulates the elimination of female preference in males. Further, single unit recording in the MeA uncove...

  5. Early social environment affects the endogenous oxytocin system: a review and future directions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily eAlves

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Endogenous oxytocin plays an important role in a wide range of human functions including birth, milk ejection during lactation and facilitation of social interaction. There is increasing evidence that both variations in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR and concentrations of oxytocin are associated with differences in these functions. The causes for the differences that have been observed in tonic and stimulated oxytocin release remain unclear. Previous reviews have suggested that across the life course, these differences may be due to individual factors, e.g. genetic variation (of the OXTR, age or sex, or be the result of early environmental influences such as social experiences, stress or trauma partly by inducing epigenetic changes. This review has three aims. First, we briefly discuss the endogenous oxytocin system, including physiology, development, individual differences and function. Secondly, current models describing the relationship between the early life environment and the development of the oxytocin system in humans and animals are discussed. Finally, we describe research designs that can be used to investigate the effects of the early environment on the oxytocin system, identifying specific areas of research that need further attention.

  6. The role of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) DNA methylation (DNAm) in human social and emotional functioning: a systematic narrative review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maud, Catherine; Ryan, Joanne; McIntosh, Jennifer E; Olsson, Craig A

    2018-05-29

    The neuropeptide Oxytocin (OXT) plays a central role in birthing, mother-infant bonding and a broad range of related social behaviours in mammals. More recently, interest has extended to epigenetic programming of genes involved in oxytocinergic neurotransmission. This review brings together early findings in a rapidly developing field of research, examining relationships between DNA methylation (DNAm) of the Oxytocin Receptor Gene (OXTR) and social and emotional behaviour in human populations. A systematic search across Web of Knowledge/Science, Scopus, Medline and EMBASE captured all published studies prior to June 2017 examining the association between OXTR DNAm and human social and emotional outcomes. Search terms included 'oxytocin gene' or 'oxytocin receptor gene' and 'epigenetics' or 'DNA methylation'. Any article with a focus on social and emotional functioning was then identified from this set by manual review. Nineteen studies met eligibility criteria. There was considerable heterogeneity of study populations, tissue samples, instrumentation, measurement, and OXTR site foci. Only three studies examined functional consequences of OXTR DNAm on gene expression and protein synthesis. Increases in OXTR DNAm were associated with callous-unemotional traits in youth, social cognitive deficits in Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), rigid thinking in anorexia nervosa, affect regulation problems, and problems with facial and emotional recognition. In contrast, reductions in DNAm were associated with perinatal stress, postnatal depression, social anxiety and autism in children. Consistent with an emerging field of inquiry, there is not yet sufficient evidence to draw conclusions about the role of OXTR DNAm in human social and emotional behaviour. However, taken together, findings point to increased OXTR DNAm in general impairments in social, cognitive and emotional functioning, and decreased OXTR DNAm in specific patterns of impairment related to mood and anxiety

  7. Intranasal oxytocin reduces social perception in women: Neural activation and individual variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Erin E; Robins, Diana L; Gautam, Pritam; King, Tricia Z

    2017-02-15

    Most intranasal oxytocin research to date has been carried out in men, but recent studies indicate that females' responses can differ substantially from males'. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved an all-female sample of 28 women not using hormonal contraception. Participants viewed animations of geometric shapes depicting either random movement or social interactions such as playing, chasing, or fighting. Probe questions asked whether any shapes were "friends" or "not friends." Social videos were preceded by cues to attend to either social relationships or physical size changes. All subjects received intranasal placebo spray at scan 1. While the experimenter was not blinded to nasal spray contents at Scan 1, the participants were. Scan 2 followed a randomized, double-blind design. At scan 2, half received a second placebo dose while the other half received 24 IU of intranasal oxytocin. We measured neural responses to these animations at baseline, as well as the change in neural activity induced by oxytocin. Oxytocin reduced activation in early visual cortex and dorsal-stream motion processing regions for the social > size contrast, indicating reduced activity related to social attention. Oxytocin also reduced endorsements that shapes were "friends" or "not friends," and this significantly correlated with reduction in neural activation. Furthermore, participants who perceived fewer social relationships at baseline were more likely to show oxytocin-induced increases in a broad network of regions involved in social perception and social cognition, suggesting that lower social processing at baseline may predict more positive neural responses to oxytocin. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. No evidence that MDMA-induced enhancement of emotional empathy is related to peripheral oxytocin levels or 5-HT1a receptor activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuypers, Kim P C; de la Torre, Rafael; Farre, Magi; Yubero-Lahoz, Samanta; Dziobek, Isabel; Van den Bos, Wouter; Ramaekers, Johannes G

    2014-01-01

    The present study aimed at investigating the effect of MDMA on measures of empathy and social interaction, and the roles of oxytocin and the 5-HT1A receptor in these effects. The design was placebo-controlled within-subject with 4 treatment conditions: MDMA (75 mg), with or without pindolol (20 mg), oxytocin nasal spray (40 IU+16 IU) or placebo. Participants were 20 healthy poly-drug MDMA users, aged between 18-26 years. Cognitive and emotional empathy were assessed by means of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and the Multifaceted Empathy Test. Social interaction, defined as trust and reciprocity, was assessed by means of a Trust Game and a Social Ball Tossing Game. Results showed that MDMA selectively affected emotional empathy and left cognitive empathy, trust and reciprocity unaffected. When combined with pindolol, these effects remained unchanged. Oxytocin did not affect measures of empathy and social interaction. Changes in emotional empathy were not related to oxytocin plasma levels. It was concluded that MDMA (75 mg) selectively enhances emotional empathy in humans. While the underlying neurobiological mechanism is still unknown, it is suggested that peripheral oxytocin does not seem to be the main actor in this; potential candidates are the serotonin 2A and the vasopressin 1A receptors. Trial registration: MDMA & PSB NTR 2636.

  9. No evidence that MDMA-induced enhancement of emotional empathy is related to peripheral oxytocin levels or 5-HT1a receptor activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim P C Kuypers

    Full Text Available The present study aimed at investigating the effect of MDMA on measures of empathy and social interaction, and the roles of oxytocin and the 5-HT1A receptor in these effects. The design was placebo-controlled within-subject with 4 treatment conditions: MDMA (75 mg, with or without pindolol (20 mg, oxytocin nasal spray (40 IU+16 IU or placebo. Participants were 20 healthy poly-drug MDMA users, aged between 18-26 years. Cognitive and emotional empathy were assessed by means of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and the Multifaceted Empathy Test. Social interaction, defined as trust and reciprocity, was assessed by means of a Trust Game and a Social Ball Tossing Game. Results showed that MDMA selectively affected emotional empathy and left cognitive empathy, trust and reciprocity unaffected. When combined with pindolol, these effects remained unchanged. Oxytocin did not affect measures of empathy and social interaction. Changes in emotional empathy were not related to oxytocin plasma levels. It was concluded that MDMA (75 mg selectively enhances emotional empathy in humans. While the underlying neurobiological mechanism is still unknown, it is suggested that peripheral oxytocin does not seem to be the main actor in this; potential candidates are the serotonin 2A and the vasopressin 1A receptors. Trial registration: MDMA & PSB NTR 2636.

  10. No Evidence that MDMA-Induced Enhancement of Emotional Empathy Is Related to Peripheral Oxytocin Levels or 5-HT1a Receptor Activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuypers, Kim P. C.; de la Torre, Rafael; Farre, Magi; Yubero-Lahoz, Samanta; Dziobek, Isabel; Van den Bos, Wouter; Ramaekers, Johannes G.

    2014-01-01

    The present study aimed at investigating the effect of MDMA on measures of empathy and social interaction, and the roles of oxytocin and the 5-HT1A receptor in these effects. The design was placebo-controlled within-subject with 4 treatment conditions: MDMA (75 mg), with or without pindolol (20 mg), oxytocin nasal spray (40 IU+16 IU) or placebo. Participants were 20 healthy poly-drug MDMA users, aged between 18–26 years. Cognitive and emotional empathy were assessed by means of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and the Multifaceted Empathy Test. Social interaction, defined as trust and reciprocity, was assessed by means of a Trust Game and a Social Ball Tossing Game. Results showed that MDMA selectively affected emotional empathy and left cognitive empathy, trust and reciprocity unaffected. When combined with pindolol, these effects remained unchanged. Oxytocin did not affect measures of empathy and social interaction. Changes in emotional empathy were not related to oxytocin plasma levels. It was concluded that MDMA (75 mg) selectively enhances emotional empathy in humans. While the underlying neurobiological mechanism is still unknown, it is suggested that peripheral oxytocin does not seem to be the main actor in this; potential candidates are the serotonin 2A and the vasopressin 1A receptors. Trial Registration MDMA & PSB NTR 2636 PMID:24972084

  11. A social neuroscience approach to conflict resolution: Dialogue intervention to Israeli and Palestinian youth impacts oxytocin and empathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Influs, Moran; Pratt, Maayan; Masalha, Shafiq; Zagoory-Sharon, Orna; Feldman, Ruth

    2018-06-12

    The rapid increase in terror-related activities, shift of battlefield into civilian locations, and participation of youth in acts of violence underscore the need to find novel frameworks for youth interventions. Building on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and social neuroscience models we developed an eight-week dialogue group-intervention for youth growing up amidst intractable conflict. Eighty-eight Israeli-Jewish and Arab-Palestinian adolescents (16-18years) were randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. Before (T1) and after (T2) intervention, one-on-one conflict interaction with outgroup member were videotaped, oxytocin levels assayed, attitudes self-reported, and youth interviewed regarding national conflict. We tested the hypothesis that dialogue intervention would enhance empathic behavior and increase oxytocin levels following interaction with outgroup member. Intervention increased youth perspective-taking on national conflict. Oxytocin increased from T1 to T2 only for adolescents undergoing intervention who improved perspective taking in the process. Structural equation modelling charted three pathways to behavioral empathy toward outgroup member at T2; via endogenous oxytocin, empathic cognitions, and dialogue intervention; however, an alternative model without the intervention arm was non-significant. Our findings highlight the important role of empathy in programs for inter-group reconciliation and support evolutionary models on the precarious balance between the neurobiology of affiliation and the neurobiology of outgroup derogation.

  12. Activation of presynaptic oxytocin receptors enhances glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus of prenatally restraint stressed rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mairesse, Jérôme; Gatta, Eleonora; Reynaert, Marie-Line; Marrocco, Jordan; Morley-Fletcher, Sara; Soichot, Marion; Deruyter, Lucie; Camp, Gilles Van; Bouwalerh, Hammou; Fagioli, Francesca; Pittaluga, Anna; Allorge, Delphine; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Maccari, Stefania

    2015-12-01

    Oxytocin receptors are known to modulate synaptic transmission and network activity in the hippocampus, but their precise function has been only partially elucidated. Here, we have found that activation of presynaptic oxytocin receptor with the potent agonist, carbetocin, enhanced depolarization-evoked glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus with no effect on GABA release. This evidence paved the way for examining the effect of carbetocin treatment in "prenatally restraint stressed" (PRS) rats, i.e., the offspring of dams exposed to repeated episodes of restraint stress during pregnancy. Adult PRS rats exhibit an anxious/depressive-like phenotype associated with an abnormal glucocorticoid feedback regulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and, remarkably, with a reduced depolarization-evoked glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus. Chronic systemic treatment with carbetocin (1mg/kg, i.p., once a day for 2-3 weeks) in PRS rats corrected the defect in glutamate release, anxiety- and depressive-like behavior, and abnormalities in social behavior, in the HPA response to stress, and in the expression of stress-related genes in the hippocampus and amygdala. Of note, carbetocin treatment had no effect on these behavioral and neuroendocrine parameters in prenatally unstressed (control) rats, with the exception of a reduced expression of the oxytocin receptor gene in the amygdala. These findings disclose a novel function of oxytocin receptors in the hippocampus, and encourage the use of oxytocin receptor agonists in the treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders in adult life. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. As time goes by: Oxytocin influences the subjective perception of time in a social context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colonnello, Valentina; Domes, Gregor; Heinrichs, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Time perception depends on an event's emotional relevance to the beholder; a subjective time dilation effect is associated with self-relevant, emotionally salient stimuli. Previous studies have revealed that oxytocin modulates the salience of social stimuli and attention to social cues. However, whether the oxytocin system is involved in human subjective time perception is unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether increased oxytocin levels would induce a time dilation effect for self-relevant, positive social cues. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subject design, heterosexual men were administered intranasal oxytocin or placebo. After about 50min, participants completed a time-bisection task in which they estimated lengths of exposure to happy female faces (self-relevant positive stimuli, based on sexual orientation), emotionally neutral and negative female faces (control), and happy, neutral, and negative male faces (control). Oxytocin induced a subjective time dilation effect for happy female faces and a time compression effect for happy male faces. Our results provide evidence that oxytocin influences time perception, a primary form of human subjectivity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The Williams syndrome prosociality gene GTF2I mediates oxytocin reactivity and social anxiety in a healthy population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Procyshyn, Tanya L; Spence, Jason; Read, Silven; Watson, Neil V; Crespi, Bernard J

    2017-04-01

    The neurohormone oxytocin plays a central role in human social behaviour and cognition, and oxytocin dysregulation may contribute to psychiatric disorders. However, genetic factors influencing individual variation in the oxytocinergic system remain poorly understood. We genotyped 169 healthy adults for a functional polymorphism in GTF2I ( general transcription factor II-I ), a gene associated with high prosociality and reduced social anxiety in Williams syndrome, a condition reported to involve high oxytocin levels and reactivity. Participants' salivary oxytocin levels were measured before and after watching a validated empathy-inducing video. Oxytocin reactivity, defined as pre- to post-video percentage change in salivary oxytocin, varied substantially and significantly between individuals with different GTF2I genotypes, with, additionally, a trend towards an interaction between genotype and sex. Individuals with more oxytocin-reactive genotypes also reported significantly lower social anxiety. These findings suggest a model whereby GTF2I has a continuum of effects on human sociality, from the extreme social phenotypes and oxytocin dysregulation associated with gene deletion in Williams syndrome, to individual differences in oxytocin reactivity and sociality associated with common polymorphisms in healthy populations. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. Intranasal oxytocin administration in relationship to social behaviour in domestic pigs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Camerlink, Irene; Reimert, Inonge; Bolhuis, Liesbeth

    2016-01-01

    Intranasal administration of oxytocin has been shown to alter positive and negative social behaviour. Positive social behaviour in pigs (Sus scrofa) may be expressed through gentle social nosing, and greater insight in the specific expression hereof might contribute to the current search for

  16. [Oxytocin, a mediator of anti-stress, well-being, social interaction, growth and healing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uvnas-Moberg, Kerstin; Petersson, Maria

    2005-01-01

    The neuroendocrine and physiological systems related to pain and stress have long been subjected to study. More recently, the corresponding systems promoting anti-stress and restoration have also come into focus. It is not only important to investigate the mechanisms underlying disease but also to examine the physiological and psychological mechanisms which protect and heal the body and soul. The nonapeptide oxytocin, originally known to stimulate labour and milk ejection, appears to play an important role in this regard. Oxytocin can induce anti-stress-like effects such as reduction of blood pressure and cortisol levels. It increases pain thresholds, exerts an anxiolytic-like effect and stimulates various types of positive social interaction. In addition, it promotes growth and healing. Repeated exposure to oxytocin causes long-lasting effects by influencing the activity of other transmitter systems, a pattern which makes oxytocin potentially clinically relevant. Oxytocin can be released by various types of non-noxious sensory stimulation, for example by touch and warmth. Ingestion of food triggers oxytocin release by activation of vagal afferents. Most likely, oxytocin can also be released by stimulation of other senses such as olfaction, as well as by certain types of sound and light. In addition, purely psychological mechanisms may trigger the release of oxytocin. This means that positive interaction involving touch and psychological support may be health-promoting. The social interaction of daily life, as well as a positive environment, continuously activate this system. In addition, various types of psychotherapy involving transfer of support, warmth and empathy are likely to induce similar effects, which thus contribute to the positive effects of these kinds of therapies.

  17. Unsupportive social interactions and affective states: examining associations of two oxytocin-related polymorphisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McInnis, Opal A; McQuaid, Robyn J; Matheson, Kimberly; Anisman, Hymie

    2017-01-01

    Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on oxytocin-related genes, specifically the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) rs53576 and the CD38 rs3796863 variants, have been associated with alterations in prosocial behaviors. A cross-sectional study was conducted among undergraduate students (N = 476) to examine associations between the OXTR and CD38 polymorphisms and unsupportive social interactions and mood states. Results revealed no association between perceived levels of unsupportive social interactions and the OXTR polymorphism. However, A carriers of the CD38 polymorphism, a variant previously associated with elevated oxytocin, reported greater perceived peer unsupportive interactions compared to CC carriers. As expected, perceived unsupportive interactions from peers was associated with greater negative affect, which was moderated by the CD38 polymorphism. Specifically, this relation was stronger among CC carriers of the CD38 polymorphism (a variant thought to be linked to lower oxytocin). When examining whether the OXTR polymorphism moderated the relation between unsupportive social interactions from peers and negative affect there was a trend toward significance, however, this did not withstand multiple testing corrections. These findings are consistent with the perspective that a variant on an oxytocin polymorphism that may be tied to lower oxytocin is related to poor mood outcomes in association with negative social interactions. At the same time, having a genetic constitution presumed to be associated with higher oxytocin was related to increased perceptions of unsupportive social interactions. These seemingly paradoxical findings could be related to previous reports in which variants associated with prosocial behaviors were also tied to relatively more effective coping styles to deal with challenges.

  18. A common oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism modulates intranasal oxytocin effects on the neural response to social cooperation in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, C; Lori, A; Waldman, I D; Binder, E B; Haroon, E; Rilling, J K

    2015-09-01

    Intranasal oxytocin (OT) can modulate social-emotional functioning and related brain activity in humans. Consequently, OT has been discussed as a potential treatment for psychiatric disorders involving social behavioral deficits. However, OT effects are often heterogeneous across individuals. Here we explore individual differences in OT effects on the neural response to social cooperation as a function of the rs53576 polymorphism of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR). Previously, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which healthy men and women were randomized to treatment with intranasal OT or placebo. Afterwards, they were imaged with functional magnetic resonance imaging while playing an iterated Prisoner's Dilemma Game with same-sex partners. Within the left ventral caudate nucleus, intranasal OT treatment increased activation to reciprocated cooperation in men, but tended to decrease activation in women. Here, we show that these sex differences in OT effects are specific to individuals with the rs53576 GG genotype, and are not found for other genotypes (rs53576 AA/AG). Thus, OT may increase the reward or salience of positive social interactions for male GG homozygotes, while decreasing those processes for female GG homozygotes. These results suggest that rs53576 genotype is an important variable to consider in future investigations of the clinical efficacy of intranasal OT treatment. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  19. Oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms are associated with human directed social behavior in dogs (Canis familiaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kis, Anna; Bence, Melinda; Lakatos, Gabriella; Pergel, Enikő; Turcsán, Borbála; Pluijmakers, Jolanda; Vas, Judit; Elek, Zsuzsanna; Brúder, Ildikó; Földi, Levente; Sasvári-Székely, Mária; Miklósi, Adám; Rónai, Zsolt; Kubinyi, Enikő

    2014-01-01

    The oxytocin system has a crucial role in human sociality; several results prove that polymorphisms of the oxytocin receptor gene are related to complex social behaviors in humans. Dogs' parallel evolution with humans and their adaptation to the human environment has made them a useful species to model human social interactions. Previous research indicates that dogs are eligible models for behavioral genetic research, as well. Based on these previous findings, our research investigated associations between human directed social behaviors and two newly described (-212AG, 19131AG) and one known (rs8679684) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the regulatory regions (5' and 3' UTR) of the oxytocin receptor gene in German Shepherd (N = 104) and Border Collie (N = 103) dogs. Dogs' behavior traits have been estimated in a newly developed test series consisting of five episodes: Greeting by a stranger, Separation from the owner, Problem solving, Threatening approach, Hiding of the owner. Buccal samples were collected and DNA was isolated using standard protocols. SNPs in the 3' and 5' UTR regions were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction based techniques followed by subsequent electrophoresis analysis. The gene-behavior association analysis suggests that oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms have an impact in both breeds on (i) proximity seeking towards an unfamiliar person, as well as their owner, and on (ii) how friendly dogs behave towards strangers, although the mediating molecular regulatory mechanisms are yet unknown. Based on these results, we conclude that similarly to humans, the social behavior of dogs towards humans is influenced by the oxytocin system.

  20. Oxytocin and vasopressin flatten dominance hierarchy and enhance behavioral synchrony in part via anterior cingulate cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yaoguang; Platt, Michael L

    2018-05-29

    The neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) influence social functions in many mammals. In humans and rhesus macaques, OT delivered intranasally can promote prosocial behavior in certain contexts. Yet the precise neural mechanisms mediating these behavioral effects remain unclear. Here we show that treating a group of male macaque monkeys intranasally with aerosolized OT relaxes their spontaneous social interactions with other monkeys. OT reduces differences in social behavior between dominant and subordinate monkeys, thereby flattening the status hierarchy. OT also increases behavioral synchrony within a pair. Intranasal delivery of aerosolized AVP reproduces the effects of OT with greater efficacy. Remarkably, all behavioral effects are replicated when OT or AVP is injected focally into the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACCg), a brain area linked to empathy and other-regarding behavior. ACCg lacks OT receptors but is rich in AVP receptors, suggesting exogenous OT may shape social behavior, in part, via nonspecific binding. Notably, OT and AVP alter behaviors of both the treated monkey and his untreated partner, consistent with enhanced feedback through reciprocal social interactions. These findings bear important implications for use of OT in both basic research and as a therapy for social impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders.

  1. Oxytocin effects on complex brain networks are moderated by experiences of maternal love withdrawal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riem, M.M.E.; van IJzendoorn, M.H.; Tops, M.; Boksem, M.A.S.; Rombouts, S.A.R.B.; Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J.

    2013-01-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin has been implicated in a variety of social processes. However, recent studies indicate that oxytocin does not enhance prosocial behavior in all people in all circumstances. Here, we investigate effects of intranasal oxytocin administration on intrinsic functional brain

  2. Long-term oxytocin administration improves social behaviors in a girl with autistic disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosaka, Hirotaka; Munesue, Toshio; Ishitobi, Makoto; Asano, Mizuki; Omori, Masao; Sato, Makoto; Tomoda, Akemi; Wada, Yuji

    2012-08-13

    Patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) exhibit core autistic symptoms including social impairments from early childhood and mostly show secondary disabilities such as irritability and aggressive behavior based on core symptoms. However, there are still no radical treatments of social impairments in these patients. Oxytocin has been reported to play important roles in multiple social behaviors dependent on social recognition, and has been expected as one of the effective treatments of social impairments of patients with ASDs. We present a case of a 16-year-old girl with autistic disorder who treated by long-term administration of oxytocin nasal spray. Her autistic symptoms were successfully treated by two month administration; the girl's social interactions and social communication began to improve without adverse effects. Her irritability and aggressive behavior also improved dramatically with marked decreases in aberrant behavior checklist scores from 69 to 7. This case is the first to illustrate long-term administration of oxytocin nasal spray in the targeted treatment of social impairments in a female with autistic disorder. This case suggests that long-term nasal oxytocin spray is promising and well-tolerated for treatment of social impairments of patients with ASDs.

  3. Stress-Induced Elevation of Oxytocin in Maltreated Children: Evolution, Neurodevelopment, and Social Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seltzer, Leslie J.; Ziegler, Toni; Connolly, Michael J.; Prososki, Ashley R.; Pollak, Seth D.

    2014-01-01

    Child maltreatment often has a negative impact on the development of social behavior and health. The biobehavioral mechanisms through which these adverse outcomes emerge, however, are not clear. To better understand the ways in which early life adversity affects subsequent social behavior, changes in the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) in children…

  4. Oxytocin modulates social distance between males and females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheele, Dirk; Striepens, Nadine; Güntürkün, Onur; Deutschländer, Sandra; Maier, Wolfgang; Kendrick, Keith M; Hurlemann, René

    2012-11-14

    In humans, interpersonal romantic attraction and the subsequent development of monogamous pair-bonds is substantially predicted by influential impressions formed during first encounters. The prosocial neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) has been identified as a key facilitator of both interpersonal attraction and the formation of parental attachment. However, whether OXT contributes to the maintenance of monogamous bonds after they have been formed is unclear. In this randomized placebo-controlled trial, we provide the first behavioral evidence that the intranasal administration of OXT stimulates men in a monogamous relationship, but not single ones, to keep a much greater distance (~10-15 cm) between themselves and an attractive woman during a first encounter. This avoidance of close personal proximity occurred in the physical presence of female but not male experimenters and was independent of gaze direction and whether the female experimenter or the subject was moving. We further confirmed this unexpected finding using a photograph-based approach/avoidance task that showed again that OXT only stimulated men in a monogamous relationship to approach pictures of attractive women more slowly. Importantly, these changes cannot be attributed to OXT altering the attitude of monogamous men toward attractive women or their judgments of and arousal by pictures of them. Together, our results suggest that where OXT release is stimulated during a monogamous relationship, it may additionally promote its maintenance by making men avoid signaling romantic interest to other women through close-approach behavior during social encounters. In this way, OXT may help to promote fidelity within monogamous human relationships.

  5. Oxytocin receptor gene methylation: converging multilevel evidence for a role in social anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Christiane; Dannlowski, Udo; Bräuer, David; Stevens, Stephan; Laeger, Inga; Wittmann, Hannah; Kugel, Harald; Dobel, Christian; Hurlemann, René; Reif, Andreas; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Heindel, Walter; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Arolt, Volker; Gerlach, Alexander L; Hoyer, Jürgen; Deckert, Jürgen; Zwanzger, Peter; Domschke, Katharina

    2015-05-01

    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a commonly occurring and highly disabling disorder. The neuropeptide oxytocin and its receptor (OXTR) have been implicated in social cognition and behavior. This study-for the first time applying a multilevel epigenetic approach-investigates the role of OXTR gene methylation in categorical, dimensional, and intermediate neuroendocrinological/neural network phenotypes of social anxiety. A total of 110 unmedicated patients with SAD and matched 110 controls were analyzed for OXTR methylation by direct sequencing of sodium bisulfite-converted DNA extracted from whole blood. Furthermore, OXTR methylation was investigated regarding SAD-related traits (Social Phobia Scale (SPS) and Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS)), salivary cortisol response during the Trier social stress test (TSST), and amygdala responsiveness to social phobia related verbal stimuli using fMRI. Significantly decreased OXTR methylation particularly at CpG Chr3: 8 809 437 was associated with (1) the categorical phenotype of SAD (psocial phobia-related word processing (right: p(corr)<0.001; left: p(corr)=0.005). Assuming that decreased OXTR methylation confers increased OXTR expression, the present finding may reflect a compensatory upregulation for pathologically reduced oxytocin levels or a causally relevant increased OXTR activation in SAD and related traits. OXTR methylation patterns might thus serve as peripheral surrogates of oxytocin tone and aid in establishing accessible biomarkers of SAD risk allowing for indicated preventive interventions and personalized treatment approaches targeting the oxytocin system.

  6. Social condition and oxytocin neuron number in the hypothalamus of naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, S J; Holmes, M M

    2013-01-29

    The naked mole-rat is a subterranean colonial rodent. In each colony, which can grow to as many as 300 individuals, there is only one female and 1-3 males that are reproductive and socially dominant. The remaining animals are reproductively suppressed subordinates that contribute to colony survival through their cooperative behaviors. Oxytocin is a peptide hormone that has shown relatively widespread effects on prosocial behaviors in other species. We examined whether social status affects the number of oxytocin-immunoreactive neurons in the paraventricular nucleus and the supraoptic nucleus by comparing dominant breeding animals to subordinate non-breeding workers from intact colonies. We also examined these regions in subordinate animals that had been removed from their colony and paired with an opposite- or same-sex conspecific for 6 months. Stereological analyses indicated that subordinates had significantly more oxytocin neurons in the paraventricular nucleus than breeders. Animals in both opposite- and same-sex pairs showed a decreased oxytocin neuron number compared to subordinates suggesting that status differences may be due to social condition rather than the reproductive activity of the animal per se. The effects of social status appear to be region specific as no group differences were found for oxytocin neuron number in the supraoptic nucleus. Given that subordinate naked mole-rats are kept reproductively suppressed through antagonism by the queen, we speculate that status differences are due either to oxytocin's anxiolytic properties to combat the stress of this antagonism or to its ability to promote the prosocial behaviors of subordinates. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Common polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is associated with human social recognition skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skuse, David H; Lori, Adriana; Cubells, Joseph F; Lee, Irene; Conneely, Karen N; Puura, Kaija; Lehtimäki, Terho; Binder, Elisabeth B; Young, Larry J

    2014-02-04

    The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin are evolutionarily conserved regulators of social perception and behavior. Evidence is building that they are critically involved in the development of social recognition skills within rodent species, primates, and humans. We investigated whether common polymorphisms in the genes encoding the oxytocin and vasopressin 1a receptors influence social memory for faces. Our sample comprised 198 families, from the United Kingdom and Finland, in whom a single child had been diagnosed with high-functioning autism. Previous research has shown that impaired social perception, characteristic of autism, extends to the first-degree relatives of autistic individuals, implying heritable risk. Assessments of face recognition memory, discrimination of facial emotions, and direction of gaze detection were standardized for age (7-60 y) and sex. A common SNP in the oxytocin receptor (rs237887) was strongly associated with recognition memory in combined probands, parents, and siblings after correction for multiple comparisons. Homozygotes for the ancestral A allele had impairments in the range -0.6 to -1.15 SD scores, irrespective of their diagnostic status. Our findings imply that a critical role for the oxytocin system in social recognition has been conserved across perceptual boundaries through evolution, from olfaction in rodents to visual memory in humans.

  8. MDMA ('Ecstasy'), oxytocin and vasopressin modulate social preference in rats: A role for handling and oxytocin receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Linnet; Hicks, Callum; Caminer, Alex; Couto, Kalliu; Narlawar, Rajeshwar; Kassiou, Michael; McGregor, Iain S

    In laboratory rats, peripheral administration of the neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) induces similar prosocial effects (i.e. increased adjacent lying) to the party drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), which are sensitive to vasopressin V 1A receptor (V 1A R) antagonism. Here, we employed a social preference paradigm to further compare the prosocial effects of OT, AVP and MDMA. We also investigated the possible involvement of the V 1A R and oxytocin receptor (OTR) in rodent social preference. The social preference paradigm measures investigation times towards an empty wire cage (presented for 4min) followed by an identical cage containing a novel rat (also presented for 4min). Social preference is defined as greater investigation time towards the inhabited cage than the empty cage. Results indicated that well-handled rats exhibited no social preference at baseline, while intraperitoneally injected MDMA (5mg/kg), OT (0.5mg/kg) and AVP (0.005mg/kg) increased social preference. However, this effect was primarily due to reduced investigation of the empty cage. In contrast, rats that received minimal prior handling displayed a social preference at baseline, while MDMA (5mg/kg), OT (0.5mg/kg) and AVP (0.005mg/kg) reduced investigation times towards both the empty and inhabited cages. Lower doses of MDMA, OT and AVP were ineffective. The OTR antagonist Compound 25 (C25, 5mg/kg), but not the V 1A R antagonist SR49059 (1mg/kg), reduced the baseline social preference seen in minimally-handled rats and prevented the social preference induced by OT and AVP (but not MDMA) in well-handled rats. Overall, these results further confirm prosocial actions of MDMA, OT and AVP, which are dependent on handling history. These findings also indicate that social preference is sensitive to OTR rather than V 1A R modulation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Distress of ostracism: oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism confers sensitivity to social exclusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuaid, Robyn J; McInnis, Opal A; Matheson, Kimberly; Anisman, Hymie

    2015-08-01

    A single-nucleotide polymorphism on the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR), rs53576, involving a guanine (G) to adenine (A) substitution has been associated with altered prosocial features. Specifically, individuals with the GG genotype (i.e. the absence of the polymorphism) display beneficial traits including enhanced trust, empathy and self-esteem. However, because G carriers might also be more socially sensitive, this may render them more vulnerable to the adverse effects of a negative social stressor. The current investigation, conducted among 128 white female undergraduate students, demonstrated that relative to individuals with AA genotype, G carriers were more emotionally sensitive (lower self-esteem) in response to social ostracism promoted through an on-line ball tossing game (Cyberball). Furthermore, GG individuals also exhibited altered blood pressure and cortisol levels following rejection, effects not apparent among A carriers. The data support the view that the presence of the G allele not only promotes prosocial behaviors but also favors sensitivity to a negative social stressor. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Oxytocin influences avoidant reactions to social threat in adults with borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brüne, Martin; Ebert, Andreas; Kolb, Meike; Tas, Cumhur; Edel, Marc-Andreas; Roser, Patrik

    2013-11-01

    Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by interpersonal dysfunction, emotional instability, impulsivity, and risk-taking behavior. Recent research has focused on the role of oxytocin in BPD, with mixed results as regards the processing of social stimuli. In a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study, 13 BPD patients and 13 controls performed a dot probe task to examine attentional biases to happy and angry faces after intranasal application of oxytocin or placebo. Childhood trauma was examined using the childhood trauma questionnaire. In the placebo condition, patients with BPD (but not controls) showed an avoidant reaction to angry faces (but not happy faces). The strength of the avoidant reaction correlated with the severity of childhood trauma. This behavioral response (as well as the correlation) was abolished in the oxytocin condition. Adult patients with BPD show an avoidant response to social threat, a reaction that is linked with traumatic experiences during childhood. This response pattern is altered by oxytocin, possibly by reducing stress and inhibiting social withdrawal from distressing social stimuli. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Social instability stress in adolescent male rats reduces social interaction and social recognition performance and increases oxytocin receptor binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, Travis E; Baumbach, Jennet L; Marcolin, Marina L; Bredewold, Remco; Veenema, Alexa H; McCormick, Cheryl M

    2017-09-17

    Social experiences in adolescence are essential for displaying context-appropriate social behaviors in adulthood. We previously found that adult male rats that underwent social instability stress (SS) in adolescence had reduced social interactions with unfamiliar peers compared with non-stressed controls (CTL). Here we determined whether SS altered social recognition and social reward and brain oxytocin and vasopressin receptor density in adolescence. We confirmed that SS rats spent less time interacting with unfamiliar peers than did CTL rats (p=0.006). Furthermore, CTL rats showed a preference for novel over familiar conspecifics in a social recognition test whereas SS rats did not, which may reflect reduced recognition, impaired memory, or reduced preference for novelty in SS rats. The reward value of social interactions was not affected by SS based on conditioned place preference tests and based on the greater time SS rats spent investigating stimulus rats than did CTL rats when the stimulus rat was behind wire mesh (p=0.03). Finally, oxytocin receptor binding density was higher in the dorsal lateral septum and nucleus accumbens shell in SS rats compared with CTL rats (p=0.02, p=0.01, respectively). No effect of SS was found for vasopressin 1a receptor binding density in any of the brain regions analyzed. We discuss the extent to which the differences in social behavior exhibited after social instability in adolescence involve changes in social salience and social competency, and the possibility that changes in oxytocin signaling in the brain underlie the differences in social behavior. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms are associated with human directed social behavior in dogs (Canis familiaris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Kis

    Full Text Available The oxytocin system has a crucial role in human sociality; several results prove that polymorphisms of the oxytocin receptor gene are related to complex social behaviors in humans. Dogs' parallel evolution with humans and their adaptation to the human environment has made them a useful species to model human social interactions. Previous research indicates that dogs are eligible models for behavioral genetic research, as well. Based on these previous findings, our research investigated associations between human directed social behaviors and two newly described (-212AG, 19131AG and one known (rs8679684 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in the regulatory regions (5' and 3' UTR of the oxytocin receptor gene in German Shepherd (N = 104 and Border Collie (N = 103 dogs. Dogs' behavior traits have been estimated in a newly developed test series consisting of five episodes: Greeting by a stranger, Separation from the owner, Problem solving, Threatening approach, Hiding of the owner. Buccal samples were collected and DNA was isolated using standard protocols. SNPs in the 3' and 5' UTR regions were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction based techniques followed by subsequent electrophoresis analysis. The gene-behavior association analysis suggests that oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms have an impact in both breeds on (i proximity seeking towards an unfamiliar person, as well as their owner, and on (ii how friendly dogs behave towards strangers, although the mediating molecular regulatory mechanisms are yet unknown. Based on these results, we conclude that similarly to humans, the social behavior of dogs towards humans is influenced by the oxytocin system.

  13. Oxytocin increases attention to the eyes and selectively enhances self-reported affective empathy for fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubble, Kelly; Daughters, Katie; Manstead, Antony S R; Rees, Aled; Thapar, Anita; van Goozen, Stephanie H M

    2017-11-01

    Oxytocin (OXT) has previously been implicated in a range of prosocial behaviors such as trust and emotion recognition. Nevertheless, recent studies have questioned the evidence for this link. In addition, there has been relatively little conclusive research on the effect of OXT on empathic ability and such studies as there are have not examined the mechanisms through which OXT might affect empathy, or whether OXT selectively facilitates empathy for specific emotions. In the current study, we used eye-tracking to assess attention to socially relevant information while participants viewed dynamic, empathy-inducing video clips, in which protagonists expressed sadness, happiness, pain or fear. In a double-blind, within-subjects, randomized control trial, 40 healthy male participants received 24 IU intranasal OXT or placebo in two identical experimental sessions, separated by a 2-week interval. OXT led to an increase in time spent fixating upon the eye-region of the protagonist's face across emotions. OXT also selectively enhanced self-reported affective empathy for fear, but did not affect cognitive or affective empathy for other emotions. Nevertheless, there was no positive relationship between eye-gaze patterns and affective empathy, suggesting that although OXT influences eye-gaze and may enhance affective empathy for fear, these two systems are independent. Future studies need to further examine the effect of OXT on eye-gaze to fully ascertain whether this can explain the improvements in emotional behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Differential susceptibility effects of oxytocin gene (OXT) polymorphisms and perceived parenting on social anxiety among adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olofsdotter, Susanne; Åslund, Cecilia; Furmark, Tomas; Comasco, Erika; Nilsson, Kent W

    2018-05-01

    Social anxiety is one of the most commonly reported mental health problems among adolescents, and it has been suggested that parenting style influences an adolescent's level of anxiety. A context-dependent effect of oxytocin on human social behavior has been proposed; however, research on the oxytocin gene (OXT) has mostly been reported without considering contextual factors. This study investigated the interactions between parenting style and polymorphic variations in the OXT gene in association with social anxiety symptoms in a community sample of adolescents (n = 1,359). Two single nucleotide polymorphisms linked to OXT, rs4813625 and rs2770378, were genotyped. Social anxiety and perceived parenting style were assessed by behavioral questionnaires. In interaction models adjusted for sex, significant interaction effects with parenting style were observed for both variants in relation to social anxiety. The nature of the interactions was in line with the differential susceptibility framework for rs4813625, whereas for rs2770378 the results indicated a diathesis-stress type of interaction. The findings may be interpreted from the perspective of the social salience hypothesis of oxytocin, with rs4813625 affecting social anxiety levels along a perceived unsafe-safe social context dimension.

  15. Oxytocin reduces amygdala activity, increases social interactions, and reduces anxiety-like behavior irrespective of NMDAR antagonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobota, Rosanna; Mihara, Takuma; Forrest, Alexandra; Featherstone, Robert E; Siegel, Steven J

    2015-08-01

    Standard dopamine therapies for schizophrenia are not efficacious for negative symptoms of the disease, including asociality. This reduced social behavior may be due to glutamatergic dysfunction within the amygdala, leading to increased fear and social anxiety. Several studies have demonstrated the prosocial effects of oxytocin in schizophrenia patients. Therefore, this study evaluates the effect of subchronic oxytocin on EEG activity in amygdala of mice during performance of the three-chamber social choice and open field tests following acute ketamine as a model of glutamatergic dysfunction. Oxytocin did not restore social deficits introduced by ketamine but did significantly increase sociality in comparison to the control group. Ketamine had no effect on time spent in the center during the open field trials, whereas oxytocin increased overall center time across all groups, suggesting a reduction in anxiety. Amygdala activity was consistent across all drug groups during social and nonsocial behavioral trials. However, oxytocin reduced overall amygdala EEG power during the two behavioral tasks. Alternatively, ketamine did not significantly affect EEG power throughout the tasks. Decreased EEG power in the amygdala, as caused by oxytocin, may be related to both reduced anxiety and increased social behaviors. Data suggest that separate prosocial and social anxiety pathways may mediate social preference. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Do blood plasma levels of oxytocin moderate the effect of nasally administered oxytocin on social orienting in high-functioning male adults with autism spectrum disorder?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Althaus, Monika; Groen, Yvonne; Wijers, Albertus A.; Noltes, Henriette; Tucha, Oliver; Sweep, Fred C.; Calcagnoli, Federica; Hoekstra, Pieter J.

    The study investigated whether baseline plasma oxytocin (OXT) concentrations might moderate the effects of nasally administered OXT on social orienting. Thirty-one males with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and thirty healthy males participated in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial.

  17. Sex-specific modulation of juvenile social play behavior by vasopressin and oxytocin depends on social context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredewold, Remco; Smith, Caroline J. W.; Dumais, Kelly M.; Veenema, Alexa H.

    2014-01-01

    We recently demonstrated that vasopressin (AVP) in the lateral septum modulates social play behavior differently in male and female juvenile rats. However, the extent to which different social contexts (i.e., exposure to an unfamiliar play partner in different environments) affect the regulation of social play remains largely unknown. Given that AVP and the closely related neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) modulate social behavior as well as anxiety-like behavior, we hypothesized that these neuropeptides may regulate social play behavior differently in novel (novel cage) as opposed to familiar (home cage) social environments. Administration of the specific AVP V1a receptor (V1aR) antagonist (CH2)5Tyr(Me2)AVP into the lateral septum enhanced home cage social play behavior in males but reduced it in females, confirming our previous findings. These effects were context-specific because V1aR blockade did not alter novel cage social play behavior in either sex. Furthermore, social play in females was reduced by AVP in the novel cage and by OXT in the home cage. Additionally, females administered the specific OXT receptor antagonist desGly-NH2,d(CH2)5−[Tyr(Me)2,Thr4]OVT showed less social play in the novel as compared to the home cage. AVP enhanced anxiety-related behavior in males (tested on the elevated plus-maze), but failed to do so in females, suggesting that exogenous AVP alters social play and anxiety-related behavior via distinct and sex-specific mechanisms. Moreover, none of the other drug treatments that altered social play had an effect on anxiety, suggesting that these drug-induced behavioral alterations are relatively specific to social behavior. Overall, we showed that AVP and OXT systems in the lateral septum modulate social play in juvenile rats in neuropeptide-, sex- and social context-specific ways. These findings underscore the importance of considering not only sex, but also social context, in how AVP and OXT modulate social behavior. PMID:24982623

  18. Sex-specific modulation of juvenile social play behavior by vasopressin and oxytocin depends on social context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remco eBredewold

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available We recently demonstrated that vasopressin (AVP in the lateral septum modulates social play behavior differently in male and female juvenile rats. However, the extent to which different social contexts (i.e., exposure to an unfamiliar play partner in different environments affect the regulation of social play remains largely unknown. Given that AVP and the closely related neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT modulate social behavior as well as anxiety-like behavior, we hypothesized that these neuropeptides may regulate social play behavior differently in novel (novel cage as opposed to familiar (home cage social environments. Administration of the specific AVP V1a receptor (V1aR antagonist (CH25Tyr(Me2AVP into the lateral septum enhanced home cage social play behavior in males but reduced it in females, confirming our previous findings. These effects were context-specific because V1aR blockade did not alter novel cage social play behavior in either sex. Furthermore, social play in females was reduced by AVP in the novel cage and by OXT in the home cage. Additionally, females administered the specific OXT receptor antagonist desGly-NH2,d(CH25-[Tyr(Me2,Thr4]OVT showed less social play in the novel as compared to the home cage. AVP enhanced anxiety-related behavior in males (tested on the elevated plus-maze, but failed to do so in females, suggesting that exogenous AVP alters social play and anxiety-related behavior via distinct and sex-specific mechanisms. Moreover, none of the other drug treatments that altered social play had an effect on anxiety, suggesting that these drug-induced behavioral alterations are relatively specific to social behavior. Overall, we showed that AVP and OXT systems in the lateral septum modulate social play in juvenile rats in neuropeptide-, sex- and social context-specific ways. These findings underscore the importance of considering not only sex, but also social context, in how AVP and OXT modulate social behavior.

  19. Oxytocin is implicated in social memory deficits induced by early sensory deprivation in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jin-Bao; Chen, Ling; Lv, Zhu-Man; Niu, Xue-Yuan; Shao, Can-Can; Zhang, Chan; Pruski, Michal; Huang, Ying; Qi, Cong-Cong; Song, Ning-Ning; Lang, Bing; Ding, Yu-Qiang

    2016-12-13

    Early-life sensory input plays a crucial role in brain development. Although deprivation of orofacial sensory input at perinatal stages disrupts the establishment of the barrel cortex and relevant callosal connections, its long-term effect on adult behavior remains elusive. In this study, we investigated the behavioral phenotypes in adult mice with unilateral transection of the infraorbital nerve (ION) at postnatal day 3 (P3). Although ION-transected mice had normal locomotor activity, motor coordination, olfaction, anxiety-like behaviors, novel object memory, preference for social novelty and sociability, they presented deficits in social memory and spatial memory compared with control mice. In addition, the social memory deficit was associated with reduced oxytocin (OXT) levels in the hypothalamus and could be partially restored by intranasal administration of OXT. Thus, early sensory deprivation does result in behavioral alterations in mice, some of which may be associated with the disruption of oxytocin signaling.

  20. No association between oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene polymorphisms and experimentally elicited social preferences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coren L Apicella

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Oxytocin (OXT has been implicated in a suite of complex social behaviors including observed choices in economic laboratory experiments. However, actual studies of associations between oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene variants and experimentally elicited social preferences are rare. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We test hypotheses of associations between social preferences, as measured by behavior in two economic games, and 9 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs of the OXTR gene in a sample of Swedish twins (n = 684. Two standard economic games, the dictator game and the trust game, both involving real monetary consequences, were used to elicit such preferences. After correction for multiple hypothesis testing, we found no significant associations between any of the 9 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs and behavior in either of the games. CONCLUSION: We were unable to replicate the most significant association reported in previous research between the amount donated in a dictator game and an OXTR genetic variant.

  1. Low dose oxytocin delivered intranasally with Breath Powered device affects social-cognitive behavior: a randomized 4-way crossover trial with nasal cavity dimension assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Quintana, Daniel; Westlye, Lars Tjelta; Rustan, Øyvind; Tesli, Natalia; Poppy, Claire; Smevik, Hanne; Tesli, Martin Steen; Røine, Marianne; Mahmoud, Ramy; Smerud, Knut Terje; Djupesland, Per G.; Andreassen, Ole Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Despite the promise of intranasal oxytocin (OT) for modulating social behavior, recent work has provided mixed results. This may relate to suboptimal drug deposition achieved with conventional nasal sprays, inter-individual differences in nasal physiology and a poor understanding of how intranasal OT is delivered to the brain in humans. Delivering OT using a novel ?Breath Powered' nasal device previously shown to enhance deposition in intranasal sites targeted for nose-to-brain transport, we ...

  2. A hypothesis on a role of oxytocin in the social mechanisms of speech and vocal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theofanopoulou, Constantina; Boeckx, Cedric; Jarvis, Erich D

    2017-08-30

    Language acquisition in humans and song learning in songbirds naturally happen as a social learning experience, providing an excellent opportunity to reveal social motivation and reward mechanisms that boost sensorimotor learning. Our knowledge about the molecules and circuits that control these social mechanisms for vocal learning and language is limited. Here we propose a hypothesis of a role for oxytocin (OT) in the social motivation and evolution of vocal learning and language. Building upon existing evidence, we suggest specific neural pathways and mechanisms through which OT might modulate vocal learning circuits in specific developmental stages. © 2017 The Authors.

  3. Effects of intranasal and peripheral oxytocin or gastrin-releasing peptide administration on social interaction and corticosterone levels in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Pamela; Awadia, Alisha; Zhao, Leah; Ensan, Donna; Silva, Dinuka; Cayer, Christian; James, Jonathan S; Anisman, Hymie; Merali, Zul

    2016-02-01

    The intranasal route of drug administration has gained increased popularity as it is thought to allow large molecules, such as peptide hormones, more direct access to the brain, while limiting systemic exposure. Several studies have investigated the effects of intranasal oxytocin administration in humans as this peptide is associated with prosocial behavior. There are, however, few preclinical studies investigating the effects of intranasal oxytocin administration in rodents. Oxytocin modulates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning and it has been suggested that oxytocin's ability to increase sociability may occur through a reduction in stress reactivity. Another peptide that appears to influence both social behavior and HPA axis activity is gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), but it is not known if these GRP-induced effects are related. With this in mind, in the present study, we assessed the effects of intranasal and intraperitoneal oxytocin and GRP administration on social interaction and release of corticosterone in rats. Intranasal and intraperitoneal administration of 20, but not 5 μg, of oxytocin significantly increased social interaction, whereas intranasal and peripheral administration of GRP (20 but not 5 μg) significantly decreased levels of social interaction. In addition, while intranasal oxytocin (20 μg) had no effect on blood corticosterone levels, a marked increase in blood corticosterone levels was observed following intraperitoneal oxytocin administration. With GRP, intranasal (20 μg) but not peripheral administration increased corticosterone levels. These findings provide further evidence that intranasal peptide delivery can induce behavioral alterations in rodents which is consistent with findings from human studies. In addition, the peptide-induced changes in social interaction were not linked to fluctuations in corticosterone levels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Attachment style and oxytocin receptor gene variation interact in influencing social anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notzon, S; Domschke, K; Holitschke, K; Ziegler, C; Arolt, V; Pauli, P; Reif, A; Deckert, J; Zwanzger, P

    2016-01-01

    Social anxiety has been suggested to be promoted by an insecure attachment style. Oxytocin is discussed as a mediator of trust and social bonding as well as a modulator of social anxiety. Applying a gene-environment (G × E) interaction approach, in the present pilot study the main and interactive effects of attachment styles and oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene variation were probed in a combined risk factor model of social anxiety in healthy probands. Participants (N = 388; 219 females, 169 males; age 24.7 ± 4.7 years) were assessed for anxiety in social situations (Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory) depending on attachment style (Adult Attachment Scale, AAS) and OXTR rs53576 A/G genotype. A less secure attachment style was significantly associated with higher social anxiety. This association was partly modulated by OXTR genotype, with a stronger negative influence of a less secure attachment style on social anxiety in A allele carriers as compared to GG homozygotes. The present pilot data point to a strong association of less secure attachment and social anxiety as well as to a gene-environment interaction effect of OXTR rs53576 genotype and attachment style on social anxiety possibly constituting a targetable combined risk marker of social anxiety disorder.

  5. Parent observed neuro-behavioral and pro-social improvements with oxytocin following surgical resection of craniopharyngioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Naomi; Miller, Jennifer; Hart, John

    2016-08-01

    Social and emotional impairment, school dysfunction, and neurobehavioral impairment are highly prevalent in survivors of childhood craniopharyngioma and negatively affect quality of life. As surgical resection of craniopharyngioma typically impairs hypothalamic/pituitary function, it has been postulated that perhaps post-operative deficiency of the hormone oxytocin may be the etiology of social/emotional impairment. Research on the benefits of oxytocin treatment as a hormone facilitating social interaction is well established. However, no research has yet been conducted on patients with known pituitary/hypothalamic dysfunction due to structural lesions or surgery. This case report investigates the effects of oxytocin therapy on a youngster with pituitary/hypothalamic dysfunction after craniopharyngioma removal. In this individual, treatment with low dose intranasal oxytocin resulted in increased desire for socialization and improvement in affection towards family. In light of these findings, the authors believe that further research into the potential benefits of intranasal oxytocin therapy for patients with panhypopituitarism is necessary to determine whether a broader population may also benefit from intranasal oxytocin therapy.

  6. Restoring effects of oxytocin on the attentional preference for faces in autism

    OpenAIRE

    Kanat, M; Spenthof, I; Riedel, A; van Elst, L T; Heinrichs, M; Domes, G

    2017-01-01

    Reduced attentional preference for faces and symptoms of social anxiety are common in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The neuropeptide oxytocin triggers anxiolytic functions and enhances eye gaze, facial emotion recognition and neural correlates of face processing in ASD. Here we investigated whether a single dose of oxytocin increases attention to faces in ASD. As a secondary question, we explored the influence of social anxiety on these effects. We tested for oxytocin's effects on attenti...

  7. Central oxytocin receptors mediate mating-induced partner preferences and enhance correlated activation across forebrain nuclei in male prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Zachary V; Walum, Hasse; Jamal, Yaseen A; Xiao, Yao; Keebaugh, Alaine C; Inoue, Kiyoshi; Young, Larry J

    2016-03-01

    Oxytocin (OT) is a deeply conserved nonapeptide that acts both peripherally and centrally to modulate reproductive physiology and sociosexual behavior across divergent taxa, including humans. In vertebrates, the distribution of the oxytocin receptor (OTR) in the brain is variable within and across species, and OTR signaling is critical for a variety of species-typical social and reproductive behaviors, including affiliative and pair bonding behaviors in multiple socially monogamous lineages of fishes, birds, and mammals. Early work in prairie voles suggested that the endogenous OT system modulates mating-induced partner preference formation in females but not males; however, there is significant evidence that central OTRs may modulate pair bonding behavior in both sexes. In addition, it remains unclear how transient windows of central OTR signaling during sociosexual interaction modulate neural activity to produce enduring shifts in sociobehavioral phenotypes, including the formation of selective social bonds. Here we re-examine the role of the central OT system in partner preference formation in male prairie voles using a selective OTR antagonist delivered intracranially. We then use the same antagonist to examine how central OTRs modulate behavior and immediate early gene (Fos) expression, a metric of neuronal activation, in males during brief sociosexual interaction with a female. Our results suggest that, as in females, OTR signaling is critical for partner preference formation in males and enhances correlated activation across sensory and reward processing brain areas during sociosexual interaction. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that central OTR signaling facilitates social bond formation by coordinating activity across a pair bonding neural network. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Central oxytocin receptors mediate mating-induced partner preferences and enhance correlated activation across forebrain nuclei in male prairie voles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Zachary V.; Walum, Hasse; Jamal, Yaseen A.; Xiao, Yao; Keebaugh, Alaine C.; Inoue, Kiyoshi; Young, Larry J.

    2016-01-01

    Oxytocin (OT) is a deeply conserved nonapeptide that acts both peripherally and centrally to modulate reproductive physiology and sociosexual behavior across divergent taxa, including humans. In vertebrates, the distribution of the oxytocin receptor (OTR) in the brain is variable within and across species, and OTR signaling is critical for a variety of species-typical social and reproductive behaviors, including affiliative and pair bonding behaviors in multiple socially monogamous lineages of fishes, birds, and mammals. Early work in prairie voles suggested that the endogenous OT system modulates mating-induced partner preference formation in females but not males; however, there is significant evidence that central OTRs may modulate pair bonding behavior in both sexes. In addition, it remains unclear how transient windows of central OTR signaling during sociosexual interaction modulate neural activity to produce enduring shifts in sociobehavioral phenotypes, including the formation of selective social bonds. Here we re-examine the role of the central OT system in partner preference formation in male prairie voles using a selective OTR antagonist delivered intracranially. We then use the same antagonist to examine how central OTRs modulate behavior and immediate early gene (Fos) expression, a metric of neuronal activation, in males during brief sociosexual interaction with a female. Our results suggest that, as in females, OTR signaling is critical for partner preference formation in males and enhances correlated activation across sensory and reward processing brain areas during sociosexual interaction. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that central OTR signaling facilitates social bond formation by coordinating activity across a pair bonding neural network. PMID:26643557

  9. Oxytocin and Vasopressin: Linking Pituitary Neuropeptides and their Receptors to Social Neurocircuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Andrea Baribeau

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin and vasopressin are pituitary neuropeptides that have been shown to affect social processes in mammals. There is growing interest in these molecules and their receptors as potential precipitants of, and/or treatments for, social deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder. Numerous behavioral-genetic studies suggest that there is an association between these peptides and individual social abilities; however, an explanatory model that links hormonal activity at the receptor level to complex human behavior remains elusive. The following review summarizes the known associations between the oxytocin and vasopressin neuropeptide systems and social neurocircuits in the brain. Following a micro- to macro- level trajectory, current literature on the synthesis and secretion of these peptides, and the structure, function and distribution of their respective receptors is first surveyed. Next, current models regarding the mechanism of action of these peptides on microcircuitry and other neurotransmitter systems are discussed. Functional neuroimaging evidence on the acute effects of exogenous administration of these peptides on brain activity is then reviewed. Overall, a model in which the local neuromodulatory effects of pituitary neuropeptides on brainstem and basal forebrain regions strengthen signaling within social neurocircuits proves appealing. However, these findings are derived from animal models; more research is needed to clarify the relevance of these mechanisms to human behavior and treatment of social deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  10. Long-term social recognition memory is mediated by oxytocin-dependent synaptic plasticity in the medial amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gur, Rotem; Tendler, Alex; Wagner, Shlomo

    2014-09-01

    Recognition of specific individuals is fundamental to mammalian social behavior and is mediated in most mammals by the main and accessory olfactory systems. Both these systems innervate the medial amygdala (MeA), where activity of the neuropeptide oxytocin is thought to mediate social recognition memory (SRM). The specific contribution of the MeA to SRM formation and the specific actions of oxytocin in the MeA are unknown. We used the social discrimination test to evaluate short-term and long-term SRM in adult Sprague-Dawley male rats (n = 38). The role of protein synthesis in the MeA was investigated by local application of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin (n = 11). Synaptic plasticity was assessed in vivo by recording the MeA evoked field potential responses to stimulation of the main (n = 21) and accessory (n = 56) olfactory bulbs before and after theta burst stimulation. Intracerebroventricular administration of saline, oxytocin, or oxytocin receptor antagonist was used to measure the effect of oxytocin on synaptic plasticity. Anisomycin application to the MeA prevented the formation of long-term SRM. In addition, the responses of MeA neurons underwent long-term depression (LTD) after theta burst stimulation of the accessory olfactory bulb, but not the main accessory bulb, in an oxytocin-dependent manner. No LTD was found in socially isolated rats, which are known to lack long-term SRM. Finally, accessory olfactory bulb stimulation before SRM acquisition blocked long-term SRM, supporting the involvement of LTD in the MeA in formation of long-term SRM. Our results indicate that long-term SRM in rats involves protein synthesis and oxytocin-dependent LTD in the MeA. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Salubrious effects of oxytocin on social stress-induced deficits

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Adam S.; Wang, Zuoxin

    2011-01-01

    Social relationships are a fundamental aspect of life, affecting social, psychological, physiological, and behavioral functions. While social interactions can attenuate stress and promote health, disruption, confrontations, isolation, or neglect in the social environment can each be major stressors. Social stress can impair the basal function and stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, impairing function of multiple biological systems and posing a risk to m...

  12. Mate-choice copying, social information processing, and the roles of oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavaliers, Martin; Matta, Richard; Choleris, Elena

    2017-01-01

    Social and sexual behaviors, including that of mate choice, are dependent on social information. Mate choice can be modified by prior and ongoing social factors and experience. The mate choice decisions of one individual can be influenced by either the actual or potential mate choice of another female or male. Such non-independent mate choice, where individuals gain social information and socially learn about and recognizes potential mates by observing the choices of another female or male, has been termed "mate-choice copying". Here we first briefly review how, why, and under what circumstances individuals engage in mate-choice copying. Secondly, we review the neurobiological mechanisms underlying mate-choice copying. In particular, we consider the roles of the nonapeptide, oxytocin, in the processing of social information and the expression of mate-choice copying. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Oxytocin selectively facilitates learning with social feedback and increases activity and functional connectivity in emotional memory and reward processing regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jiehui; Qi, Song; Becker, Benjamin; Luo, Lizhu; Gao, Shan; Gong, Qiyong; Hurlemann, René; Kendrick, Keith M

    2015-06-01

    In male Caucasian subjects, learning is facilitated by receipt of social compared with non-social feedback, and the neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) facilitates this effect. In this study, we have first shown a cultural difference in that male Chinese subjects actually perform significantly worse in the same reinforcement associated learning task with social (emotional faces) compared with non-social feedback. Nevertheless, in two independent double-blind placebo (PLC) controlled between-subject design experiments we found OXT still selectively facilitated learning with social feedback. Similar to Caucasian subjects this OXT effect was strongest with feedback using female rather than male faces. One experiment performed in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging showed that during the response, but not feedback phase of the task, OXT selectively increased activity in the amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and putamen during the social feedback condition, and functional connectivity between the amygdala and insula and caudate. Therefore, OXT may be increasing the salience and reward value of anticipated social feedback. In the PLC group, response times and state anxiety scores during social feedback were associated with signal changes in these same regions but not in the OXT group. OXT may therefore have also facilitated learning by reducing anxiety in the social feedback condition. Overall our results provide the first evidence for cultural differences in social facilitation of learning per se, but a similar selective enhancement of learning with social feedback under OXT. This effect of OXT may be associated with enhanced responses and functional connectivity in emotional memory and reward processing regions. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Extinction of fear is facilitated by social presence: Synergism with prefrontal oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brill-Maoz, Naama; Maroun, Mouna

    2016-04-01

    This study addressed the question of whether extinction in pairs would have a beneficial effect on extinction of fear conditioning. To that end, we established an experimental setting for extinction in which we trained animals to extinguish contextual fear memory in pairs. Taking advantage of the role of oxytocin (OT) in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the mediation of memory extinction and social interaction, we also sought to study its role in social interaction-induced effects on extinction. Our results clearly show that the social presence of another animal in the extinction context facilitates extinction, and that this facilitation is mediated through mPFC-OT. Our results suggest that social interaction may be a positive regulator of fear inhibition, implying that social interaction may be an easy, accessible therapeutic tool for the treatment of fear-associated disorders. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Relationships among estrogen receptor, oxytocin and vasopressin gene expression and social interaction in male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, G; Hunter, R G; Fontaine, C; Ribeiro, A; Pfaff, D

    2011-08-01

    The incidence of social disorders such as autism and schizophrenia is significantly higher in males, and the presentation more severe, than in females. This suggests the possible contribution of sex hormones to the development of these psychiatric disorders. There is also evidence that these disorders are highly heritable. To contribute toward our understanding of the mechanisms underlying social behaviors, particularly social interaction, we assessed the relationship of social interaction with gene expression for two neuropeptides, oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP), using adult male mice. Social interaction was positively correlated with: oxytocin receptor (OTR) and vasopressin receptor (V1aR) mRNA expression in the medial amygdala; and OT and AVP mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). When mice representing extremes of social interaction were compared, all of these mRNAs were more highly expressed in high social interaction mice than in low social interaction mice. OTR and V1aR mRNAs were highly correlated with estrogen receptor α (ERα) mRNA in the medial amygdala, and OT and AVP mRNAs with estrogen receptor β (ERβ) mRNA in the PVN, indicating that OT and AVP systems are tightly regulated by estrogen receptors. A significant difference in the level of ERα mRNA in the medial amygdala between high and low social interaction mice was also observed. These results support the hypothesis that variations of estrogen receptor levels are associated with differences in social interaction through the OT and AVP systems, by upregulating gene expression for those peptides and their receptors. © 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Saliva oxytocin measures do not reflect peripheral plasma concentrations after intranasal oxytocin administration in men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, Daniel S; Westlye, Lars T; Smerud, Knut T; Mahmoud, Ramy A; Andreassen, Ole A; Djupesland, Per G

    2018-05-16

    Oxytocin plays an important role in social behavior. Thus, there has been significant research interest for the role of the oxytocin system in several psychiatric disorders, and the potential of intranasal oxytocin administration to treat social dysfunction. Measurement of oxytocin concentrations in saliva are sometimes used to approximate peripheral levels of oxytocin; however, the validity of this approach is unclear. In this study, saliva and plasma oxytocin was assessed after two doses of Exhalation Delivery System delivered intranasal oxytocin (8 IU and 24 IU), intravenous oxytocin (1 IU) and placebo in a double-dummy, within-subjects design with men. We found that intranasal oxytocin (8 IU and 24 IU) administration increased saliva oxytocin concentrations in comparison to saliva oxytocin concentration levels after intravenous and placebo administration. Additionally, we found that saliva oxytocin concentrations were not significantly associated with plasma oxytocin concentrations after either intranasal or intravenous oxytocin administration. Altogether, we suggest that saliva oxytocin concentrations do not accurately index peripheral oxytocin after intranasal or intravenous oxytocin administration, at least in men. The data indicates that elevated oxytocin saliva levels after nasal delivery primarily reflect exogenous administered oxytocin that is cleared from the nasal cavity to the oropharynx, and is therefore a weak surrogate for peripheral blood measurements. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Dissecting the Role of Oxytocin in the Formation and Loss of Social Relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlemann, René; Scheele, Dirk

    2016-02-01

    Current concepts of human sociality highlight a fundamental role of the hypothalamic peptide oxytocin (OXT) in the formation and maintenance of social relationships. However, emerging evidence indicates that OXT does not invariably facilitate social bonding but also produces nonprosocial effects that may have evolved to promote offspring survival. From a mechanistic perspective, we hypothesize that OXT modulates interoceptive signals and self-referential processing, which may result in various social outcomes depending on context- and person-dependent variables such as early-life adversity. Based on this theoretical framework, we discuss translational implications for clinical trials and identify open questions for future research. Specifically, we propose that disrupted OXT signaling due to the loss of affectionate bonds may contribute to emotional disequilibrium and confer elevated risk for the onset of stress-related disorders. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Interplay of oxytocin, vasopressin, and sex hormones in the regulation of social recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabor, Christopher S; Phan, Anna; Clipperton-Allen, Amy E; Kavaliers, Martin; Choleris, Elena

    2012-02-01

    Social Recognition is a fundamental skill that forms the basis of behaviors essential to the proper functioning of pair or group living in most social species. We review here various neurobiological and genetic studies that point to an interplay of oxytocin (OT), arginine-vasopressin (AVP), and the gonadal hormones, estrogens and testosterone, in the mediation of social recognition. Results of a number of studies have shown that OT and its actions at the medial amygdala seem to be essential for social recognition in both sexes. Estrogens facilitate social recognition, possibly by regulating OT production in the hypothalamus and the OT receptors at the medial amygdala. Estrogens also affect social recognition on a rapid time scale, likely through nongenomic actions. The mechanisms of these rapid effects are currently unknown but available evidence points at the hippocampus as the possible site of action. Male rodents seem to be more dependent on AVP acting at the level of the lateral septum for social recognition than female rodents. Results of various studies suggest that testosterone and its metabolites (including estradiol) influence social recognition in males primarily through the AVP V1a receptor. Overall, it appears that gonadal hormone modulation of OT and AVP regulates and fine tunes social recognition and those behaviors that depend upon it (e.g., social bonds, social hierarchies) in a sex specific manner. This points at an important role for these neuroendocrine systems in the regulation of the sex differences that are evident in social behavior and of sociality as a whole.

  19. Brain oxytocin in social fear conditioning and its extinction: involvement of the lateral septum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoicas, Iulia; Slattery, David A; Neumann, Inga D

    2014-12-01

    Central oxytocin (OXT) has anxiolytic and pro-social properties both in humans and rodents, and has been proposed as a therapeutic option for anxiety and social dysfunctions. Here, we utilized a mouse model of social fear conditioning (SFC) to study the effects of OXT on social fear, and to determine whether SFC causes alterations in central OXT receptor (OXTR) binding and local OXT release. Central infusion of OXT, but not arginine vasopressin, prior to social fear extinction training completely abolished social fear expression in an OXTR-mediated fashion without affecting general anxiety or locomotion. SFC caused increased OXTR binding in the dorso-lateral septum (DLS), central amygdala, dentate gyrus, and cornu ammunis 1, which normalized after social fear extinction, suggesting that these areas form part of a brain network involved in the development and neural support of social fear. Microdialysis revealed that the increase in OXT release observed in unconditioned mice within the DLS during social fear extinction training was attenuated in conditioned mice. Consequently, increasing the availability of local OXT by infusion of OXT into the DLS reversed social fear. Thus, alterations in the brain OXT system, including altered OXTR binding and OXT release within the DLS, play an important role in SFC and social fear extinction. Thus, we suggest that the OXT system is adversely affected in disorders associated with social fear, such as social anxiety disorder and reinstalling an appropriate balance of the OXT system may alleviate some of the symptoms.

  20. Oxytocin attenuates deficits in social interaction but not recognition memory in a prenatal valproic acid-induced mouse model of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Yuta; Ago, Yukio; Higuchi, Momoko; Hasebe, Shigeru; Nakazawa, Takanobu; Hashimoto, Hitoshi; Matsuda, Toshio; Takuma, Kazuhiro

    2017-11-01

    Recent studies have reported that oxytocin ameliorates behavioral abnormalities in both animal models and individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the mechanisms underlying the ameliorating effects of oxytocin remain unclear. In this study, we examined the effects of intranasal oxytocin on impairments in social interaction and recognition memory in an ASD mouse model in which animals are prenatally exposed to valproic acid (VPA). We found that a single intranasal administration of oxytocin restored social interaction deficits for up to 2h in mice prenatally exposed to VPA, but there was no effect on recognition memory impairments. Additionally, administration of oxytocin across 2weeks improved prenatal VPA-induced social interaction deficits for at least 24h. In contrast, there were no effects on the time spent sniffing in control mice. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that intranasal administration of oxytocin increased c-Fos expression in the paraventricular nuclei (PVN), prefrontal cortex, and somatosensory cortex, but not the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions of VPA-exposed mice, suggesting the former regions may underlie the effects of oxytocin. These findings suggest that oxytocin attenuates social interaction deficits through the activation of higher cortical areas and the PVN in an ASD mouse model. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The oxytocin system promotes resilience to the effects of neonatal isolation on adult social attachment in female prairie voles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, C E; Arambula, S E; Young, L J

    2015-01-01

    Genes and social experiences interact to create variation in social behavior and vulnerability to develop disorders of the social domain. Socially monogamous prairie voles display remarkable diversity in neuropeptide receptor systems and social behavior. Here, we examine the interaction of early-life adversity and brain oxytocin receptor (OTR) density on adult social attachment in female prairie voles. First, pups were isolated for 3 h per day, or unmanipulated, from postnatal day 1–14. Adult subjects were tested on the partner preference (PP) test to assess social attachment and OTR density in the brain was quantified. Neonatal social isolation impaired female PP formation, without affecting OTR density. Accumbal OTR density was, however, positively correlated with the percent of time spent huddling with the partner in neonatally isolated females. Females with high accumbal OTR binding were resilient to neonatal isolation. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that parental nurturing shapes neural systems underlying social relationships by enhancing striatal OTR signaling. Thus, we next determined whether early touch, mimicking parental licking and grooming, stimulates hypothalamic OT neuron activity. Tactile stimulation induced immediate-early gene activity in OT neurons in neonates. Finally, we investigated whether pharmacologically potentiating OT release using a melanocortin 3/4 agonist, melanotan-II (10 mg kg−1 subcutaneously), would mitigate the social isolation-induced impairments in attachment behavior. Neonatal melanotan-II administration buffered against the effects of early isolation on partner preference formation. Thus, variation in accumbal OTR density and early OT release induced by parental nurturing may moderate susceptibility to early adverse experiences, including neglect. PMID:26196439

  2. The oxytocin system promotes resilience to the effects of neonatal isolation on adult social attachment in female prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, C E; Arambula, S E; Young, L J

    2015-07-21

    Genes and social experiences interact to create variation in social behavior and vulnerability to develop disorders of the social domain. Socially monogamous prairie voles display remarkable diversity in neuropeptide receptor systems and social behavior. Here, we examine the interaction of early-life adversity and brain oxytocin receptor (OTR) density on adult social attachment in female prairie voles. First, pups were isolated for 3 h per day, or unmanipulated, from postnatal day 1-14. Adult subjects were tested on the partner preference (PP) test to assess social attachment and OTR density in the brain was quantified. Neonatal social isolation impaired female PP formation, without affecting OTR density. Accumbal OTR density was, however, positively correlated with the percent of time spent huddling with the partner in neonatally isolated females. Females with high accumbal OTR binding were resilient to neonatal isolation. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that parental nurturing shapes neural systems underlying social relationships by enhancing striatal OTR signaling. Thus, we next determined whether early touch, mimicking parental licking and grooming, stimulates hypothalamic OT neuron activity. Tactile stimulation induced immediate-early gene activity in OT neurons in neonates. Finally, we investigated whether pharmacologically potentiating OT release using a melanocortin 3/4 agonist, melanotan-II (10 mg kg(-1) subcutaneously), would mitigate the social isolation-induced impairments in attachment behavior. Neonatal melanotan-II administration buffered against the effects of early isolation on partner preference formation. Thus, variation in accumbal OTR density and early OT release induced by parental nurturing may moderate susceptibility to early adverse experiences, including neglect.

  3. Brief Report: Oxytocin Enhances Paternal Sensitivity to a Child with Autism--A Double-Blind Within-Subject Experiment with Intranasally Administered Oxytocin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naber, Fabienne B. A.; Poslawsky, Irina E.; van Ijzendoorn, Marinus H.; van Engeland, Herman; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J.

    2013-01-01

    Oxytocin seems associated with parenting style, and experimental work showed positive effects of intranasally administered oxytocin on parenting style of fathers. Here, the first double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject experiment with intranasal oxytocin administration to fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is…

  4. Oxytocin and social pretreatment have similar effects on processing of negative emotional faces in healthy adult males

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eKis

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin has been shown to affect several aspects of human social cognition, including facial emotion processing. There is also evidence that social stimuli (such as eye-contact can effectively modulate endogenous oxytocin levels.In the present study we directly tested whether intranasal oxytocin administration and pre-treatment with social stimuli had similar effects on face processing at the behavioural level. Subjects (N=52 healthy adult males were presented with a set of faces with expressions of different valence (negative, neutral, positive following different types of pretreatment (oxytocin – OT or placebo – PL and social interaction – Soc or no social interaction – NSoc, N=13 in each and were asked to rate all faces for perceived emotion and trustworthiness. On the next day subjects’ recognition memory was tested on a set of neutral faces and additionally they had to again rate each face for trustworthiness and emotion.Subjects in both the OT and the Soc pretreatment group (as compared to the PL and to the NSoc groups gave higher emotion and trustworthiness scores for faces with negative emotional expression. Moreover, 24 h later, subjects in the OT and Soc groups (unlike in control groups gave lower trustworthiness scores for previously negative faces, than for faces previously seen as emotionally neutral or positive.In sum these results provide the first direct evidence of the similar effects of intranasal oxytocin administration and social stimulation on the perception of negative facial emotions as well as on the delayed recall of negative emotional information.

  5. Oxytocin, vasopressin and estrogen receptor gene expression in relation to social recognition in female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clipperton-Allen, Amy E; Lee, Anna W; Reyes, Anny; Devidze, Nino; Phan, Anna; Pfaff, Donald W; Choleris, Elena

    2012-02-28

    Inter- and intra-species differences in social behavior and recognition-related hormones and receptors suggest that different distribution and/or expression patterns may relate to social recognition. We used qRT-PCR to investigate naturally occurring differences in expression of estrogen receptor-alpha (ERα), ER-beta (ERβ), progesterone receptor (PR), oxytocin (OT) and receptor, and vasopressin (AVP) and receptors in proestrous female mice. Following four 5 min exposures to the same two conspecifics, one was replaced with a novel mouse in the final trial (T5). Gene expression was examined in mice showing high (85-100%) and low (40-60%) social recognition scores (i.e., preferential novel mouse investigation in T5) in eight socially-relevant brain regions. Results supported OT and AVP involvement in social recognition, and suggest that in the medial preoptic area, increased OT and AVP mRNA, together with ERα and ERβ gene activation, relate to improved social recognition. Initial social investigation correlated with ERs, PR and OTR in the dorsolateral septum, suggesting that these receptors may modulate social interest without affecting social recognition. Finally, increased lateral amygdala gene activation in the LR mice may be associated with general learning impairments, while decreased lateral amygdala activity may indicate more efficient cognitive mechanisms in the HR mice. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and the (clinical) implications for social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tops, Sanne; Habel, Ute; Radke, Sina

    2018-03-12

    Oxytocin and the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) play an important role in a large variety of social behaviors. The oxytocinergic system interacts with environmental cues and is highly dependent on interindividual factors. Deficits in this system have been linked to mental disorders associated with social impairments, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This review focuses on the modulation of social behavior by alterations in two domains of the oxytocinergic system. We discuss genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and alterations in these mechanisms that were found to have clinical implications for ASD. We propose possible explanations how these alterations affect the biological pathways underlying the aberrant social behavior and point out avenues for future research. We advocate the need for integration studies that combine multiple measures covering a broad range of social behaviors and link these to genetic and epigenetic profiles. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Enhances Information Sharing and Group Decision Making Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Wilde, Tim R W; Ten Velden, Femke S; De Dreu, Carsten K W

    2017-01-11

    Groups can make better decisions than individuals when members cooperatively exchange and integrate their uniquely held information and insights. However, under conformity pressures group members are biased towards exchanging commonly known information, and away from exchanging unique information, thus undermining group decision-making quality. At the neurobiological level, conformity associates with the neuropeptide oxytocin. A double-blind placebo controlled study found no evidence for oxytocin induced conformity. Compared to placebo groups, three-person groups whose members received intranasal oxytocin, focused more on unique information (i) and repeated this information more often (ii). These findings reveal oxytocin as a neurobiological driver of group decision-making processes.

  8. The Role of Oxytocin in Parenting and as Augmentative Pharmacotherapy: Critical Issues and Bold Conjectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van IJzendoorn, M H; Bakermans-Kranenburg, M J

    2016-08-01

    Despite the sometimes heated debate about the validity of human oxytocin studies, experimental oxytocin research with intranasal administration is a growing field with promising preliminary findings. The effects of intranasally administered oxytocin compared to placebo on brain neural activity have been supported in animal studies and in human studies of neural resting state. In several studies, oxytocin sniffs have been shown to lead to down-regulation of amygdala activation in response to infant attachment vocalisations. Meta-analytic evidence shows that oxytocin enhances the salience of (emotional) stimuli, lowers stress and arousal, and elevates empathic concern and tender care, in particular for offspring and in-group members. Less firm evidence points at the amnestic effects of oxytocin. We also note that the average effect sizes of oxytocin experiments are small to modest, and that most studies include a small number of subjects and thus are seriously underpowered, which implies a high risk for publication bias and nonreplicability. Nevertheless, we argue that the power of within-subjects experiments with oxytocin has been underestimated. Much more work is needed, however, to create a firm knowledge base of the neural and behavioural effects of oxytocin. Human oxytocin research is still taking place in the context of discovery, in which bold conjectures are being generated. In the context of justification, these conjectures should subsequently be subjected to stringent attempts at refutations before we jump to theoretical or clinical conclusions. For this context of justification, we propose a multisite multiple replications project on the social stimuli salience enhancing effect of oxytocin. Clinical application of oxytocin is premature. Meta-analytically, the use of oxytocin in clinical groups tends to show only effectiveness in changing symptomatology in individuals with autism spectrum disorders but, even then, it is not yet a validated therapy and its

  9. DNA methylation of the oxytocin receptor gene predicts neural response to ambiguous social stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison eJack

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin and its receptor (OXTR play an important role in a variety of social perceptual and affiliative processes. Individual variability in social information processing likely has a strong heritable component, and as such, many investigations have established an association between common genetic variants of OXTR and variability in the social phenotype. However, to date, these investigations have primarily focused only on changes in the sequence of DNA without considering the role of epigenetic factors. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism by which cells control transcription through modification of chromatin structure. DNA methylation of OXTR decreases expression of the gene and high levels of methylation have been associated with autism spectrum disorders. This link between epigenetic variability and social phenotype allows for the possibility that social processes are under epigenetic control. We hypothesized that the level of DNA methylation of OXTR would predict individual variability in social perception. Using the brain’s sensitivity to displays of animacy as a neural endophenotype of social perception, we found significant associations between the degree of OXTR methylation and brain activity evoked by the perception of animacy. Our results suggest that consideration of DNA methylation may substantially improve our ability to explain individual differences in imaging genetic association studies.

  10. Effects of neonatal oxytocin manipulation on development of social behaviors in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogi, Kazutaka; Ooyama, Rumi; Nagasawa, Miho; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2014-06-22

    The oxytocin (OT) neural system is thought to be involved in the underlying mechanisms that guide the development of social behaviors. In the present study, we examined the effects of neonatal oxytocin manipulation in mice. Within 24 hours after birth, pups in the treatment group randomly received an intraperitoneal injection of OT or OT antagonist (OTA), and those in the control group received a saline injection or handling only. Some of these mice underwent a test that counted the number of isolation-induced ultrasound vocalizations they made on postnatal day 6, and they were further tested for sociability at 8-9 weeks of age and for neuroendocrine stress response to novel environments at 19-20 weeks of age. Another group of mice was tested for alloparental responsiveness at 13-15 weeks of age. The OT injection affected sociability and alloparental responsiveness. In an approach/avoidance test, most of the mice made a social approach to an unfamiliar conspecific of the same sex, but females that had received a neonatal injection of 3 μg of OTA did not show this response. The neonatal OTA treatment appeared to inhibit females' sociability in a dose-dependent fashion. In a retrieving test, females that had received a neonatal injection of 3 μg of OT retrieved significantly more pups than did those that had received 3 μg of OTA, although neither of the treatments caused the females to behave significantly differently from control group females. Meanwhile, a neonatal injection of 3 μg of OTA increased the latency to retrieve pups in males. These results suggested that neonatal OT action may positively regulate alloparental responsiveness in adulthood. Considering that the organizational effects of OT have also been shown in voles and rats, the mechanism by which neonatal OT modifies the development of social behaviors appears to be common to all rodents. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Oxytocin, Motivation and the Role of Dopamine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Tiffany M.

    2013-01-01

    The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin has drawn the attention of scientists for more than a century. The understanding of the function of oxytocin has expanded dramatically over the years from a simple peptide adept at inducing uterine contractions and milk ejection to a complex neuromodulator with a capacity to shape human social behavior. Decades of research have outlined oxytocin’s ability to enhance intricate social activities ranging from pair bonding, sexual activity, affiliative preferences, and parental behaviors. The precise neural mechanisms underlying oxytocin’s influence on such behaviors have just begun to be understood. Research suggests that oxytocin interacts closely with the neural pathways responsible for processing motivationally relevant stimuli. In particular, oxytocin appears to impact dopaminergic activity within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, which is crucial not only for reward and motivated behavior but also for the expression of affiliative behaviors. Though most of the work performed in this area has been done using animal models, several neuroimaging studies suggest similar relationships may be observed in humans. In order to introduce this topic further, this paper will review the recent evidence that oxytocin may exert some of its social-behavioral effects through its impact on motivational networks. PMID:23850525

  12. Context and Individual Characteristics Modulate the Association between Oxytocin Receptor Gene Polymorphism and Social Behavior in Border Collies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borbála Turcsán

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies suggest that the relationship between endogenous oxytocin and social affiliative behavior can be critically moderated by contextual and individual factors in humans. While oxytocin has been shown to influence human-directed affiliative behaviors in dogs, no study investigated yet how such factors moderate these effects. Our study aimed to investigate whether the context and the dogs’ individual characteristics moderate the associations between the social affiliative (greeting behavior and four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene. We recorded the greeting behavior in three contexts: (1 when the dog first met an unfamiliar experimenter, (2 during a separation from the owner, and (3 after the experimenter approached the dog in a threatening manner. In the latter two contexts (during separation and after threatening, we categorized the dogs into stressed and non-stressed groups based on their behavior in the preceding situations. In line with previous studies, we found that polymorphisms in the OXTR gene are related to the greeting behavior of dogs. However, we also showed that the analyzed SNPs were associated with greeting in different contexts and in different individuals, suggesting that the four SNPs might be related to different functions of the oxytocin system. The -213A/G was associated with greeting only when the dog had no prior negative experience with the experimenter. The rs8679682 was found in association with greeting in all three contexts but these associations were significant only in non-stressed dogs. The -94T/C was associated with greeting only when the dog was stressed and had an interaction with the sex of the dog. The -74C/G SNP was associated with greeting only when the dog was stressed during separation and also had a sex interaction. Taken together, our results suggest that, similarly to humans, the effects of oxytocin on the dogs’ social behavior are not universal

  13. 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate vehicle, castor oil, enhances the contractile effect of oxytocin in human myometrium in pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Sullivan, Michael D; Hehir, Mark P; O'Brien, Yvonne M; Morrison, John J

    2010-05-01

    The possibility exists that the vehicle for 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate, castor oil, exerts an effect on human uterine contractility. The aim of this study was to evaluate its effects on contractility of myometrial preparations that were obtained during pregnancy. Myometrial strips were suspended under isometric conditions. Contractility was induced with oxytocin. Strips were incubated in castor oil or physiologic salt solution and suspended for a further oxytocin challenge. Contractile integrals were compared between both groups. Strips that were exposed to castor oil demonstrated increased contractile activity that was elicited by oxytocin (mean contractility value, 165.53%+/-17.03%; n=8; P=.004), compared with control strips (mean contractility value, 72.57%+/-7.48%; n=8; P=.003). There was a significant increase in contractile activity of the castor oil-exposed strips, compared with those that were exposed to physiologic salt solution (n=8; Pcastor oil results in enhanced oxytocin-induced contractility. Copyright (c) 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Sex differences in the neural and behavioral response to intranasal oxytocin and vasopressin during human social interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Rilling James K.; DeMarco Ashley C.; Hackett Patrick D.; Chen Xu; Gautam Pritam; Stair Sabrina; Haroon Ebrahim; Thompson Richmond; Ditzen Beate; Patel Rajan; Pagnoni Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Both oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are known to modulate social behavior, and dysfunction in both systems has been postulated as a potential cause of certain psychiatric disorders that involve social behavioral deficits. In particular, there is growing interest in intranasal OT as a potential treatment for certain psychiatric disorders, and preliminary preclinical and clinical studies suggest efficacy in alleviating some of the associated symptoms. However, the vast majority of research...

  15. The roles of oxytocin and CD38 in social or parental behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga eLopatina

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The nine amino acid peptide oxytocin (OXT has been directly associated with different types of behavioral reactions. The formation and maintenance of social relationships in youth and middle age are important components of human mental health. A deficit in healthy behavioral formation leads to social isolation and limitation of well-being. Mice are social animals and are therefore useful for investigating the neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive process control, including the development of social relationships and social skills. Studies in mice may broaden our understanding of the human condition. The multifunctional protein CD38/ADP-ribosyl cyclase is highly expressed in the brain, plays an important role in central OXT release and regulates social memory. In this review article, we discuss the mechanisms of social behavior affected by the dysregulation of brain OXT function as a consequence of a lack of CD38. OXT bound to OXT receptors initiates autoregulatory positive feedback of OXT release in the hypothalamus and posterior pituitary. OXT bio-behavioral positive feedback is usually implicated in female reproductive systems, but can also be observed in social behavior. Exogenous stimuli (OXT treatment in vitro, OXT intravenous or intraventricular administration, and nasal OXT delivery initiate activation of OXT neurons via PKC-CD38/ADP-ribosyl cyclase cascades and result in the modulation of social behavior in humans and mice. Based on these findings, we reviewed the functions of OXT and its properties with respect to the development of therapies for human social behavior impairments in psychological diseases. In addition, preliminary studies of continuous nasal OXT administration on subjects with autism spectrum disorders are described.

  16. Region-specific associations between sex, social status, and oxytocin receptor density in the brains of eusocial rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, S J; Coen, C W; Holmes, M M; Beery, A K

    2015-09-10

    Naturally occurring variations in neuropeptide receptor distributions in the brain contribute to numerous mammalian social behaviors. In naked mole-rats, which live in large social groups and exhibit remarkable reproductive skew, colony-related social behaviors vary with reproductive status. Here we examined whether variation in social status is associated with variations in the location and/or density of oxytocin binding in this species. Autoradiography was performed to assess forebrain oxytocin receptor (OTR) densities in breeding and non-breeding naked mole-rats of both sexes. Overall, males exhibited higher OTR binding in the medial amygdala in comparison to females. While there were no main effects of reproductive status in any region, a sex difference in OTR binding in the nucleus accumbens was mediated by status. Specifically, breeding males tended to have more OTR binding than breeding females in the nucleus accumbens, while no sex difference was observed in subordinates. These effects suggest that oxytocin may act in a sex- and region-specific way that corresponds to reproductive status and associated social behaviors. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The effect of oxytocin on cooperation in a prisoner’s dilemma depends on the social context and a person’s social value orientation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, Christophe; Kiyonari, Toko

    2014-01-01

    The interactionist approach to the study of exogenous oxytocin (OT) effects on prosocial behavior has emphasized the need to consider both contextual cues and individual differences. Therefore, an experiment was set up to examine the joint effect of intranasal OT, a salient social cue and the personality trait social value orientation on cooperative behavior in one-shot prisoner’s dilemma games. The outcome of these mixed-motive games is known to be highly dependent on values and on social information that might reveal the partner’s intent. Consistent with an a priori hypothesis, OT and social information interact significantly to affect the behavior of individuals with a proself value orientation: after prior contact with the game partner, OT enhances cooperative behavior, whereas in anonymous conditions, it exacerbates their intrinsic self-interested behavior. These effects of OT do not hold for individuals with a prosocial value orientation, whose cooperation levels appear to be more influenced by prior contact with the game partner. Follow-up hypotheses for why prosocial and proself individuals respond differently to exogenous OT were developed. PMID:23588271

  18. The effect of oxytocin on cooperation in a prisoner's dilemma depends on the social context and a person's social value orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Declerck, Carolyn H; Boone, Christophe; Kiyonari, Toko

    2014-06-01

    The interactionist approach to the study of exogenous oxytocin (OT) effects on prosocial behavior has emphasized the need to consider both contextual cues and individual differences. Therefore, an experiment was set up to examine the joint effect of intranasal OT, a salient social cue and the personality trait social value orientation on cooperative behavior in one-shot prisoner's dilemma games. The outcome of these mixed-motive games is known to be highly dependent on values and on social information that might reveal the partner's intent. Consistent with an a priori hypothesis, OT and social information interact significantly to affect the behavior of individuals with a proself value orientation: after prior contact with the game partner, OT enhances cooperative behavior, whereas in anonymous conditions, it exacerbates their intrinsic self-interested behavior. These effects of OT do not hold for individuals with a prosocial value orientation, whose cooperation levels appear to be more influenced by prior contact with the game partner. Follow-up hypotheses for why prosocial and proself individuals respond differently to exogenous OT were developed. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Oxytocin and vasopressin are dysregulated in Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting social behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Dai

    Full Text Available The molecular and neural mechanisms regulating human social-emotional behaviors are fundamentally important but largely unknown; unraveling these requires a genetic systems neuroscience analysis of human models. Williams Syndrome (WS, a condition caused by deletion of ~28 genes, is associated with a gregarious personality, strong drive to approach strangers, difficult peer interactions, and attraction to music. WS provides a unique opportunity to identify endogenous human gene-behavior mechanisms. Social neuropeptides including oxytocin (OT and arginine vasopressin (AVP regulate reproductive and social behaviors in mammals, and we reasoned that these might mediate the features of WS. Here we established blood levels of OT and AVP in WS and controls at baseline, and at multiple timepoints following a positive emotional intervention (music, and a negative physical stressor (cold. We also related these levels to standardized indices of social behavior. Results revealed significantly higher median levels of OT in WS versus controls at baseline, with a less marked increase in AVP. Further, in WS, OT and AVP increased in response to music and to cold, with greater variability and an amplified peak release compared to controls. In WS, baseline OT but not AVP, was correlated positively with approach, but negatively with adaptive social behaviors. These results indicate that WS deleted genes perturb hypothalamic-pituitary release not only of OT but also of AVP, implicating more complex neuropeptide circuitry for WS features and providing evidence for their roles in endogenous regulation of human social behavior. The data suggest a possible biological basis for amygdalar involvement, for increased anxiety, and for the paradox of increased approach but poor social relationships in WS. They also offer insight for translating genetic and neuroendocrine knowledge into treatments for disorders of social behavior.

  20. Oxytocin Pathway Genes: Evolutionary Ancient System Impacting on Human Affiliation, Sociality, and Psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Ruth; Monakhov, Mikhail; Pratt, Maayan; Ebstein, Richard P

    2016-02-01

    Oxytocin (OT), a nonapeptide signaling molecule originating from an ancestral peptide, appears in different variants across all vertebrate and several invertebrate species. Throughout animal evolution, neuropeptidergic signaling has been adapted by organisms for regulating response to rapidly changing environments. The family of OT-like molecules affects both peripheral tissues implicated in reproduction, homeostasis, and energy balance, as well as neuromodulation of social behavior, stress regulation, and associative learning in species ranging from nematodes to humans. After describing the OT-signaling pathway, we review research on the three genes most extensively studied in humans: the OT receptor (OXTR), the structural gene for OT (OXT/neurophysin-I), and CD38. Consistent with the notion that sociality should be studied from the perspective of social life at the species level, we address human social functions in relation to OT-pathway genes, including parenting, empathy, and using social relationships to manage stress. We then describe associations between OT-pathway genes with psychopathologies involving social dysfunctions such as autism, depression, or schizophrenia. Human research particularly underscored the involvement of two OXTR single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs53576, rs2254298) with fewer studies focusing on other OXTR (rs7632287, rs1042778, rs2268494, rs2268490), OXT (rs2740210, rs4813627, rs4813625), and CD38 (rs3796863, rs6449197) single nucleotide polymorphisms. Overall, studies provide evidence for the involvement of OT-pathway genes in human social functions but also suggest that factors such as gender, culture, and early environment often confound attempts to replicate first findings. We conclude by discussing epigenetics, conceptual implications within an evolutionary perspective, and future directions, especially the need to refine phenotypes, carefully characterize early environments, and integrate observations of social behavior across

  1. The Oxytocin Receptor (OXTR) Contributes to Prosocial Fund Allocations in the Dictator Game and the Social Value Orientations Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Israel, Salomon; Lerer, Elad; Shalev, Idan; Uzefovsky, Florina; Riebold, Mathias; Laiba, Efrat; Bachner-Melman, Rachel; Maril, Anat; Bornstein, Gary; Knafo, Ariel; Ebstein, Richard P.

    2009-01-01

    Background Economic games observe social decision making in the laboratory that involves real money payoffs. Previously we have shown that allocation of funds in the Dictator Game (DG), a paradigm that illustrates costly altruistic behavior, is partially determined by promoter-region repeat region variants in the arginine vasopressin 1a receptor gene (AVPR1a). In the current investigation, the gene encoding the related oxytocin receptor (OXTR) was tested for association with the DG and a related paradigm, the Social Values Orientation (SVO) task. Methodology/Principal Findings Association (101 male and 102 female students) using a robust-family based test between 15 single tagging SNPs (htSNPs) across the OXTR was demonstrated with both the DG and SVO. Three htSNPs across the gene region showed significant association with both of the two games. The most significant association was observed with rs1042778 (p = 0.001). Haplotype analysis also showed significant associations for both DG and SVO. Following permutation test adjustment, significance was observed for 2–5 locus haplotypes (pprosocial decision making converges with a large body of animal research showing that oxytocin is an important social hormone across vertebrates including Homo sapiens. Individual differences in prosocial behavior have been shown by twin studies to have a substantial genetic basis and the current investigation demonstrates that common variants in the oxytocin receptor gene, an important element of mammalian social circuitry, underlie such individual differences. PMID:19461999

  2. A direct examination of the effect of intranasal administration of oxytocin on approach-avoidance motor responses to emotional stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angeliki Theodoridou

    Full Text Available Oxytocin has been shown to promote a host of social behaviors in humans but the exact mechanisms by which it exerts its effects are unspecified. One prominent theory suggests that oxytocin increases approach and decreases avoidance to social stimuli. Another dominant theory posits that oxytocin increases the salience of social stimuli. Herein, we report a direct test of these hypotheses. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study we examined approach-avoidance motor responses to social and non-social emotional stimuli. One hundred and twenty participants self-administered either 24 IU oxytocin or placebo and moved a lever toward or away from pictures of faces depicting emotional expressions or from natural scenes appearing before them on a computer screen. Lever movements toward stimuli decreased and movements away increased stimuli size producing the illusion that stimuli moved away from or approached participants. Reaction time data were recorded. The task produced the effects that were anticipated on the basis of the approach-avoidance literature in relation to emotional stimuli, yet the anticipated speeded approach and slowed avoidance responses to emotional faces by the oxytocin group were not observed. Interestingly, the oxytocin treatment group was faster to approach and avoid faces depicting disgust relative to the placebo group, suggesting a salience of disgust for the former group. Results also showed that within the oxytocin group women's reaction times to all emotional faces were faster than those of men, suggesting sex specific effects of oxytocin. The present findings provide the first direct evidence that intranasal oxytocin administration does not enhance approach/avoidance to social stimuli and does not exert a stronger effect on social vs. non-social stimuli in the context of processing of emotional expressions and scenes. Instead, our data suggest that oxytocin administration increases the salience of certain social stimuli

  3. Effect of oxytocin receptor blockade on appetite for sugar is modified by social context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olszewski, Pawel K; Allen, Kerry; Levine, Allen S

    2015-03-01

    Research on oxytocin (OT) has yielded two seemingly unrelated sets of discoveries: OT has prosocial effects, and it elicits termination of feeding, especially of food rich in carbohydrates. Here we investigated whether OT's involvement in food intake is affected by the social context in mice, with particular focus on the role of dominance. We used two approaches: injections and gene expression analysis. We housed two males per cage and determined a dominant one. Then we injected a blood-brain barrier penetrant OT receptor antagonist L-368,899 in either dominant or subordinate animals and gave them 10-min access to a sucrose solution in the apparatus in which social exposure was modified and it ranged from none to unrestricted contact. L-368,899 increased the amount of consumed sugar in dominant mice regardless of whether these animals had access to sucrose in the non-social or social contexts (olfactory-derived or partial social exposure). The antagonist also increased the proportion of time that dominant mice spent drinking the sweet solution in the paradigm in which both mice had to share a single source of sucrose. L-368,899-treated subordinate mice consumed more sucrose solution than saline controls only when the environment in which sugar was presented was devoid of social cues related to the dominant animal. Finally, we investigated whether hypothalamic OT gene expression differs between dominant and subordinate mice consuming sugar and found OT mRNA levels to be higher in dominant mice. We conclude that social context and dominance affect OT's effect on appetite for sucrose. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Brain oxytocin: a key regulator of emotional and social behaviours in both females and males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, I D

    2008-06-01

    In addition to various reproductive stimuli, the neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) is released both from the neurohypophysial terminal into the blood stream and within distinct brain regions in response to stressful or social stimuli. Brain OXT receptor-mediated actions were shown to be significantly involved in the regulation of a variety of behaviours. Here, complementary methodological approaches are discussed which were utilised to reveal, for example, anxiolytic and anti-stress effects of OXT, both in females and in males, effects that were localised within the central amygdala and the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. Also, in male rats, activation of the brain OXT system is essential for the regulation of sexual behaviour, and increased OXT system activity during mating is directly linked to an attenuated anxiety-related behaviour. Moreover, in late pregnancy and during lactation, central OXT is involved in the establishment and fine-tuned maintenance of maternal care and maternal aggression. In monogamous prairie voles, brain OXT is important for mating-induced pair bonding, especially in females. Another example of behavioural actions of intracerebral OXT is the promotion of social memory processes and recognition of con-specifics, as revealed in rats, mice, sheep and voles. Experimental evidence suggests that, in humans, brain OXT exerts similar behavioural effects. Thus, the brain OXT system seems to be a potential target for the development of therapeutics to treat anxiety- and depression-related diseases or abnormal social behaviours including autism.

  5. Social stimuli cause changes of plasma oxytocin and behavior in guinea pigs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BERNARD WALLNER

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT is a key factor in the initiation and regulation of sociosexual behavior. The present study analyzes the effects of cohabitation and social challenge on plasma OXT concentration rates in guinea pig pairs in relation to male sociosexual behavior. The cohabitation phase lasted 3 days. On day 4, the pair was socially challenged by introducing an unfamiliar male. Displayed male sexual behavior varied significantly during cohabitation, with peaks on day 1. Sociopositive behavior, i.e., side-by-side contact, was increased on days 3 and 4. Cohabitation per se led to elevated plasma OXT concentrations only in males. In contrast, both sexes reacted with increased plasma OXT concentrations to the social challenge (day 4. At that time, male OXT was significantly correlated with sexual behavior and female OXT with sociosexual behavior received from the partner. Additionally, pairs were synchronized in their OXT release during days 3 and 4. We conclude that cohabitation causes sexually dimorphic plasma OXT concentration patterns in guinea pigs. Secondly, the conformity of OXT release in both sexes may represent an endocrine marker for long-term cohabitation, which is reflected behaviorally by increased spatial proximity

  6. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Intranasal Oxytocin as an Adjunct to Behavioral Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    core social dysfunctions , and (2) oxytocin (OT) administration prior to CBT sessions will each enhance social function in young adults with autism...cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aimed at core social dysfunctions and (2) oxytocin (OT) administration prior to CBT sessions will each enhance...was posted on the autism speaks website (an organization of networked support for individuals and families with autism spectrum disorders), and

  7. Oxytocin eliminates the own-race bias in face recognition memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blandón-Gitlin, Iris; Pezdek, Kathy; Saldivar, Sesar; Steelman, Erin

    2014-09-11

    The neuropeptide Oxytocin influences a number of social behaviors, including processing of faces. We examined whether Oxytocin facilitates the processing of out-group faces and reduce the own-race bias (ORB). The ORB is a robust phenomenon characterized by poor recognition memory of other-race faces compared to the same-race faces. In Experiment 1, participants received intranasal solutions of Oxytocin or placebo prior to viewing White and Black faces. On a subsequent recognition test, whereas in the placebo condition the same-race faces were better recognized than other-race faces, in the Oxytocin condition Black and White faces were equally well recognized, effectively eliminating the ORB. In Experiment 2, Oxytocin was administered after the study phase. The ORB resulted, but Oxytocin did not significantly reduce the effect. This study is the first to show that Oxytocin can enhance face memory of out-group members and underscore the importance of social encoding mechanisms underlying the own-race bias. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Oxytocin and Vasopressin Receptor Gene Polymorphisms: Role in Social and Psychiatric Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aspé-Sánchez, Mauricio; Moreno, Macarena; Rivera, Maria Ignacia; Rossi, Alejandra; Ewer, John

    2016-01-01

    Oxytocin (OXT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) are two phylogenetically conserved neuropeptides that have been implicated in a wide range of social behaviors. Although a large body of research, ranging from rodents to humans, has reported on the effects of OXT and AVP administration on affiliative and trust behaviors, and has highlighted the genetic contributions of OXT and AVP receptor polymorphisms to both social behaviors and to diseases related to social deficits, the consequences of peptide administration on psychiatric symptoms, and the impact of receptor polymorphisms on receptor function, are still unclear. Despite the exciting advances that these reports have brought to social neuroscience, they remain preliminary and suffer from the problems that are inherent to monogenetic linkage and association studies. As an alternative, some studies are using polygenic approaches, and consider the contributions of other genes and pathways, including those involving DA, 5-HT, and reelin, in addition to OXT and AVP; a handful of report are also using genome-wide association studies. This review summarizes findings on the associations between OXT and AVP receptor polymorphism, social behavior, and psychiatric diseases. In addition, we discuss reports on the interactions of OXT and AVP receptor genes and genes involved in other pathways (such as those of dopamine, serotonin, and reelin), as well as research that has shed some light on the impact of gene polymorphisms on the volume, connectivity, and activation of specific neural structures, differential receptor expression, and plasma levels of the OXT and AVP peptides. We hope that this effort will be helpful for understanding the studies performed so far, and for encouraging the inclusion of other candidate genes not explored to date. PMID:26858594

  9. Hippocampal gene expression patterns in oxytocin male knockout mice are related to impaired social interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzari, Virginia Meneghini; Zimmermann-Peruzatto, Josi Maria; Agnes, Grasiela; Becker, Roberta Oriques; de Moura, Ana Carolina; Almeida, Silvana; Guedes, Renata Padilha; Giovenardi, Marcia

    2017-11-02

    Social interaction between animals is crucial for the survival and life in groups. It is well demonstrated that oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) play critical roles in the regulation of social behaviors in mammals, however, other neurotransmitters and hormones are involved in the brain circuitry related to these behaviors. The present study aimed to investigate the gene expression of neurotransmitter receptors in the brain of OT knockout (OTKO) male mice. In this study, we evaluated the expression levels of the OT receptor (Oxtr), AVP receptors 1a and 1b (Avpr1a; Avpr1b), dopamine receptor 2 (Drd2), and the estrogen receptors alpha and beta (Esr1; Esr2) genes in the hippocampus (HPC), olfactory bulb (OB), hypothalamus (HPT) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). AVP gene (Avp) expression was analyzed in the HPT. Gene expression results were discussed regarding to social interaction and sexual behavior findings. Additionally, we analyzed the influence of OT absence on the Avp mRNA expression levels in the HPT. RNA extraction and cDNAs synthesis followed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction were performed for gene expression determination. Results were calculated with the 2 -ΔΔCt method. Our main finding was that HPC is more susceptible to gene expression changes due to the lack of OT. OTKOs exhibited decreased expression of Drd2 and Avpr1b, but increased expression of Oxtr in the HPC. In the PFC, Esr2 was increased. In the HPT, there was a reduced Avp expression in the OTKO group. No differences were detected in the OB and HPT. Despite these changes in gene expression, sexual behavior was not affected. However, OTKO showed higher social investigation and lower aggressive performance than wild-type mice. Our data highlight the importance of OT for proper gene expression of neurotransmitter receptors related to the regulation of social interaction in male mice. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. The impact of intranasal oxytocin on attention to social emotional stimuli in patients with anorexia nervosa: a double blind within-subject cross-over experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youl-Ri Kim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND AND AIM: Social factors may be of importance causally and act as maintenance factors in patients with anorexia nervosa. Oxytocin is a neuromodulatory hormone involved in social emotional processing associated with attentional processes. This study aimed to examine the impact of oxytocin on attentional processes to social faces representing anger, disgust, and happiness in patients with anorexia nervosa. METHOD: A double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject crossover design was used. Intranasal oxytocin or placebo followed by a visual probe detection task with faces depicting anger, disgust, and happiness was administered to 64 female subjects: 31 patients with anorexia nervosa and 33 control students. RESULTS: Attentional bias to the disgust stimuli was observed in both groups under the placebo condition. The attentional bias to disgust was reduced under the oxytocin condition (a moderate effect in the patient group. Avoidance of angry faces was observed in the patient group under the placebo condition and vigilance was observed in the healthy comparison group; both of these information processing responses were moderated by oxytocin producing an increase in vigilance in the patients. Happy/smiling faces did not elicit an attentional response in controls or the patients under either the placebo or oxytocin conditions. CONCLUSION: Oxytocin attenuated attentional vigilance to disgust in patients with anorexia nervosa and healthy controls. On the other hand, oxytocin changed the response to angry faces from avoidance to vigilance in patients but reduced vigilance to anger in healthy controls. We conclude that patients with anorexia nervosa appear to use different strategies/circuits to emotionally process anger from their healthy counterparts.

  11. Neonatal paternal deprivation impairs social recognition and alters levels of oxytocin and estrogen receptor α mRNA expression in the MeA and NAcc, and serum oxytocin in mandarin voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yan; Wu, Ruiyong; Tai, Fadao; Zhang, Xia; Yu, Peng; An, Xiaolei; Qiao, Xufeng; Hao, Ping

    2014-01-01

    Paternal care is necessary for the healthy development of social behavior in monogamous rodents and social recognition underpins social behavior in these animals. The effects of paternal care on the development of social recognition and underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms, especially the involvement of oxytocin and estrogen pathways, remain poorly understood. We investigated the effects of paternal deprivation (PD: father was removed from neonatal pups and mother alone raised the offspring) on social recognition in mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus), a socially monogamous rodent. Paternal deprivation was found to inhibit the development of social recognition in female and male offspring according to a habituation-dishabituation paradigm. Paternal deprivation resulted in increased inactivity and reduced investigation during new encounters with other animals. Paternal deprivation reduced oxytocin receptor (OTR) and estrogen receptor α (ERα) mRNA expression in the medial amygdala and nucleus accumbens. Paternal deprivation reduced serum oxytocin (OT) concentration in females, but had no effect on males. Our results provide substantial evidence that paternal deprivation inhibits the development of social recognition in female and male mandarin voles and alters social behavior later in life. This is possibly the result of altered expression of central OTR and ERα and serum OT levels caused by paternal deprivation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Sociality and oxytocin and vasopressin in the brain of male and female dominant and subordinate mandarin voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Xufeng; Yan, Yating; Wu, Ruiyong; Tai, Fadao; Hao, Ping; Cao, Yan; Wang, Jianli

    2014-02-01

    The dominant-subordinate hierarchy in animals often needs to be established via agonistic encounters and consequently affects reproduction and survival. Differences in brain neuropeptides and sociality among dominant and subordinate males and females remain poorly understood. Here we explore neuropeptide levels and sociality during agonistic encounter tests in mandarin voles. We found that dominant mandarin voles engaged in higher levels of approaching, investigating, self-grooming and exploring behavior than subordinates. Dominant males habituated better to a stimulus vole than dominant females. Dominant males displayed significantly less oxytocin-immunoreactive neurons in the paraventricular nuclei and more vasopressin-immunoreactive neurons in the paraventricular nuclei, supraoptic nuclei, and the lateral and anterior hypothalamus than subordinates. Dominant females displayed significantly more vasopressin-immunoreactive neurons in the lateral hypothalamus and anterior hypothalamus than subordinates. Sex differences were found in the level of oxytocin and vasopressin. These results indicate that distinct parameters related to central nervous oxytocin and vasopressin are associated with behaviors during agonistic encounters in a sex-specific manner in mandarin voles.

  13. Function and structure in social brain regions can link oxytocin-receptor genes with autistic social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamasue, Hidenori

    2013-02-01

    Difficulties in appropriate social and communicative behaviors are the most prevalent and core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Although recent intensive research has focused on the neurobiological background of these difficulties, many aspects of them were not yet elucidated. Recent studies have employed multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) indices as intermediate phenotypes of this behavioral phenotype to link candidate genes with the autistic social difficulty. As MRI indices, functional MRI (fMRI), structural MRI, and MR-spectroscopy have been examined in subjects with autism spectrum disorders. As candidate genes, this mini-review has much interest in oxytocin-receptor genes (OXTR), since recent studies have repeatedly reported their associations with normal variations in social cognition and behavior as well as with their extremes, autistic social dysfunction. Through previous increasing studies, medial prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus and amygdala have repeatedly been revealed as neural correlates of autistic social behavior by MRI multimodalities and their relationship to OXTR. For further development of this research area, this mini-review integrates recent accumulating evidence about human behavioral and neural correlates of OXTR. Copyright © 2012 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Conditioned social preference, but not place preference, produced by intranasal oxytocin in female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosaki, Yutaka; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2016-04-01

    Oxytocin (OT) has been implicated in a variety of mammalian reproductive and social behaviors, and the use of intranasal OT for clinical purposes is on the rise. However, basic actions of OT, including the rewarding or reinforcing properties of the drug, are currently not fully understood. In this study, the authors investigated whether intranasally administered OT has different reinforcing properties for social and nonsocial stimuli and whether such effects are variable between male and female subjects. Conditioned social preference (CSP) and conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigms were used to examine social and nonsocial reinforcing properties of OT. In CSP, the presence of a same-sex unfamiliar conspecific was repeatedly paired with intranasal OT, while a different conspecific was associated with saline. The reinforcing effect of OT was assessed in a postconditioning choice test under a drug-free condition. In CPP, the 2 conspecifics were replaced with nonsocial black and white compartments. The authors found that intranasal OT (12 μg) in females supported the formation of CSP (Experiment 1) but not CPP (Experiment 3). Neither CSP (Experiment 2) nor CPP (Experiment 4) was formed in males. Extended conditioning with higher dose OT (36 μg), however, abolished the initial CSP in females and produced an aversion to the OT-paired stimulus mouse. Experiment 5 indicated that it was the repeated administrations rather than the higher dose that produced the abolition of the original preference. Overall, the current results demonstrate for the first time a sex- and stimulus-dependent reinforcing property of intranasal OT in mice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Imaging oxytocin x dopamine interactions: An epistasis effect of CD38 and COMT gene variants influences the impact of oxytocin on amygdala activation to social stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina eSauer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Although oxytocin (OT has become a major target for the investigation of positive social processes, it can be assumed that it exerts its effects in concert with other neurotransmitters. One candidate for such an interaction is dopamine (DA. For both systems, genetic variants have been identified that influence the availability of the particular substance. A variant of the gene coding for the transmembrane protein CD38 (rs3796863, which is engaged in OT secretion, has been associated with OT plasma level. The common catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT val158met polymorphism is known to influence COMT activity and therefore the degradation of DA. The present study aimed to investigate OTxDA interactions in the context of an OT challenge study. Hence, we tested the influence of the above mentioned genetic variants and their interaction on the activation of different brain regions (amygdala, VTA, ventral striatum and fusiform gyrus during the presentation of social stimuli. In a pharmacological cross-over design 55 participants were investigated under OT and placebo (PLA by means of fMRI.Brain imaging results revealed no significant effects for VTA or ventral striatum. Regarding the fusiform gyrus, we could not find any effects apart from those already described in (Sauer et al., 2012. Analyses of amygdala activation resulted in no gene main effect, no gene x substance interaction but a significant gene x gene x substance interaction. While under PLA the effect of CD38 on bilateral amygdala activation to social stimuli was modulated by the COMT genotype, no such epistasis effect was found under OT. Our results provide evidence for an OTxDA interaction during responses to social stimuli. We postulate that the effect of central OT secretion on amygdala response is modulated by the availability of DA. Therefore, for an understanding of the effect of social hormones on social behavior, interactions of OT with other transmitter systems have to be taken

  16. Effects of chronic restraint stress on social behaviors and the number of hypothalamic oxytocin neurons in male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jin; Li, Han-Xia; Shou, Xiao-Jing; Xu, Xin-Jie; Song, Tian-Jia; Han, Song-Ping; Zhang, Rong; Han, Ji-Sheng

    2016-12-01

    Oxytocin (OXT) and vasopressin (AVP) are considered to be related to mammalian social behavior and the regulation of stress responses. The present study investigated the effects of chronic homotypic restraint stress (CHRS) on social behaviors and anxiety, as well as its repercussions on OXT- and AVP-positive neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) nuclei in rat. Male Sprague-Dawley rats receiving CHRS were exposed to repeated restraint stress of 30min per day for 10days. Changes in social approach behaviors were evaluated with the three-chambered social approach task. Changes in anxiety-like behaviors were evaluated in the light-dark box test. The number of neurons expressing oxytocin and/or vasopressin in PVN and SON were examined by immunohistochemistry techniques. The results demonstrated that social approach was increased and anxiety was decreased following 10-day exposure to CHRS. Furthermore, the number of OXT-immunoreactive cells in PVN was increased significantly, whereas no change in SON was seen. The number of AVP immunoreactive cells either in PVN or SON was unaffected. The results of this study suggest that certain types of stress could be effective in the treatment of social dysfunction in persons with mental disorders such as autism, social anxiety disorder. The therapeutic effects may be mediated by changes in the function of OXT neurons in PVN. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Promising effects of oxytocin on social and food-related behaviour in young children with Prader-Willi syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, controlled crossover trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuppens, R J; Donze, S H; Hokken-Koelega, A C S

    2016-12-01

    Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is known for hyperphagia with impaired satiety and a specific behavioural phenotype with stubbornness, temper tantrums, manipulative and controlling behaviour and obsessive-compulsive features. PWS is associated with hypothalamic and oxytocinergic dysfunction. In humans without PWS, intranasal oxytocin administration had positive effects on social and eating behaviour, and weight balance. To evaluate the effects of intranasal oxytocin compared to placebo administration on social behaviour and hyperphagia in children with PWS. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in a PWS Reference Center in the Netherlands. Crossover intervention with twice daily intranasal oxytocin (dose range 24-48 IU/day) and placebo administration, both during 4 weeks, in 25 children with PWS (aged 6 to 14 years). In the total group, no significant effects of oxytocin on social behaviour or hyperphagia were found, but in the 17 children younger than 11 years, parents reported significantly less anger (P = 0·001), sadness (P = 0·005), conflicts (P = 0·010) and food-related behaviour (P = 0·011), and improvement of social behaviour (P = 0·018) during oxytocin treatment compared with placebo. In the eight children older than 11 years, the items happiness (P = 0·039), anger (P = 0·042) and sadness (P = 0·042) were negatively influenced by oxytocin treatment compared to placebo. There were no side effects or adverse events. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study suggests that intranasal oxytocin administration has beneficial effects on social behaviour and food-related behaviour in children with PWS younger than 11 years of age, but not in those older than 11 years of age. © 2016 The Authors. Clinical Endocrinology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Chronic CNS oxytocin signaling preferentially induces fat loss in high-fat diet-fed rats by enhancing satiety responses and increasing lipid utilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blevins, James E; Thompson, Benjamin W; Anekonda, Vishwanath T; Ho, Jacqueline M; Graham, James L; Roberts, Zachary S; Hwang, Bang H; Ogimoto, Kayoko; Wolden-Hanson, Tami; Nelson, Jarrell; Kaiyala, Karl J; Havel, Peter J; Bales, Karen L; Morton, Gregory J; Schwartz, Michael W; Baskin, Denis G

    2016-04-01

    Based largely on a number of short-term administration studies, growing evidence suggests that central oxytocin is important in the regulation of energy balance. The goal of the current work is to determine whether long-term third ventricular (3V) infusion of oxytocin into the central nervous system (CNS) is effective for obesity prevention and/or treatment in rat models. We found that chronic 3V oxytocin infusion between 21 and 26 days by osmotic minipumps both reduced weight gain associated with the progression of high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and elicited a sustained reduction of fat mass with no decrease of lean mass in rats with established diet-induced obesity. We further demonstrated that these chronic oxytocin effects result from 1) maintenance of energy expenditure at preintervention levels despite ongoing weight loss, 2) a reduction in respiratory quotient, consistent with increased fat oxidation, and 3) an enhanced satiety response to cholecystokinin-8 and associated decrease of meal size. These weight-reducing effects persisted for approximately 10 days after termination of 3V oxytocin administration and occurred independently of whether sucrose was added to the HFD. We conclude that long-term 3V administration of oxytocin to rats can both prevent and treat diet-induced obesity.

  19. Why social attachment and oxytocin protect against addiction and stress: Insights from the dynamics between ventral and dorsal corticostriatal systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tops, Mattie; Koole, Sander L; IJzerman, Hans; Buisman-Pijlman, Femke T A

    2014-04-01

    The present article advances a neurobiological model of the reciprocal associations between social attachment and drug abuse, and social attachment and chronic stress, as overlapping systems are involved in stress coping and social attachment. In terms of coping, responding to a novel stressor or challenge involves initial novelty processing and activation of learning mechanisms that allow habituation to the stressor through familiarization. Similarly, social attachments are initially formed by being attracted by rewarding properties of an as-yet novel individual, and subsequently developing feelings of attachment towards the familiarized individual. Attachment and familiarization increase the availability of "internal working models" for the control of behavior and emotion, which may explain why secure attachments are associated with increased resilience in the face of stress, accompanied by less reactive reward responding (i.e., increased resilience against drug addiction). The present article seeks to illuminate the role of the neuropeptide oxytocin, which may be involved in the overlapping mechanisms of stable attachment formation and stress coping by shifting processing from novelty and reward seeking to appreciation of familiarity. Oxytocin may accomplish this by facilitating a ventral-to-dorsal shift in activation in corticostriatal loops, which produces a shift from a reactive reward drive (wanting) to stable appreciation of familiar social aspects ("liking" or "loving"). The authors suggest that through dopaminergic, serotonergic and endogenous opioid mechanisms, oxytocin is involved in shifting the balance between wanting and liking in corticostriatal loops by facilitating consolidation of social information from ventral reactive reward systems to dorsal internal working models that aid in prospectively selecting optimal actions in the future, increasing resilience in the face of stress and addiction. © 2013.

  20. Oxytocin effects on complex brain networks are moderated by experiences of maternal love withdrawal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riem, Madelon M E; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Tops, Mattie; Boksem, Maarten A S; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J

    2013-10-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin has been implicated in a variety of social processes. However, recent studies indicate that oxytocin does not enhance prosocial behavior in all people in all circumstances. Here, we investigate effects of intranasal oxytocin administration on intrinsic functional brain connectivity with resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants were 42 women who received a nasal spray containing either 16 IU of oxytocin or a placebo and reported how often their mother used love withdrawal as a disciplinary strategy involving withholding love and affection after a failure or misbehavior. We found that oxytocin changes functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the brainstem. In the oxytocin group there was a positive connectivity between these regions, whereas the placebo group showed negative connectivity. In addition, oxytocin induced functional connectivity changes between the PCC, the cerebellum and the postcentral gyrus, but only for those participants who experienced low levels of maternal love withdrawal. We speculate that oxytocin enhances prosocial behavior by influencing complex brain networks involved in self-referential processing and affectionate touch, most prominently in individuals with supportive family backgrounds. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  1. Oxytocin system social function impacts in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayaz, Ayşe Burcu; Karkucak, Mutlu; Ayaz, Muhammed; Gokce, Sebla; Kayan, Esengul; Güler, Elif Erol; Güngen, Belma Doğan; Kuşcu, Tugba Didem; Ocakoğlu, Gökhan; Yakut, Tahsin

    2015-10-01

    To investigate relationships between the polymorphisms and social functioning of children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to the polymorphism of three oxytocin receptor (OXTR) genes (rs53576, rs13316193, and and rs2268493). A total of 198 children-studying in the same primary and secondary school and matched in terms of age and gender (99 ADHD, 99 control)-were included in this study. The Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime Version was administered to establish the clinical diagnosis. The Social Reciprocity Scale (SRS) was applied to evaluate social functioning. The total genomic DNA was isolated from buccal mucosa samples. No significant differences were determined between the ADHD and control groups in terms of rs2268493, rs13316193, and rs53576 genotype distribution (P = 0.078, P = 0.330, and P = 0.149, respectively). However, the control group T allele frequency in the OXTR Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) rs2268493 was significantly higher than the ADHD group (P = 0.024). Compared to the control group, the ADHD group had a higher score on the SRS scale (SRS total; Z = -21,135, P difference existed in the SRS scale scores between the children with the T/T genotype and the C allele in the ADHD group (SRS total; Z = -0.543, P = 0.587). The allele distribution of the OXTR gene SNP rs2268493 was significantly different in the ADHD group, compared to the control group. This observation is important in understanding the underlying biological infrastructure in ADHD and developing treatment modalities. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Oxytocin in the amygdala and not the prefrontal cortex enhances fear and impairs extinction in the juvenile rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kritman, Milly; Lahoud, Nisrine; Maroun, Mouna

    2017-05-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin (OT), aside from its central role in the regulation of social behavior, reduces fear and anxiety. The functional and opposing interactions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the amygdala in regulation of fear provide a unique experimental setting to examine the effects of OT on fear and extinction. Recent evidence suggests that in the adult animal OT can play a dual role in the regulation of fear leading to contrasting effects on fear depending on the manipulated brain region and the time of manipulations. The OT system is one of the systems that undergoes major changes throughout development, however, its role in regulating fear in young animals has not been widely explored. We recently showed that the mechanisms of extinction, and specifically engagement of the mPFC in extinction, are not identical in adult and juvenile animals. Thus, the purpose of this study was to elucidate the effects of OT on fear and extinction in juvenile animals. To that end, we determine extinction, by measuring freezing at different time points, following microinjection of the OT agonist, TGOT, into the mPFC, the basolateral and the central nuclei of the amygdala (BLA and CeA, respectively). The results show that whereas TGOT microinjections into the IL-mPFC did not affect extinction, microinjections into the amygdala were mainly associated with enhanced fear and impaired extinction. These results further emphasize the differences between adult and juvenile brains. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Restoring effects of oxytocin on the attentional preference for faces in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanat, M; Spenthof, I; Riedel, A; van Elst, L T; Heinrichs, M; Domes, G

    2017-04-18

    Reduced attentional preference for faces and symptoms of social anxiety are common in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The neuropeptide oxytocin triggers anxiolytic functions and enhances eye gaze, facial emotion recognition and neural correlates of face processing in ASD. Here we investigated whether a single dose of oxytocin increases attention to faces in ASD. As a secondary question, we explored the influence of social anxiety on these effects. We tested for oxytocin's effects on attention to neutral faces as compared to houses in a sample of 29 autistic individuals and 30 control participants using a dot-probe paradigm with two different presentation times (100 or 500 ms). A single dose of 24 IU oxytocin was administered in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Under placebo, ASD individuals paid less attention to faces presented for 500 ms than did controls. Oxytocin administration increased the allocation of attention toward faces in ASD to a level observed in controls. Secondary analyses revealed that these oxytocin effects primarily occurred in ASD individuals with high levels of social anxiety who were characterized by attentional avoidance of faces under placebo. Our results confirm a positive influence of intranasal oxytocin on social attention processes in ASD. Further, they suggest that oxytocin may in particular restore the attentional preference for facial information in ASD individuals with high social anxiety. We conclude that oxytocin's anxiolytic properties may partially account for its positive effects on socio-cognitive functioning in ASD, such as enhanced eye gaze and facial emotion recognition.

  4. Involvement of the oxytocin system in the nucleus accumbens in the regulation of juvenile social novelty-seeking behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Caroline J W; Mogavero, Jazmin N; Tulimieri, Maxwell T; Veenema, Alexa H

    2017-07-01

    Exploration of novel environments, stimuli, and conspecifics is highly adaptive during the juvenile period, as individuals transition from immaturity to adulthood. We recently showed that juvenile rats prefer to interact with a novel individual over a familiar cage mate. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this juvenile social novelty-seeking behavior remain largely unknown. One potential candidate is the oxytocin (OXT) system, given its involvement in various motivated social behaviors. Here, we show that administration of the specific oxytocin receptor antagonist desGly-NH 2 ,d(CH 2 ) 5 -[Tyr(Me) 2 ,Thr 4 ]OVT reduces social novelty seeking-behavior in juvenile male rats when injected into the nucleus accumbens (10ng/0.5μl/side). The same drug dose was ineffective at altering social novelty-seeking behavior when administered into the lateral septum or basolateral amygdala. These results are the first to suggest the involvement of the OXT system in the nucleus accumbens in the regulation of juvenile social novelty-seeking behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The oxytocin receptor (OXTR contributes to prosocial fund allocations in the dictator game and the social value orientations task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salomon Israel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Economic games observe social decision making in the laboratory that involves real money payoffs. Previously we have shown that allocation of funds in the Dictator Game (DG, a paradigm that illustrates costly altruistic behavior, is partially determined by promoter-region repeat region variants in the arginine vasopressin 1a receptor gene (AVPR1a. In the current investigation, the gene encoding the related oxytocin receptor (OXTR was tested for association with the DG and a related paradigm, the Social Values Orientation (SVO task. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Association (101 male and 102 female students using a robust-family based test between 15 single tagging SNPs (htSNPs across the OXTR was demonstrated with both the DG and SVO. Three htSNPs across the gene region showed significant association with both of the two games. The most significant association was observed with rs1042778 (p = 0.001. Haplotype analysis also showed significant associations for both DG and SVO. Following permutation test adjustment, significance was observed for 2-5 locus haplotypes (p<0.05. A second sample of 98 female subjects was subsequently and independently recruited to play the dictator game and was genotyped for the three significant SNPs found in the first sample. The rs1042778 SNP was shown to be significant for the second sample as well (p = 0.004, Fisher's exact test. CONCLUSIONS: The demonstration that genetic polymorphisms for the OXTR are associated with human prosocial decision making converges with a large body of animal research showing that oxytocin is an important social hormone across vertebrates including Homo sapiens. Individual differences in prosocial behavior have been shown by twin studies to have a substantial genetic basis and the current investigation demonstrates that common variants in the oxytocin receptor gene, an important element of mammalian social circuitry, underlie such individual differences.

  6. Marmosets treated with oxytocin are more socially attractive to their long-term mate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon eCavanaugh

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Adult male-female bonds are partly characterized by initiating and maintaining close proximity with a social partner, as well as engaging in high levels of affiliative and sociosexual behavior. Oxytocin (OXT, a neuromodulatory nonapeptide, plays a critical role in the facilitation of social bonding and prosocial behavior toward a social partner (Feldman, 2012. However, less attention has been given to whether augmentation of OXT levels in an individual alters others’ perceptions and behavior toward an OXT-treated social partner. We examined social dynamics in well-established male-female pairs of marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus in which one member of the pair was administered an intranasal OXT agonist, an OXT antagonist, or saline. OXT treatment did not alter the expression of affiliative toward an untreated partner. However, OXT did significantly influence the expression of proximity and grooming behavior with a treated partner, as a function of OXT treatment and sex. Female interest in initiating and maintaining proximity with a pair-mate was altered by OXT treatment. Untreated female marmosets departed from their saline-treated partner more frequently than they approached them, as indicated by a low proximity index score. However, when males received an intranasal OXT agonist they had a significantly increased proximity index score relative to saline, indicating that their untreated partner approached them more often than they departed from them. Saline-treated females initiated and received equivalent levels of grooming behavior. However, when female marmosets were treated with an OXT agonist their untreated partner groomed them proportionately more often, for a greater total duration, and for more time per bout, than they initiated grooming behavior. These results suggest that intranasal OXT altered male and female marmosets’ stimulus properties in such a way as to increase the amount of grooming behavior that females received from

  7. Effects of chronic social stress and maternal intranasal oxytocin and vasopressin on offspring interferon γ and behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Anthony Murgatroyd

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies support the hypothesis that the adverse effects of early life adversity and transgenerational stress on neural plasticity and behavior are mediated by inflammation. The objective of the present study was to investigate the immune and behavioural programming effects of intranasal (IN vasopressin (AVP and oxytocin (OXT treatment of chronic social stress (CSS exposed F1 dams on F2 juvenile female offspring. It was hypothesized that maternal AVP and OXT treatment would have preventative effects on social stress induced deficits in offspring anxiety and social behavior, and that these effects would be associated with changes in interferon γ (IFNγ. Control and CSS exposed F1 dams were administered IN saline, AVP, or OXT during lactation and the F2 juvenile female offspring were assessed for basal plasma IFNγ and perseverative, anxiety, and social behavior. CSS F2 female juvenile offspring had elevated IFNγ levels and exhibited increased repetitive/perseverative and anxiety behaviours and deficits in social behavior. These effects were modulated by AVP and OXT in a context and behavior dependent manner, with OXT exhibiting preventative effects on repetitive and anxiety behaviours and AVP possessing preventative effects on social behavior deficits and anxiety. Basal IFNγ levels were elevated in the F2 offspring of OXT treated F1 dams, but IFNγ was not correlated with the behavioural effects. These results support the hypothesis that maternal AVP and OXT treatment have context and behavior specific effects on peripheral IFNγ levels and perseverative, anxiety, and social behaviours in the female offspring of early life social stress exposed dams. Both maternal AVP and OXT are effective at preventing social stress induced increases in self-directed measures of anxiety, and AVP is particularly effective at preventing impairments in overall social contact. Oxytocin is specifically effective at preventing repetitive

  8. WAY 267,464, a non-peptide oxytocin receptor agonist, impairs social recognition memory in rats through a vasopressin 1A receptor antagonist action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Callum; Ramos, Linnet; Reekie, Tristan A; Narlawar, Rajeshwar; Kassiou, Michael; McGregor, Iain S

    2015-08-01

    Recent in vitro studies suggest that the oxytocin receptor (OTR) agonist WAY 267,464 has vasopressin 1A receptor (V1AR) antagonist effects. This might limit its therapeutic potential due to the positive involvement of the V1AR in social behavior. The objective of this study was to assess functional V1AR antagonist-like effects of WAY 267,464 in vivo using a test of social recognition memory. Adult experimental rats were tested for their recognition of a juvenile conspecific rat that they had briefly met 30 or 120 min previously. The modulatory effects of vasopressin (AVP), the selective V1AR antagonist SR49059, and WAY 267,464 were examined together with those of the selective OTR antagonist Compound 25 (C25). Drugs were administered immediately after the first meeting. Control rats showed recognition of juveniles at a 30 min, but not a 120 min retention interval. AVP (0.005, but not 0.001 mg/kg intraperitoneal (i.p.)) improved memory such that recognition was evident after 120 min. This was prevented by pretreatment with SR49059 (1 mg/kg) and WAY 267,464 (10, 30, and 100 mg/kg). Given alone, SR49059 (1 mg/kg) and WAY 267,464 (30 and 100 mg/kg) impaired memory at a 30 min retention interval. The impairment with WAY 267,464 was not prevented by C25 (5 mg/kg), suggesting V1AR rather than OTR mediation of the effect. Given alone, C25 also impaired memory. These results highlight a tonic role for endogenous AVP (and oxytocin) in social recognition memory and indicate that WAY 267,464 functions in vivo as a V1AR antagonist to prevent the memory-enhancing effects of AVP.

  9. Oxytocin and Estrogen Receptor β in the Brain: An Overview

    OpenAIRE

    Acevedo-Rodriguez, Alexandra; Mani, Shaila K.; Handa, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide synthesized primarily by neurons of the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus. These neurons have axons that project into the posterior pituitary and release oxytocin into the bloodstream to promote labor and lactation; however, oxytocin neurons also project to other brain areas where it plays a role in numerous brain functions. Oxytocin binds to the widely expressed oxytocin receptor, and, in doing so, it regulates homeostatic processes, social ...

  10. DNA methylation of specific CpG sites in the promoter region regulates the transcription of the mouse oxytocin receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shimrat Mamrut

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a peptide hormone, well known for its role in labor and suckling, and most recently for its involvement in mammalian social behavior. All central and peripheral actions of oxytocin are mediated through the oxytocin receptor, which is the product of a single gene. Transcription of the oxytocin receptor is subject to regulation by gonadal steroid hormones, and is profoundly elevated in the uterus and mammary glands during parturition. DNA methylation is a major epigenetic mechanism that regulates gene transcription, and has been linked to reduced expression of the oxytocin receptor in individuals with autism. Here, we hypothesized that transcription of the mouse oxytocin receptor is regulated by DNA methylation of specific sites in its promoter, in a tissue-specific manner. Hypothalamus-derived GT1-7, and mammary-derived 4T1 murine cell lines displayed negative correlations between oxytocin receptor transcription and methylation of the gene promoter, and demethylation caused a significant enhancement of oxytocin receptor transcription in 4T1 cells. Using a reporter gene assay, we showed that methylation of specific sites in the gene promoter, including an estrogen response element, significantly inhibits transcription. Furthermore, methylation of the oxytocin receptor promoter was found to be differentially correlated with oxytocin receptor expression in mammary glands and the uterus of virgin and post-partum mice, suggesting that it plays a distinct role in oxytocin receptor transcription among tissues and under different physiological conditions. Together, these results support the hypothesis that the expression of the mouse oxytocin receptor gene is epigenetically regulated by DNA methylation of its promoter.

  11. Prenatal stress puzzle, the oxytocin piece: Prenatal stress alters the behaviour and autonomic regulation in piglets, insights from oxytocin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Developmental changes in response to prenatal stressors (PNS) may represent an adaptive strategy to enhance survival traits in the offspring. Yet, PNS could be maladaptive for captive animals, causing anxiety and abnormal social development. Oxytocin (OT) reduces anxiety, whereas OT deficiencies are...

  12. The neuropeptide oxytocin enhances information sharing and group decision making quality

    OpenAIRE

    De, Wilde T.R.W.; Ten, Velden F.S.; De, Dreu C.K.W.

    2017-01-01

    Groups can make better decisions than individuals when members cooperatively exchange and integrate their uniquely held information and insights. However, under conformity pressures group members are biased towards exchanging commonly known information, and away from exchanging unique information, thus undermining group decision-making quality. At the neurobiological level, conformity associates with the neuropeptide oxytocin. A double-blind placebo controlled study found no evidence for oxyt...

  13. Effects of acute doses of prosocial drugs methamphetamine and alcohol on plasma oxytocin levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bershad, Anya K; Kirkpatrick, Matthew G; Seiden, Jacob A; de Wit, Harriet

    2015-06-01

    Many drugs, including alcohol and stimulants, demonstrably increase sociability and verbal interaction and are recreationally consumed in social settings. One drug, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), seems to produce its prosocial effects by increasing plasma oxytocin levels, and the oxytocin system has been implicated in responses to several other drugs of abuse. Here, we sought to investigate the effects of 2 other "social" drugs on plasma oxytocin levels--methamphetamine and alcohol. Based on their shared capacity to enhance sociability, we hypothesized that both methamphetamine and alcohol would increase plasma oxytocin levels. In study 1, 11 healthy adult volunteers attended 3 sessions during which they received methamphetamine (10 mg or 20 mg) or placebo under double-blind conditions. Subjective drug effects, cardiovascular effects, and plasma oxytocin levels were measured at regular intervals throughout the sessions. In study 2, 8 healthy adult volunteers attended a single session during which they received 1 beverage containing placebo, and then a beverage containing alcohol (0.8 g/kg). Subjective effects, breath alcohol levels, and plasma oxytocin levels were measured at regular intervals. Both methamphetamine and alcohol produced their expected physiological and subjective effects, but neither of these drugs increased plasma oxytocin levels. The neurobiological mechanisms mediating the prosocial effects of drugs such as alcohol and methamphetamine remain to be identified.

  14. Basal salivary oxytocin level predicts extra- but not intra-personal dimensions of emotional intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koven, Nancy S; Max, Laura K

    2014-06-01

    A wealth of literature suggests that oxytocin is an important mediator of social cognition, but much of the research to date has relied on pharmaceutical administration methods that can raise oxytocin to artificially high levels. The present study builds upon previous work by examining whether basal oxytocin level predicts intra- and extra-personal (i.e., self- and other-focused) elements of emotional intelligence (EI), independent of shared variance with current mood. The sample included 71 healthy young adults (46 women). Assessment measures included the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test Version 2.0 (MSCEIT), the Trait Meta-Mood Scale, and the Profile of Mood States. Peripheral oxytocin levels were examined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from saliva after solid phase extraction. Oxytocin level was unrelated to TMMS scores but was positively associated with performance in the Experiential EI domain of the MSCEIT. However, total mood disturbance was positively related to MSCEIT scores. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that oxytocin level added unique variance to the prediction of MSCEIT performance beyond that of current mood. These results confirm an association between endogenous levels of oxytocin in healthy adults and a subset of EI abilities, including extra-personal emotion recognition and the channeling of emotions to enhance social proficiency. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The effect of oxytocin on attention to angry and happy faces in chronic depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domes, Gregor; Normann, Claus; Heinrichs, Markus

    2016-04-06

    Chronic depression is characterized by a high degree of early life trauma, psychosocial impairment, and deficits in social cognition. Undisturbed recognition and processing of facial emotions are basic prerequisites for smooth social interactions. Intranasal application of the neuropeptide oxytocin has been reported to enhance emotion recognition in neuropsychiatric disorders and healthy individuals. We therefore investigated whether oxytocin modulates attention to emotional faces in patients with chronic depression. In this double-blind, randomized, controlled study, 43 patients received a single dose of oxytocin or placebo nasal spray and were tested while fulfilling a facial dot probe task. We assessed reaction times to neutral probes presented at the location of one of two faces depicting happy, angry, or neutral expressions as a prime. When comparing reaction times to the congruent (prime and probe at the same location) with incongruent presentation of facial emotions, neither the placebo nor oxytocin group showed an attentional preference for emotional facial expressions in terms of a threat bias. However, oxytocin treatment did reveal two specific effects: it generally reduced the allocation of attention towards angry facial expressions, and it increased sustained attention towards happy faces, specifically under conditions of heightened awareness, i.e. trials with longer primes. We investigated a heterogeneous group of medicated male and female patients. We conclude that oxytocin does modulate basic factors of facial emotion processing in chronic depression. Our findings encourage further investigations assessing the therapeutic potential of oxytocin in chronic depression. EUDRA-CT 2010-020956-69 . Date registered: 23 February 2011.

  16. Oxytocin eliminates the own-race bias in face recognition memory☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blandón-Gitlin, Iris; Pezdek, Kathy; Saldivar, Sesar; Steelman, Erin

    2015-01-01

    The neuropeptide Oxytocin influences a number of social behaviors, including processing of faces. We examined whether Oxytocin facilitates the processing of out-group faces and reduce the own-race bias (ORB). The ORB is a robust phenomenon characterized by poor recognition memory of other-race faces compared to the same-race faces. In Experiment 1, participants received intranasal solutions of Oxytocin or placebo prior to viewing White and Black faces. On a subsequent recognition test, whereas in the placebo condition the same-race faces were better recognized than other-race faces, in the Oxytocin condition Black and White faces were equally well recognized, effectively eliminating the ORB. In Experiment 2, Oxytocin was administered after the study phase. The ORB resulted, but Oxytocin did not significantly reduce the effect. This study is the first to show that Oxytocin can enhance face memory of out-group members and underscore the importance of social encoding mechanisms underlying the own-race bias. PMID:23872107

  17. Oxytocin effects on mind-reading are moderated by experiences of maternal love withdrawal: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riem, Madelon M E; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; Voorthuis, Alexandra; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H

    2014-06-03

    The neuropeptide oxytocin has been shown to stimulate a range of social behaviors. However, recent studies indicate that the effects of intranasal oxytocin are more nuanced than previously thought and that contextual factors and individual characteristics moderate the beneficiary oxytocin effects. In this randomized-controlled trial we examine the influence of intranasally administered oxytocin on neural activity during mind-reading with fMRI, taking into account harsh caregiving experiences as a potential moderator. Participants were 50 women who received a nasal spray containing either 16 IU of oxytocin or a placebo and had reported how often their mother used love withdrawal as a disciplinary strategy. Participants performed an adapted version of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), a task which requires individuals to infer mental states by looking at photographs of the eye region of faces. We found that oxytocin enhanced neural activation in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and insula during the RMET. Moreover, oxytocin increased RMET performance outside the scanner. However, the oxytocin induced changes in STG activation and RMET performance were only brought about in potentially less socially proficient individuals who had low RMET performance, that is, participants reporting higher levels of maternal love withdrawal. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Does oxytocin lead to emotional interference during a working memory paradigm?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollenaar, Marieke S; Ruissen, M; Elzinga, B M; de Bruijn, E R A

    2017-12-01

    Oxytocin administration may increase attention to emotional information. We hypothesized that this augmented emotional processing might in turn lead to interference on concurrent cognitive tasks. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether oxytocin administration would lead to heightened emotional interference during a working memory paradigm. Additionally, moderating effects of childhood maltreatment were explored. Seventy-eight healthy males received 24 IU of intranasal oxytocin or placebo in a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind between-subjects study. A working memory task was performed during which neutral, positive, and negative distractors were presented. The main outcome observed was that oxytocin did not enhance interference by emotional information during the working memory task. There was a non-significant trend for oxytocin to slow down performance irrespective of distractor valence, while accuracy was unaffected. Exploratory analyses showed that childhood maltreatment was related to lower overall accuracy, but in the placebo condition only. However, the maltreated group sample size was very small precluding any conclusions on its moderating effect. Despite oxytocin's previously proposed role in enhanced emotional processing, no proof was found that this would lead to reduced performance on a concurrent cognitive task. The routes by which oxytocin exerts its effects on cognitive and social-emotional processes remain to be fully elucidated.

  19. Evidence for a role of the oxytocin system, indexed by genetic variation in CD38, in the social bonding effects of expressed gratitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algoe, Sara B; Way, Baldwin M

    2014-12-01

    Oxytocin is thought to play a central role in promoting close social bonds via influence on social interactions. The current investigation targeted interactions involving expressed gratitude between members of romantic relationships because recent evidence suggests gratitude and its expression provides behavioral and psychological 'glue' to bind individuals closer together. Specifically, we took a genetic approach to test the hypothesis that social interactions involving expressed gratitude would be associated with variation in a gene, CD38, which has been shown to affect oxytocin secretion. A polymorphism (rs6449182) that affects CD38 expression was significantly associated with global relationship satisfaction, perceived partner responsiveness and positive emotions (particularly love) after lab-based interactions, observed behavioral expression of gratitude toward a romantic partner in the lab, and frequency of expressed gratitude in daily life. A separate polymorphism in CD38 (rs3796863) previously associated with plasma oxytocin levels and social engagement was also associated with perceived responsiveness in the benefactor after an expression of gratitude. The combined influence of the two polymorphisms was associated with a broad range of gratitude-related behaviors and feelings. The consistent pattern of findings suggests that the oxytocin system is associated with solidifying the glue that binds adults into meaningful and important relationships. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Oxytocin receptor gene variation predicts subjective responses to MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bershad, Anya K; Weafer, Jessica J; Kirkpatrick, Matthew G; Wardle, Margaret C; Miller, Melissa A; de Wit, Harriet

    2016-12-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") enhances desire to socialize and feelings of empathy, which are thought to be related to increased oxytocin levels. Thus, variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) may influence responses to the drug. Here, we examined the influence of a single OXTR nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on responses to MDMA in humans. Based on findings that carriers of the A allele at rs53576 exhibit reduced sensitivity to oxytocin-induced social behavior, we hypothesized that these individuals would show reduced subjective responses to MDMA, including sociability. In this three-session, double blind, within-subjects study, healthy volunteers with past MDMA experience (N = 68) received a MDMA (0, 0.75 mg/kg, and 1.5 mg/kg) and provided self-report ratings of sociability, anxiety, and drug effects. These responses were examined in relation to rs53576. MDMA (1.5 mg/kg) did not increase sociability in individuals with the A/A genotype as it did in G allele carriers. The genotypic groups did not differ in responses at the lower MDMA dose, or in cardiovascular or other subjective responses. These findings are consistent with the idea that MDMA-induced sociability is mediated by oxytocin, and that variation in the oxytocin receptor gene may influence responses to the drug.

  1. Newborn Analgesia Mediated by Oxytocin during Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzuca, Michel; Minlebaev, Marat; Shakirzyanova, Anastasia; Tyzio, Roman; Taccola, Giuliano; Janackova, Sona; Gataullina, Svetlana; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Giniatullin, Rashid; Khazipov, Rustem

    2011-01-01

    The mechanisms controlling pain in newborns during delivery are poorly understood. We explored the hypothesis that oxytocin, an essential hormone for labor and a powerful neuromodulator, exerts analgesic actions on newborns during delivery. Using a thermal tail-flick assay, we report that pain sensitivity is two-fold lower in rat pups immediately after birth than 2 days later. Oxytocin receptor antagonists strongly enhanced pain sensitivity in newborn, but not in 2-day-old rats, whereas oxytocin reduced pain at both ages suggesting an endogenous analgesia by oxytocin during delivery. Similar analgesic effects of oxytocin, measured as attenuation of pain-vocalization induced by electrical whisker pad stimulation, were also observed in decerebrated newborns. Oxytocin reduced GABA-evoked calcium responses and depolarizing GABA driving force in isolated neonatal trigeminal neurons suggesting that oxytocin effects are mediated by alterations of intracellular chloride. Unlike GABA signaling, oxytocin did not affect responses mediated by P2X3 and TRPV1 receptors. In keeping with a GABAergic mechanism, reduction of intracellular chloride by the diuretic NKCC1 chloride co-transporter antagonist bumetanide mimicked the analgesic actions of oxytocin and its effects on GABA responses in nociceptive neurons. Therefore, endogenous oxytocin exerts an analgesic action in newborn pups that involves a reduction of the depolarizing action of GABA on nociceptive neurons. Therefore, the same hormone that triggers delivery also acts as a natural pain killer revealing a novel facet of the protective actions of oxytocin in the fetus at birth. PMID:21519396

  2. Oxytocin receptor polymorphism and childhood social experiences shape adult personality, brain structure and neural correlates of mentalizing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider-Hassloff, H; Straube, B; Jansen, A; Nuscheler, B; Wemken, G; Witt, S H; Rietschel, M; Kircher, T

    2016-07-01

    The oxytocin system is involved in human social behavior and social cognition such as attachment, emotion recognition and mentalizing (i.e. the ability to represent mental states of oneself and others). It is shaped by social experiences in early life, especially by parent-infant interactions. The single nucleotid polymorphism rs53576 in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene has been linked to social behavioral phenotypes. In 195 adult healthy subjects we investigated the interaction of OXTR rs53576 and childhood attachment security (CAS) on the personality traits "adult attachment style" and "alexithymia" (i.e. emotional self-awareness), on brain structure (voxel-based morphometry) and neural activation (fMRI) during an interactive mentalizing paradigm (prisoner's dilemma game; subgroup: n=163). We found that in GG-homozygotes, but not in A-allele carriers, insecure childhood attachment is - in adulthood - associated with a) higher attachment-related anxiety and alexithymia, b) higher brain gray matter volume of left amygdala and lower volumes in right superior parietal lobule (SPL), left temporal pole (TP), and bilateral frontal regions, and c) higher mentalizing-related neural activity in bilateral TP and precunei, and right middle and superior frontal gyri. Interaction effects of genotype and CAS on brain volume and/or function were associated with individual differences in alexithymia and attachment-related anxiety. Interactive effects were in part sexually dimorphic. The interaction of OXTR genotype and CAS modulates adult personality as well as brain structure and function of areas implicated in salience processing and mentalizing. Rs53576 GG-homozygotes are partially more susceptible to childhood attachment experiences than A-allele carriers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Double Dissociation of the Roles of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 and Oxytocin Receptor in Discrete Social Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesic, Ivana; Guzman, Yomayra F; Guedea, Anita L; Jovasevic, Vladimir; Corcoran, Kevin A; Leaderbrand, Katherine; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Contractor, Anis; Radulovic, Jelena

    2015-09-01

    Social interactions in vertebrates are complex phenomena based on affective and cognitive processes. Multiple brain regions and neurotransmitter systems are involved in the expression of social behaviors, but their individual roles in specific aspects of social interactions are not well understood. Here we investigated how Gq-protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) and oxytocin receptor (Oxtr) affect social affiliation and social memory. We used conditional genetic approaches in which the genes coding for these receptors were knocked out in the lateral septum by infusion of recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors containing Cre recombinase (AAV-Cre). Social behavior was assessed 2 weeks later using a three-chamber paradigm for sociability and preference for social novelty. Septal deletion of mGluR5 abolished sociability while leaving preference for social novelty intact. In contrast, deletion of Oxtr did not affect sociability but significantly impaired preference for social novelty. Nonsocial behaviors or memories, including novel object recognition or fear conditioning, were not affected by these genetic manipulations. Immunohistochemical analyses of the distribution of mGluR5 and Oxtr revealed non-overlapping localization of these receptors within the lateral septum, suggesting that not only different neurotransmitters but also different neuronal types contribute to sociability versus preference for social novelty. Our findings identify highly specialized roles of lateral septal mGluR5 and Oxtr in the the regulation of discrete social behaviors, and suggest that deficits in social interactions, which accompany many mental illnesses, would benefit from comprehensive treatments targeting different components of social functioning.

  4. Oxytocin Effect on Collective Decision Making: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uri Hertz

    Full Text Available Collective decision making often benefits both the individuals and the group in a variety of contexts. However, for the group to be successful, individuals should be able to strike a balance between their level of competence and their influence on the collective decisions. The hormone oxytocin has been shown to promote trust, conformism and attention to social cues. We wondered if this hormone may increase participants' (unwarranted reliance on their partners' opinion, resulting in a reduction in collective benefit by disturbing the balance between influence and competence. To test this hypothesis we employed a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design in which male dyads self-administered intranasal oxytocin or placebo and then performed a visual search task together. Compared to placebo, collective benefit did not decrease under oxytocin. Using an exploratory time dependent analysis, we observed increase in collective benefit over time under oxytocin. Moreover, trial-by-trial analysis showed that under oxytocin the more competent member of each dyad was less likely to change his mind during disagreements, while the less competent member showed a greater willingness to change his mind and conform to the opinion of his more reliable partner. This role-dependent effect may be mediated by enhanced monitoring of own and other's performance level under oxytocin. Such enhanced social learning could improve the balance between influence and competence and lead to efficient and beneficial collaboration.

  5. Oxytocin Effect on Collective Decision Making: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Uri; Kelly, Maria; Rutledge, Robb B; Winston, Joel; Wright, Nicholas; Dolan, Raymond J; Bahrami, Bahador

    2016-01-01

    Collective decision making often benefits both the individuals and the group in a variety of contexts. However, for the group to be successful, individuals should be able to strike a balance between their level of competence and their influence on the collective decisions. The hormone oxytocin has been shown to promote trust, conformism and attention to social cues. We wondered if this hormone may increase participants' (unwarranted) reliance on their partners' opinion, resulting in a reduction in collective benefit by disturbing the balance between influence and competence. To test this hypothesis we employed a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design in which male dyads self-administered intranasal oxytocin or placebo and then performed a visual search task together. Compared to placebo, collective benefit did not decrease under oxytocin. Using an exploratory time dependent analysis, we observed increase in collective benefit over time under oxytocin. Moreover, trial-by-trial analysis showed that under oxytocin the more competent member of each dyad was less likely to change his mind during disagreements, while the less competent member showed a greater willingness to change his mind and conform to the opinion of his more reliable partner. This role-dependent effect may be mediated by enhanced monitoring of own and other's performance level under oxytocin. Such enhanced social learning could improve the balance between influence and competence and lead to efficient and beneficial collaboration.

  6. Sevoflurane-induced down-regulation of hippocampal oxytocin and arginine vasopressin impairs juvenile social behavioral abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhi-Bin; Yang, Xiao-Yu; Yuan, Bao-Long; Niu, Li-Jun; Zhou, Xue; Huang, Wen-Qi; Feng, Xia; Zhou, Li-Hua

    2015-05-01

    Cumulative evidence indicates that early childhood anesthesia can alter a child's future behavioral performance. Animal researchers have found that sevoflurane, the most commonly used anesthetic for children, can produce damage in the neonatal brains of rodents. To further investigate this phenomenon, we focused on the influence of sevoflurane anesthesia on the development of juvenile social behavioral abilities and the pro-social proteins oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) in the neonatal hippocampus. A single 6-h sevoflurane exposure for postnatal day 5 mice resulted in decreased OT and AVP messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels in the hippocampus. OT and AVP proteins became sparsely distributed in the dorsal hippocampus after the exposure to sevoflurane. Compared with the air-treated group, mice in the sevoflurane-treated group showed signs of impairment in social recognition memory formation and social discrimination ability. Sevoflurane anesthesia reduces OT and AVP activities in the neonatal hippocampus and impairs social recognition memory formation and social discrimination ability in juvenile mice.

  7. Intranasal oxytocin enhances neural processing of monetary reward and loss in post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatized controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawijn, Laura; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Koch, Saskia B J; Frijling, Jessie L; Veltman, Dick J; Olff, Miranda

    2016-04-01

    Anhedonia is a significant clinical problem in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD patients show reduced motivational approach behavior, which may underlie anhedonic symptoms. Oxytocin administration is known to increase reward sensitivity and approach behavior. We therefore investigated whether oxytocin administration affected neural responses during motivational processing in PTSD patients and trauma-exposed controls. 35 police officers with PTSD (21 males) and 37 trauma-exposed police officers without PTSD (19 males) were included in a within-subjects, randomized, placebo-controlled fMRI study. Neural responses during anticipation of monetary reward and loss were investigated with a monetary incentive delay task (MID) after placebo and oxytocin (40 IU) administration. Oxytocin increased neural responses during reward and loss anticipation in PTSD patients and controls in the striatum, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and insula, key regions in the reward pathway. Although PTSD patients did not differ from controls in motivational processing under placebo, anhedonia severity in PTSD patients was negatively related to reward responsiveness in the ventral striatum. Furthermore, oxytocin effects on reward processing in the ventral striatum were positively associated with anhedonia. Oxytocin administration increased reward pathway sensitivity during reward and loss anticipation in PTSD patients and trauma-exposed controls. Thus, oxytocin administration may increase motivation for goal-directed approach behavior in PTSD patients and controls, providing evidence for a neurobiological pathway through which oxytocin could potentially increase motivation and reward sensitivity in PTSD patients. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. On the role of oxytocin in borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brüne, Martin

    2016-09-01

    Interpersonal dysfunction is central to borderline personality disorder (BPD). Recent research has focused on the role of oxytocin (OT) in BPD, particularly regarding associations of OT activity with symptoms, genetic polymorphisms of the oxytocin receptor coding gene (OXTR) in BPD, and experimental modification of interpersonal core problems of patients with BPD such as hypervigilance towards threat detection, mistrust, and non-verbal behaviour during social interaction by intranasal application of OT. A literature ('medline') review was performed using the keywords 'oxytocin' and 'borderline personality disorder'. Secondary literature on trauma and attachment in relation to OT was also considered relevant. Together, findings suggest that in BPD OT is associated with enhanced defensive mechanisms and avoidance behaviour. Moreover, gene-environment interaction concerning polymorphic variations of the OXTR gene and childhood adversity in BPD suggests that these genes convey developmental flexibility or 'differential susceptibility' to environmental contingencies, whereby BPD resides at the poor outcome end of the spectrum. In view of the conflicting literature, it needs to be studied carefully whether OT can serve as a therapeutic agent given adjunct to psychotherapy in BPD. More research about the role of OT is also required with regard to the prevention of the non-genetic intergenerational transmission of BPD. Clarifying the role of OT in BPD may also benefit from research in non-human animals targeting the interaction between early adversity and OT availability more directly. The study of oxytocin can contribute to the understanding of the neurobiology of borderline personality disorder. Oxytocin is critically involved in attachment security, and methylation of the oxytocin receptor may play a role in the epigenetic modulation of early adversity. The intranasal application of oxytocin may be a useful therapeutic adjunct to psychotherapy. Insecure attachment and

  9. Neurobiology of Maternal Stress: Role of Social Rank and Central Oxytocin in Hypothalamic-Pituitary Adrenal Axis Modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy D Coplan

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Chronic stress may conceivably require plasticity of maternal physiology and behavior to cope with the conflicting primary demands of infant rearing and foraging for food. In addition, social rank may play a pivotal role in mandating divergent homeostatic adaptations in cohesive social groups. We examined cerebrospinal fluid (CSF oxytocin (OT levels and hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA axis regulation in the context of maternal social stress and assessed the contribution of social rank to dyadic-distance as reflective of distraction from normative maternal-infant interaction. Methods: Twelve socially-housed mother-infant bonnet macaque dyads were studied after variable foraging demand (VFD exposure compared to 11 unstressed dyads. Dyadic-distance was determined by behavioral observation. Social ranking was performed blindly by two observers. Post-VFD maternal plasma cortisol and CSF OT were compared to corresponding measures in non-VFD exposed mothers. Results: High social rank was associated with increased dyadic-distance only in VFD-exposed dyads and not in control dyads. In mothers unexposed to VFD, social rank was not related to maternal cortisol levels whereas VFD-exposed dominant versus subordinate mothers exhibited increased plasma cortisol. Maternal CSF OT directly predicted maternal cortisol only in VFD-exposed mothers. CSF OT was higher in dominant versus subordinate mothers. VFD-exposed mothers with high cortisol specifically exhibited CSF OT elevations in comparison to control groups. Conclusions: Pairing of maternal social rank to dyadic-distance in VFD presumably reduces maternal contingent responsivity, with ensuing long-term sequelae. VFD-exposure dichotomizes maternal HPA axis response as a function of social rank with relatively reduced cortisol in subordinates. OT may serve as a homeostatic buffer during maternal stress exposure.

  10. Effects of chronic social defeat on social behaviors in adult female mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus): Involvement of the oxytocin system in the nucleus accumbens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Limin; Hou, Wenjuan; He, Zhixiong; Yuan, Wei; Yang, Jinfeng; Yang, Yang; Jia, Rui; Zhu, Zhenxiang; Zhou, Yue; Tai, Fadao

    2018-03-02

    Chronic social defeat affects many aspects of behavior. Most previous studies have focused on effects on males and defeat during adolescence. The extents to which chronic social defeat can impact female social behavior in adulthood and the neural mechanisms of such effects are poorly understood. Using highly social and aggressive female mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus), the present study found that chronic social defeat reduced social preference in adult females, and that the defeated voles exhibited a high level of freeze, self-grooming and defensive behavior, as well as reduced exploration, intimacy and aggression during social interactions. Furthermore, chronic social defeat reduced levels of oxytocin (OT) and OT receptors (OTR) in the shell region of the nucleus accumbens (NACC). Intra-NACC shell OT microinjections reversed alterations in social behavior induced by chronic social defeat, whereas injections of an OTR antagonist (OTR-A) blocked the effects of OT. Taken together, our data demonstrate that chronic social defeat suppresses measures of sociability, and that these effects are mediated by the action of OT on the OTR in the NACC. NACC OT may be a promising target to treat socio-emotional disorders induced by chronic social stress. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Effect of maternal renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activation on social coping strategies and gene expression of oxytocin and vasopressin in the brain of rat offspring in adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senko, Tomáš; Svitok, Pavel; Kršková, Lucia

    2017-10-01

    The intrauterine condition in which the mammalian foetus develops has an important role in prenatal programming. The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which activation of the maternal renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) could influence social behaviour strategies in offspring via changes in social neurotransmitters in the brain. Pregnant female Wistar rats were implanted with osmotic minipumps which continually released angiotensin II for 14 days at concentration of 2 μg/kg/h. The adult offspring (angiotensin and control groups) underwent a social interaction test. The mRNA expression of vasopressin, oxytocin and the oxytocin receptor in selected brain areas was measured by in situ hybridisation. Prenatal exposure to higher levels of angiotensin II resulted in a strong trend toward decreased total social interaction time and significantly decreased time spent in close proximity and frequency of mutual sniffing. The angiotensin group showed no changes in oxytocin mRNA expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular or supraoptic nuclei, but this group had reduced vasopressin mRNA expression in the same areas. We concluded that maternal activation of RAAS (via higher levels of angiotensin II) caused inhibition of some socio-cohesive indicators and decreased vasopressinergic activity of offspring. Taken together, these results suggest a reactive rather than proactive social coping strategy.

  12. Dose-dependent social-cognitive effects of intranasal oxytocin delivered with novel Breath Powered device in adults with autism spectrum disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind crossover trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, D S; Westlye, L T; Hope, S; Nærland, T; Elvsåshagen, T; Dørum, E; Rustan, Ø; Valstad, M; Rezvaya, L; Lishaugen, H; Stensønes, E; Yaqub, S; Smerud, K T; Mahmoud, R A; Djupesland, P G; Andreassen, O A

    2017-05-23

    The neuropeptide oxytocin has shown promise as a treatment for symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, clinical research progress has been hampered by a poor understanding of oxytocin's dose-response and sub-optimal intranasal delivery methods. We examined two doses of oxytocin delivered using a novel Breath Powered intranasal delivery device designed to improve direct nose-to-brain activity in a double-blind, crossover, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. In a randomized sequence of single-dose sessions, 17 male adults with ASD received 8 international units (IU) oxytocin, 24IU oxytocin or placebo followed by four social-cognitive tasks. We observed an omnibus main effect of treatment on the primary outcome measure of overt emotion salience as measured by emotional ratings of faces (η 2 =0.18). Compared to placebo, 8IU treatment increased overt emotion salience (P=0.02, d=0.63). There was no statistically significant increase after 24IU treatment (P=0.12, d=0.4). The effects after 8IU oxytocin were observed despite no significant increase in peripheral blood plasma oxytocin concentrations. We found no significant effects for reading the mind in the eyes task performance or secondary outcome social-cognitive tasks (emotional dot probe and face-morphing). To our knowledge, this is the first trial to assess the dose-dependent effects of a single oxytocin administration in autism, with results indicating that a low dose of oxytocin can significantly modulate overt emotion salience despite minimal systemic exposure.

  13. Manipulation of the oxytocin system alters social behavior and attraction in pair-bonding primates, Callithrix penicillata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adam S; Agmo, Anders; Birnie, Andrew K; French, Jeffrey A

    2010-02-01

    The establishment and maintenance of stable, long-term male-female relationships, or pair-bonds, are marked by high levels of mutual attraction, selective preference for the partner, and high rates of sociosexual behavior. Central oxytocin (OT) affects social preference and partner-directed social behavior in rodents, but the role of this neuropeptide has yet to be studied in heterosexual primate relationships. The present study evaluated whether the OT system plays a role in the dynamics of social behavior and partner preference during the first 3 weeks of cohabitation in male and female marmosets, Callithrix penicillata. OT activity was stimulated by intranasal administration of OT, and inhibited by oral administration of a non-peptide OT-receptor antagonist (L-368,899; Merck). Social behavior throughout the pairing varied as a function of OT treatment. Compared to controls, marmosets initiated huddling with their social partner more often after OT treatments but reduced proximity and huddling after OT antagonist treatments. OT antagonist treatment also eliminated food sharing between partners. During the 24-h preference test, all marmosets interacted more with an opposite-sex stranger than with the partner. By the third-week preference test, marmosets interacted with the partner and stranger equally with the exception that intranasal-OT treatments facilitated initial partner-seeking behavior over initial contact with the stranger. Our findings demonstrate that pharmacological manipulations of OT activity alter partner-directed social behavior during pair interactions, suggesting that central OT may facilitate the process of pair-bond formation and social relationships in marmoset monkeys. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Plasma oxytocin concentrations and OXTR polymorphisms predict social impairments in children with and without autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Karen J; Garner, Joseph P; Libove, Robin A; Hyde, Shellie A; Hornbeak, Kirsten B; Carson, Dean S; Liao, Chun-Ping; Phillips, Jennifer M; Hallmayer, Joachim F; Hardan, Antonio Y

    2014-08-19

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) and its receptor (OXTR) regulate social functioning in animals and humans. Initial clinical research suggests that dysregulated plasma OXT concentrations and/or OXTR SNPs may be biomarkers of social impairments in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We do not know, however, whether OXT dysregulation is unique to ASD or whether OXT biology influences social functioning more generally, thus contributing to, but not causing, ASD phenotypes. To distinguish between these possibilities, we tested in a child ASD cohort, which included unaffected siblings and unrelated neurotypical controls (ages 3-12 y; n = 193), whether plasma OXT concentrations and OXTR SNPs (i) interact to produce ASD phenotypes, (ii) exert differential phenotypic effects in ASD vs. non-ASD children, or (iii) have similar phenotypic effects independent of disease status. In the largest cohort tested to date, we found no evidence to support the OXT deficit hypothesis of ASD. Rather, OXT concentrations strongly and positively predicted theory of mind and social communication performance in all groups. Furthermore, OXT concentrations showed significant heritability between ASD-discordant siblings (h(2) = 85.5%); a heritability estimate on par with that of height in humans. Finally, carriers of the "G" allele of rs53576 showed impaired affect recognition performance and carriers of the "A" allele of rs2254298 exhibited greater global social impairments in all groups. These findings indicate that OXT biology is not uniquely associated with ASD, but instead exerts independent, additive, and highly heritable influences on individual differences in human social functioning, including the severe social impairments which characterize ASD.

  15. The role of oxytocin in the ability of domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to use human social cues and bond with humans.

    OpenAIRE

    Oliva, Jessica Lee

    2017-01-01

    The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) demonstrates attachment/bonding behaviour towards humans, whilst wolves (Canis lupus) do not. Domestic dogs also use humans’ non-verbal social cues to solve problems better than wolves do, even wolves raised in the same manner as domestic dogs. The neuropeptide oxytocin has been implicated in mammalian bonding and non-verbal intelligence and therefore the oxytocinergic system may have evolved in the dog during domestication in such a manner as to enable the...

  16. Oxytocin and vasopressin enhance responsiveness to infant stimuli in adult marmosets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jack H; French, Jeffrey A

    2015-09-01

    The neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) have been implicated in modulating sex-specific responses to offspring in a variety of uniparental and biparental rodent species. Despite the large body of research in rodents, the effects of these hormones in biparental primates are less understood. Marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) belong to a clade of primates with a high incidence of biparental care and also synthesize a structurally distinct variant of OT (proline instead of leucine at the 8th amino acid position; Pro(8)-OT). We examined the roles of the OT and AVP systems in the control of responses to infant stimuli in marmoset monkeys. We administered neuropeptide receptor agonists and antagonists to male and female marmosets, and then exposed them to visual and auditory infant-related and control stimuli. Intranasal Pro(8)-OT decreased latencies to respond to infant stimuli in males, and intranasal AVP decreased latencies to respond to infant stimuli in females. Our study is the first to demonstrate that Pro(8)-OT and AVP alter responsiveness to infant stimuli in a biparental New World monkey. Across species, the effects of OT and AVP on parental behavior appear to vary by species-typical caregiving responsibilities in males and females. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Role of the oxytocin system in amygdala subregions in the regulation of social interest in male and female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumais, Kelly M; Alonso, Andrea G; Bredewold, Remco; Veenema, Alexa H

    2016-08-25

    We previously found that oxytocin (OT) receptor (OTR) binding density in the medial amygdala (MeA) correlated positively with social interest (i.e., the motivation to investigate a conspecific) in male rats, while OTR binding density in the central amygdala (CeA) correlated negatively with social interest in female rats. Here, we determined the causal involvement of OTR in the MeA and CeA in the sex-specific regulation of social interest in adult rats by injecting an OTR antagonist (5ng/0.5μl/side) or OT (100pg/0.5μl/side) before the social interest test (4-min same-sex juvenile exposure). OTR blockade in the CeA decreased social interest in males but not females, while all other treatments had no behavioral effect. To further explore the sex-specific involvement of the OT system in the CeA in social interest, we used in vivo microdialysis to determine possible sex differences in endogenous OT release in the CeA during social interest. Interestingly, males and females showed similar levels of extracellular OT release at baseline and during social interest, suggesting that factors other than local OT release mediate the sex-specific role of CeA-OTR in social interest. Moreover, we found a positive correlation between CeA-OT release and social investigation time in females. This was further reflected by reduced CeA-OT release during social interest in females that expressed low compared to high social interest. We discuss the possibility that this reduction in OT release may be a consequence, rather than a cause, of exposure to a social stimulus. Overall, our findings show for the first time that extracellular OT release in the CeA is similar between males and females and that OTR in the CeA plays a causal role in the regulation of social interest toward juvenile conspecifics in males. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Social preference and maternal defeat-induced social avoidance in virgin female rats: sex differences in involvement of brain oxytocin and vasopressin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukas, Michael; Neumann, Inga D

    2014-08-30

    Research concerning non-reproductive sociability in rodents is mainly restricted to assessing the effects of oxytocin (OXT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) in male rats and mice. Comparable studies on natural social preference and social avoidance in females are substantially lacking. Here, we adapted a behavioral paradigm for monitoring social preference of female rats consisting of two consecutive exposures to either non-social or social stimuli. Further, to induce stimulus-specific social avoidance, female rats were exposed to a single 10-min maternal defeat by a lactating dam. Social preference towards same-sex conspecifics in female rats was shown to be independent of the estrous cycle and even more pronounced than in male rats. Intracerebroventricular (icv) application of OXT, AVP, or their selective receptor antagonists or agonists, did not alter naturally-occurring social preference in female rats. Stimulus-specific social avoidance could be induced by prior exposure to a lactating rat: an effect that could not be reversed/overcome by icv OXT. The female social preference paradigm for rats established in this study detected subtle sex differences in social preference behavior of rats. Further, stimulus-specific social deficits could be induced in female rats using an acute exposure to social defeat - as previously observed in male rodents. Female rats show strong social preference behavior, which can be prevented by social defeat, but does not seem to be regulated by the OXT or AVP systems. Accordingly, icv application of synthetic OXT does not reverse maternal defeat-induced social avoidance in female rats. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. The effects of oxytocine in autism : De werking van oxytocine bij autisme

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, Yvonne; Althaus, Monika; Oosterhoff, Menno; van Balkom, Ingrid; Hoekstra, Pieter J.

    2017-01-01

    Oxytocin is viewed as the hormone of calm, healing and love, and plays an important role in establishing and maintaining social relationships. As autism is characterized by difficulties in social relationships, a dysregulated oxytocin system could possibly be an underlying factor. Our recently

  20. Low-dose oxytocin delivered intranasally with Breath Powered device affects social-cognitive behavior: a randomized four-way crossover trial with nasal cavity dimension assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, D S; Westlye, L T; Rustan, Ø G; Tesli, N; Poppy, C L; Smevik, H; Tesli, M; Røine, M; Mahmoud, R A; Smerud, K T; Djupesland, P G; Andreassen, O A

    2015-07-14

    Despite the promise of intranasal oxytocin (OT) for modulating social behavior, recent work has provided mixed results. This may relate to suboptimal drug deposition achieved with conventional nasal sprays, inter-individual differences in nasal physiology and a poor understanding of how intranasal OT is delivered to the brain in humans. Delivering OT using a novel 'Breath Powered' nasal device previously shown to enhance deposition in intranasal sites targeted for nose-to-brain transport, we evaluated dose-dependent effects on social cognition, compared response with intravenous (IV) administration of OT, and assessed nasal cavity dimensions using acoustic rhinometry. We adopted a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, crossover design, with 16 healthy male adults completing four single-dose treatments (intranasal 8 IU (international units) or 24 IU OT, 1 IU OT IV and placebo). The primary outcome was social cognition measured by emotional ratings of facial images. Secondary outcomes included the pharmacokinetics of OT, vasopressin and cortisol in blood and the association between nasal cavity dimensions and emotional ratings. Despite the fact that all the treatments produced similar plasma OT increases compared with placebo, there was a main effect of treatment on anger ratings of emotionally ambiguous faces. Pairwise comparisons revealed decreased ratings after 8 IU OT in comparison to both placebo and 24 IU OT. In addition, there was an inverse relationship between nasal valve dimensions and anger ratings of ambiguous faces after 8-IU OT treatment. These findings provide support for a direct nose-to-brain effect, independent of blood absorption, of low-dose OT delivered from a Breath Powered device.

  1. Oxytocin and vasopressin effects on the neural response to social cooperation are modulated by sex in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Chunliang; Hackett, Patrick D; DeMarco, Ashley C; Chen, Xu; Stair, Sabrina; Haroon, Ebrahim; Ditzen, Beate; Pagnoni, Giuseppe; Rilling, James K

    2015-12-01

    Recent research has examined the effects of oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) on human social behavior and brain function. However, most participants have been male, while previous research in our lab demonstrated sexually differentiated effects of OT and AVP on the neural response to reciprocated cooperation. Here we extend our previous work by significantly increasing the number of participants to enable the use of more stringent statistical thresholds that permit more precise localization of OT and AVP effects in the brain. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 153 men and 151 women were randomized to receive 24 IU intranasal OT, 20 IU intranasal AVP or placebo. Afterwards, they were imaged with fMRI while playing an iterated Prisoner's Dilemma Game with same-sex partners. Sex differences were observed for effects of OT on the neural response to reciprocated cooperation, such that OT increased the caduate/putamen response among males, whereas it decreased this response among females. Thus, 24 IU OT may increase the reward or salience of positive social interactions among men, while decreasing their reward or salience among women. Similar sex differences were also observed for AVP effects within bilateral insula and right supramarginal gyrus when a more liberal statistical threshold was employed. While our findings support previous suggestions that exogenous nonapeptides may be effective treatments for disorders such as depression and autism spectrum disorder, they caution against uniformly extending such treatments to men and women alike.

  2. Vasopressin and oxytocin receptor systems in the brain: Sex differences and sex-specific regulation of social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumais, Kelly M; Veenema, Alexa H

    2016-01-01

    The neuropeptides vasopressin (VP) and oxytocin (OT) and their receptors in the brain are involved in the regulation of various social behaviors and have emerged as drug targets for the treatment of social dysfunction in several sex-biased neuropsychiatric disorders. Sex differences in the VP and OT systems may therefore be implicated in sex-specific regulation of healthy as well as impaired social behaviors. We begin this review by highlighting the sex differences, or lack of sex differences, in VP and OT synthesis in the brain. We then discuss the evidence showing the presence or absence of sex differences in VP and OT receptors in rodents and humans, as well as showing new data of sexually dimorphic V1a receptor binding in the rat brain. Importantly, we find that there is lack of comprehensive analysis of sex differences in these systems in common laboratory species, and we find that, when sex differences are present, they are highly brain region- and species-specific. Interestingly, VP system parameters (VP and V1aR) are typically higher in males, while sex differences in the OT system are not always in the same direction, often showing higher OT expression in females, but higher OT receptor expression in males. Furthermore, VP and OT receptor systems show distinct and largely non-overlapping expression in the rodent brain, which may cause these receptors to have either complementary or opposing functional roles in the sex-specific regulation of social behavior. Though still in need of further research, we close by discussing how manipulations of the VP and OT systems have given important insights into the involvement of these neuropeptide systems in the sex-specific regulation of social behavior in rodents and humans. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Vasopressin and oxytocin receptor systems in the brain: sex differences and sex-specific regulation of social behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumais, Kelly M.; Veenema, Alexa H.

    2015-01-01

    The neuropeptides vasopressin (VP) and oxytocin (OT) and their receptors in the brain are involved in the regulation of various social behaviors and have emerged as drug targets for the treatment of social dysfunction in several sex-biased neuropsychiatric disorders. Sex differences in the VP and OT systems may therefore be implicated in sex-specific regulation of healthy as well as impaired social behaviors. We begin this review by highlighting the sex differences, or lack of sex differences, in VP and OT synthesis in the brain. We then discuss the evidence showing the presence or absence of sex differences in VP and OT receptors in rodents and humans, as well as showing new data of sexually dimorphic V1a receptor binding in the rat brain. Importantly, we find that there is lack of comprehensive analysis of sex differences in these systems in common laboratory species, and we find that, when sex differences are present, they are highly brain region- and species- specific. Interestingly, VP system parameters (VP and V1aR) are typically higher in males, while sex differences in the OT system are not always in the same direction, often showing higher OT expression in females, but higher OT receptor expression in males. Furthermore, VP and OT receptor systems show distinct and largely non-overlapping expression in the rodent brain, which may cause these receptors to have either complementary or opposing functional roles in the sex-specific regulation of social behavior. Though still in need of further research, we close by discussing how manipulations of the VP and OT systems have given important insights into the involvement of these neuropeptide systems in the sex-specific regulation of social behavior in rodents and humans. PMID:25951955

  4. Sex-specific associations between peripheral oxytocin and emotion perception in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Leah H; Carter, C Sue; Drogos, Lauren; Jamadar, Rhoda; Pournajafi-Nazarloo, Hossein; Sweeney, John A; Maki, Pauline M

    2011-08-01

    We previously reported that higher levels of peripheral oxytocin are associated with lower levels of positive, general, and overall symptoms in women but not in men with schizophrenia. Here we investigate the influence of sex, sex steroid hormone fluctuations, and peripheral oxytocin levels on emotional processing in men and women with schizophrenia. Twenty-two women with schizophrenia and 31 female controls completed the Penn Emotion Acuity Test (PEAT), a facial emotion recognition and perception task, during two menstrual cycle phases: 1) early follicular (Days 2-4; low estrogen/progesterone) and 2) midluteal (Days 20-22; high estrogen/progesterone). Twenty-six males with schizophrenia and 26 male controls completed testing at comparable intervals. We obtained plasma hormone assays of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and oxytocin. No sex differences were noted on the PEAT. Plasma oxytocin levels did not fluctuate across phases of the menstrual cycle. However, female patients and controls more accurately identified facial emotions during the early follicular versus midluteal phase (pmen. Like healthy women, women with schizophrenia demonstrate menstrual-cycle dependent fluctuations in recognizing emotional cues. Like healthy women, female patients with higher levels of oxytocin perceived faces as happier. Future studies need to address whether this sex-specific relationship is associated with trust and other positive emotions, and whether exogenous oxytocin might enhance mood states and social interaction in female or all schizophrenia patients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Oxytocin and Pareidolia Face Detection Using the Visual Search Task. A double blind, placebo-controlled within-subject design study using eye tracking and intranasal oxytocin.

    OpenAIRE

    Winge, Jarle Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Face pareidolia is the human tendency to see illusory human-like faces, for example in random patterns exhibiting configural properties of a face. Past research on humans show that oxytocin has a crucial role in enhancing facial processing. By leading to an increased focus on the face in general, and eyes especially, alter the encoding and conceptual recognition of social stimuli, enhancing sensitivity to hidden emotions in facial expressions, and enhancing the ability to interpret the fac...

  6. Oxytocin Promotes Facial Emotion Recognition and Amygdala Reactivity in Adults with Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domes, Gregor; Kumbier, Ekkehardt; Heinrichs, Markus; Herpertz, Sabine C

    2014-01-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin has recently been shown to enhance eye gaze and emotion recognition in healthy men. Here, we report a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that examined the neural and behavioral effects of a single dose of intranasal oxytocin on emotion recognition in individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS), a clinical condition characterized by impaired eye gaze and facial emotion recognition. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether oxytocin would enhance emotion recognition from facial sections of the eye vs the mouth region and modulate regional activity in brain areas associated with face perception in both adults with AS, and a neurotypical control group. Intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin improved performance in a facial emotion recognition task in individuals with AS. This was linked to increased left amygdala reactivity in response to facial stimuli and increased activity in the neural network involved in social cognition. Our data suggest that the amygdala, together with functionally associated cortical areas mediate the positive effect of oxytocin on social cognitive functioning in AS. PMID:24067301

  7. Genetic Imaging of the Association of Oxytocin Receptor Gene (OXTR Polymorphisms with Positive Maternal Parenting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalina J. Michalska

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Well-validated models of maternal behavior in small-brain mammals posit a central role of oxytocin in parenting, by reducing stress and enhancing the reward value of social interactions with offspring. In contrast, human studies are only beginning to gain insights into how oxytocin modulates maternal behavior and affiliation. Methods: To explore associations between oxytocin receptor genes and maternal parenting behavior in humans, we conducted a genetic imaging study of women selected to exhibit a wide range of observed parenting when their children were 4-6 years old. Results: In response to child stimuli during functional magnetic resonance imaging, hemodynamic responses in brain regions that mediate affect, reward, and social behavior were significantly correlated with observed positive parenting. Furthermore, single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs53576 and rs1042778 in the gene encoding the oxytocin receptor were significantly associated with both positive parenting and hemodynamic responses to child stimuli in orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus. Conclusions: These findings contribute to the emerging literature on the role of oxytocin in human social behavior and support the feasibility of tracing biological pathways from genes to neural regions to positive maternal parenting behaviors in humans using genetic imaging methods.

  8. The moderating role of an oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism in the relation between unsupportive social interactions and coping profiles: Implications for depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Opal Arilla Mcinnis

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a hormone that is thought to influence prosocial behaviors and may be important in modulating responses to both positive and negative social interactions. Indeed, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR has been associated with decreased trust, empathy, optimism and social support seeking, which are important components of coping with stressors. In the current study, conducted among undergraduate students (N=225, it was shown that parental and peer social support was related to fewer depressive symptoms through elevated problem-focused coping and lower emotion-focused coping, and these effects were independent of the OXTR polymorphism. Unsupportive social interactions from parents were associated with more severe depressive symptoms through the greater use of emotion-focused coping, and this relation was moderated by the OXTR genotype. Specifically, individuals who carried the polymorphism on one or both of their alleles demonstrated increased emotion-focused coping following unsupportive responses compared to those without the polymorphism. Likewise, lower problem-focused coping mediated the relation between parental and peer unsupportive responses to depressive symptoms, but this mediated relation was only evident among carriers of the polymorphism. These findings suggest that carrying this OXTR polymorphism might favor disadvantageous coping styles in the face of negative social interactions, which in turn are linked to poor mood. Regardless of genotype, parental and peer social support are fundamental in determining stress-related coping and well-being.

  9. Oxytocin mediates rodent social memory within the lateral septum and the medial amygdala depending on the relevance of the social stimulus: male juvenile versus female adult conspecifics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukas, Michael; Toth, Iulia; Veenema, Alexa H; Neumann, Inga D

    2013-06-01

    Brain oxytocin (OXT) plays an important role in short-term social memory in laboratory rodents. Here we monitored local release of OXT and its functional involvement in the maintenance and retrieval of social memory during the social discrimination test. We further assessed, if the local effects of OXT within the medial amygdala (MeA) and lateral septum (LS) on social discrimination abilities were dependent on the biological relevance of the social stimulus, thus comparing male juvenile versus adult female conspecifics. OXT release was increased in the LS of male rats during the retrieval, but not during the acquisition or maintenance, of social memory for male juvenile stimuli. Blockade of OXT activity by intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of a specific OXT receptor antagonist (OXTR-A, rats: 0.75 μg/5 μl, mice: 2 μg/2 μl) immediately after acquisition of social memory impaired the maintenance of social memory, and consequently discrimination abilities during retrieval of social memory. In contrast, ICV OXTR-A was without effect when administered 20 min prior to retrieval of social memory in both species. Non-social memory measured in the object discrimination test was not affected by ICV OXTR-A in male mice, indicating that brain OXT is mainly required for memory formation in a social context. The biological relevance of the social stimulus seems to importantly determine social memory abilities, as male rats recognized a previously encountered female adult stimulus for at least 2h (versus 60 min for male juveniles), with a region-dependent contribution of endogenous OXT; while bilateral administration of OXTR-A into the MeA (0.1 μg/1 μl) impaired social memory for adult females only, administration of OXTR-A into the LS via retrodialysis (10 μg/ml, 1.0 μl/min) impaired social memory for both male juveniles and female adults. Overall, these results indicate that brain OXT is a critical mediator of social memory in male rodents and that, depending

  10. Oxytocin, Dopamine, and the Amygdala: A Neurofunctional Model of Social Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Rosenfeld, Andrew J.; Lieberman, Jeffrey A.; Jarskog, L. Fredrik

    2010-01-01

    Until recently, the social cognitive impairment in schizophrenia has been underappreciated and remains essentially untreated. Deficits in emotional processing, social perception and knowledge, theory of mind, and attributional bias may contribute to functional social cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. The amygdala has been implicated as a key component of social cognitive circuitry in both animal and human studies. In addition, structural and functional studies of schizophrenia reproduci...

  11. Plasma oxytocin and personality traits in psychiatric outpatients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendix, Marie; Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin; Petersson, Maria; Gustavsson, Petter; Svanborg, Pär; Åsberg, Marie; Jokinen, Jussi

    2015-07-01

    The oxytocin system is regarded as being of relevance for social interaction. In spite of this, very few studies have investigated the relationship between oxytocin and personality traits in clinical psychiatric populations. We assessed the relationship between personality traits and plasma oxytocin levels in a population of 101 medication-free psychiatric outpatients (men = 37, women = 64). We used the Karolinska Scale of Personality (KSP) and diagnostic and symptomatic testing. Plasma oxytocin levels were analysed with a specific radioimmunoassay at inclusion and after one month for testing of stability. Plasma oxytocin levels were stable over time and did not differ between patients with or without personality disorders, nor were they related to severity of depressive or anxiety symptoms. The KSP factors Impulsiveness and Negative Emotionality were significant independent predictors of plasma oxytocin. A subscale analysis of these personality factors showed significant positive correlations between baseline plasma oxytocin and the KSP subscales monotony avoidance and psychic anxiety. The significant association between the KSP factor Impulsiveness and oxytocin levels observed at baseline was observed also one month later in men. These findings suggest that personality traits such as Impulsiveness and Negative emotionality which are linked to social functioning in several psychiatric disorders seem to be associated with endogenous plasma oxytocin levels. These variations in oxytocin levels might have an impact on social sensitivity or social motivation with possible gender differences. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of Oxytocin Administration on Receiving Help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human, Lauren J; Woolley, Joshua D; Mendes, Wendy Berry

    2017-11-27

    Receiving help can be a "mixed blessing." Despite the many psychosocial benefits it can carry, it sometimes has negative psychological consequences, such as loss in self-esteem or enhanced guilt. It is, therefore, important to understand the factors that modify responses to receiving help from others. We explored the role of the hormone oxytocin (OT) on affective and social responses to receiving help, given the putative role of OT in social bonding and attunement. To this end, we manipulated whether help was received from a same-sex interaction partner (confederate) versus a control condition, crossed with a double-blind administration of intranasal OT (vs. placebo), and examined subjective and observer-rated participant responses to help. We observed significant interactions between OT and the help manipulation. In the placebo condition, receiving help from the interaction partner compared with the control condition had negative consequences, such that participants reported greater negative affect and came to view themselves and their interaction partners more negatively after interacting together on several tasks. What is important, however, is that OT administration buffered against these negative subjective responses to receiving help. Further, outside observers rated participants who received OT administration as expressing greater happiness and gratitude in response to help, relative to those who received placebo. In sum, in the context of receiving help from a stranger, oxytocin administration fostered more positive affective and social responses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Sex differences in the neural and behavioral response to intranasal oxytocin and vasopressin during human social interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K; Demarco, Ashley C; Hackett, Patrick D; Chen, Xu; Gautam, Pritam; Stair, Sabrina; Haroon, Ebrahim; Thompson, Richmond; Ditzen, Beate; Patel, Rajan; Pagnoni, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Both oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are known to modulate social behavior, and dysfunction in both systems has been postulated as a potential cause of certain psychiatric disorders that involve social behavioral deficits. In particular, there is growing interest in intranasal OT as a potential treatment for certain psychiatric disorders, and preliminary pre-clinical and clinical studies suggest efficacy in alleviating some of the associated symptoms. However, the vast majority of research participants in these studies have been male, and there is evidence for sexually differentiated effects of nonapeptides in both humans and non-human animals. To date, no study has investigated the effect of intranasal OT on brain function in human males and females within the same paradigm. Previously, in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind fMRI study, we reported effects of intranasal OT and AVP on behavior and brain activity of human males as they played an interactive social game known as the Prisoner's Dilemma Game. Here, we present findings from an identical study in human females, and compare these with our findings from males. Overall, we find that both behavioral and neural responses to intranasal OT and AVP are highly sexually differentiated. In women, AVP increased conciliatory behavior, and both OT and AVP caused women to treat computer partners more like humans. In men, AVP increased reciprocation of cooperation from both human and computer partners. However, no specific drug effects on behavior were shared between men and women. During cooperative interactions, both OT and AVP increased brain activity in men within areas rich in OT and AVP receptors and in areas playing a key role in reward, social bonding, arousal and memory (e.g., the striatum, basal forebrain, insula, amygdala and hippocampus), whereas OT and AVP either had no effect or in some cases actually decreased brain activity in these regions in women. OT treatment rendered neural responses

  14. Oxytocin modulates hemodynamic responses to monetary incentives in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickey, Brian J; Heffernan, Joseph; Heisel, Curtis; Peciña, Marta; Hsu, David T; Zubieta, Jon-Kar; Love, Tiffany M

    2016-12-01

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide widely recognized for its role in regulating social and reproductive behavior. Increasing evidence from animal models suggests that oxytocin also modulates reward circuitry in non-social contexts, but evidence in humans is lacking. We examined the effects of oxytocin administration on reward circuit function in 18 healthy men as they performed a monetary incentive task. The blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in the context of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of intranasal oxytocin. We found that oxytocin increases the BOLD signal in the midbrain (substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area) during the late phase of the hemodynamic response to incentive stimuli. Oxytocin's effects on midbrain responses correlated positively with its effects on positive emotional state. We did not detect an effect of oxytocin on responses in the nucleus accumbens. Whole-brain analyses revealed that oxytocin attenuated medial prefrontal cortical deactivation specifically during anticipation of loss. Our findings demonstrate that intranasal administration of oxytocin modulates human midbrain and medial prefrontal function during motivated behavior. These findings suggest that endogenous oxytocin is a neurochemical mediator of reward behaviors in humans-even in a non-social context-and that the oxytocinergic system is a potential target of pharmacotherapy for psychiatric disorders that involve dysfunction of reward circuitry.

  15. Oxytocin and Estrogen Receptor β in the Brain: An Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra eAcevedo-Rodriguez

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a neuropeptide synthesized primarily by neurons of the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus. These neurons have axons that project into the posterior pituitary and release oxytocin into the bloodstream to promote labor and lactation; however, oxytocin neurons also project to other brain areas where it plays a role in numerous brain functions. Oxytocin binds to the widely expressed oxytocin receptor, and, in doing so, it regulates homeostatic processes, social recognition and fear conditioning. In addition to these functions, oxytocin decreases neuroendocrine stress signaling and anxiety-related and depression-like behaviors. Steroid hormones differentially modulate stress responses and alter oxytocin receptor expression. In particular, estrogen receptor β activation has been found to both reduce anxiety-related behaviors and increase oxytocin peptide transcription, suggesting a role for oxytocin in this estrogen receptor β mediated anxiolytic effect. Further research is needed to identify modulators of oxytocin signaling and the pathways utilized and to elucidate molecular mechanisms controlling oxytocin expression to allow better therapeutic manipulations of this system in patient populations.

  16. The effect of intranasal oxytocin on perceiving and understanding emotion on the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Christopher; Ellenbogen, Mark A; Linnen, Anne-Marie

    2014-02-01

    Evidence suggests that intranasal oxytocin enhances the perception of emotion in facial expressions during standard emotion identification tasks. However, it is not clear whether this effect is desirable in people who do not show deficits in emotion perception. That is, a heightened perception of emotion in faces could lead to "oversensitivity" to the emotions of others in nonclinical participants. The goal of this study was to assess the effects of intranasal oxytocin on emotion perception using ecologically valid social and nonsocial visual tasks. Eighty-two participants (42 women) self-administered a 24 IU dose of intranasal oxytocin or a placebo in a double-blind, randomized experiment and then completed the perceiving and understanding emotion components of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. In this test, emotion identification accuracy is based on agreement with a normative sample. As expected, participants administered intranasal oxytocin rated emotion in facial stimuli as expressing greater emotional intensity than those given a placebo. Consequently, accurate identification of emotion in faces, based on agreement with a normative sample, was impaired in the oxytocin group relative to placebo. No such effect was observed for tests using nonsocial stimuli. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that intranasal oxytocin enhances the salience of social stimuli in the environment, but not nonsocial stimuli. The present findings support a growing literature showing that the effects of intranasal oxytocin on social cognition can be negative under certain circumstances, in this case promoting "oversensitivity" to emotion in faces in healthy people. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  17. Cyclic ADP-ribose and heat regulate oxytocin release via CD38 and TRPM2 in the hypothalamus during social or psychological stress in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Zhong

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Hypothalamic oxytocin (OT is released into the brain by cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR with or without depolarizing stimulation. Previously, we showed that the intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i that seems to trigger OT release can be elevated by -NAD+, cADPR, and ADP in mouse oxytocinergic neurons. As these -NAD+ metabolites activate warm-sensitive TRPM2 cation channels, when the incubation temperature is increased, the [Ca2+]i in hypothalamic neurons is elevated. However, it has not been determined whether OT release is facilitated by heat in vitro or hyperthermia in vivo in combination with cADPR. Furthermore, it has not been examined whether CD38 and TRPM2 exert their functions on OT release during stress or stress-induced hyperthermia in relation to the anxiolytic roles and social behaviors of OT under stress conditions. Here, we report that OT release from the isolated hypothalami of male mice in culture was enhanced by extracellular application of cADPR or increasing the incubation temperature from 35°C to 38.5°C, and simultaneous stimulation showed a greater effect. This release was inhibited by a cADPR-dependent ryanodine receptor inhibitor and a nonspecific TRPM2 inhibitor. The facilitated release by heat and cADPR was suppressed in the hypothalamus isolated from CD38 knockout mice and CD38- or TRPM2-knockdown mice. In the course of these experiments, we noted that OT release differed markedly between individual mice under stress with group housing. That is, when male mice received cage-switch stress and eliminated due to their social subclass, significantly higher levels of OT release were found in subordinates compared with ordinates. In mice exposed to anxiety stress in an open field, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF OT level increased transiently at 5 minutes after exposure, and the rectal temperature also increased from 36.6°C to 37.8°C. OT levels in the CSF of mice with lipopolysaccharide-induced fever (+0.8

  18. Gender differences in oxytocin-associated disruption of decision bias during emotion perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, Spencer K; Hoge, Elizabeth A; Fischer, Laura E; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Simon, Naomi M

    2014-09-30

    Oxytocin is associated with differences in the perception of and response to socially mediated information, such as facial expressions. Across studies, however, oxytocin׳s effect on emotion perception has been inconsistent. Outside the laboratory, emotion perception involves interpretation of perceptual uncertainty and assessment of behavioral risk. An account of these factors is largely missing from studies of oxytocin׳s effect on emotion perception and might explain inconsistent results across studies. Of relevance, studies of oxytocin׳s effect on learning and decision-making indicate that oxytocin attenuates risk aversion. We used the probability of encountering angry faces and the cost of misidentifying them as not angry to create a risky environment wherein bias to categorize faces as angry would maximize point earnings. Consistent with an underestimation of the factors creating risk (i.e., encounter rate and cost), men given oxytocin exhibited a worse (i.e., less liberal) response bias than men given placebo. Oxytocin did not influence women׳s performance. These results suggest that oxytocin may impair men׳s ability to adapt to changes in risk and uncertainty when introduced to novel or changing social environments. Because oxytocin also influences behavior in non-social realms, oxytocin pharmacotherapy could have unintended consequences (i.e., risk-prone decision-making) while nonetheless normalizing pathological social interaction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Hormones, stress, and cognition: The effects of glucocorticoids and oxytocin on memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Michelle M.

    2014-01-01

    Hormones have nuanced effects on learning and memory processes. The degree and direction of the effect (e.g., is memory impaired or enhanced?) depends on the dose, type and stage of memory, and type of material being learned, among other factors. This review will focus on two specific topics within the realm of effects of hormones on memory: (1) How glucocorticoids (the output hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) affect long-term memory consolidation, retrieval, and working memory, with a focus on neural mechanisms and effects of emotion; and (2) How oxytocin affects memory, with emphasis on a speculative hypothesis that oxytocin might exert its myriad effects on human social cognition and behavior via impacts on more general cognitive processes. Oxytocin-glucocorticoid interactions will be briefly addressed. These effects of hormones on memory will also be considered from an evolutionary perspective. PMID:25893159

  20. Oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) variant rs1042778 moderates the influence of family environment on changes in perceived social support over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobewall, Henrik; Hakulinen, Christian; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Seppälä, Ilkka; Lehtimäki, Terho; Raitakari, Olli T; Hintsanen, Mirka

    2018-08-01

    Lack of social support is an established risk factor across health outcomes, making it important to examine its family environmental and genetic determinants. In a 27-year follow-up of the Young Finns Study (N = 2341), we examined with a latent growth curve model whether genes involved in the oxytocin signaling pathway-namely, oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) variants rs1042778, rs2254298, and rs53576-moderate the effect of early-life social experiences on perceived social support across the life span. Mothers reported the emotional warmth and acceptance towards their children at baseline when the participants were from 3 to 18 years old (1980). Perceived family support and support from friends and peripheral sources were assessed in five follow-ups 18 years apart (1989-2007). Maternal emotional warmth and acceptance predicted the initial level of perceived social support across subscales, while the rate of change in family support was affected by the family environment only if participants carried the T-allele of OXTR rs1042778. This gene-environment interaction was not found for the rate of change in support from friends and peripheral sources and we also did not find associations between latent growth in perceived social support and OXTR variants rs53576 and rs2254298. Selective attrition in perceived social support, maternal emotional warmth and acceptance, gender, and SES. Family environment was assessed by a non-standardized measure. OXTR rs1042778 polymorphism seems to contribute to changes in perceived family support in that way that some individuals (T-allele carriers) 'recover', to some extent, from the effects of early-life social experiences, whereas others (G/G genotype carriers) do not. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Oxytocin improves emotion recognition for older males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Anna; Ruffman, Ted; Murray, Janice E; Glue, Paul

    2014-10-01

    Older adults (≥60 years) perform worse than young adults (18-30 years) when recognizing facial expressions of emotion. The hypothesized cause of these changes might be declines in neurotransmitters that could affect information processing within the brain. In the present study, we examined the neuropeptide oxytocin that functions to increase neurotransmission. Research suggests that oxytocin benefits the emotion recognition of less socially able individuals. Men tend to have lower levels of oxytocin and older men tend to have worse emotion recognition than older women; therefore, there is reason to think that older men will be particularly likely to benefit from oxytocin. We examined this idea using a double-blind design, testing 68 older and 68 young adults randomly allocated to receive oxytocin nasal spray (20 international units) or placebo. Forty-five minutes afterward they completed an emotion recognition task assessing labeling accuracy for angry, disgusted, fearful, happy, neutral, and sad faces. Older males receiving oxytocin showed improved emotion recognition relative to those taking placebo. No differences were found for older females or young adults. We hypothesize that oxytocin facilitates emotion recognition by improving neurotransmission in the group with the worst emotion recognition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Involvement of the oxytocin system in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the sex-specific regulation of social recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumais, Kelly M.; Alonso, Andrea G.; Immormino, Marisa A.; Bredewold, Remco; Veenema, Alexa H.

    2015-01-01

    Sex differences in the oxytocin (OT) system in the brain may explain why OT often regulates social behaviors in sex-specific ways. However, a link between sex differences in the OT system and sex-specific regulation of social behavior has not been tested. Here, we determined whether sex differences in the OT receptor (OTR) or in OT release in the posterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (pBNST) mediates sex-specific regulation of social recognition in rats. We recently showed that, compared to female rats, male rats have a three-fold higher OTR binding density in the pBNST, a sexually dimorphic area implicated in the regulation of social behaviors. We now demonstrate that OTR antagonist (5 ng/0.5 μl/side) administration into the pBNST impairs social recognition in both sexes, while OT (100 pg/0.5 μl/side) administration into the pBNST prolongs the duration of social recognition in males only. These effects seem specific to social recognition, as neither treatment altered total social investigation time in either sex. Moreover, baseline OT release in the pBNST, as measured with in vivo microdialysis, did not differ between the sexes. However, males showed higher OT release in the pBNST during social recognition compared to females. These findings suggest a sex-specific role of the OT system in the pBNST in the regulation of social recognition. PMID:26630388

  3. Oxytocin modulates hemodynamic responses to monetary incentives in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickey, Brian J.; Heffernan, Joseph; Heisel, Curtis; Peciña, Marta; Hsu, David T.; Zubieta, Jon-Kar; Love, Tiffany M.

    2016-01-01

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide widely recognized for its role in regulating social and reproductive behavior. Increasing evidence from animal models suggests that oxytocin also modulates reward circuitry in non-social contexts, but evidence in humans is lacking. Here we examined the effects of oxytocin administration on reward circuit function in 18 healthy men as they performed a monetary incentive task. The blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in the context of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of intranasal oxytocin. We found that oxytocin increases the BOLD signal in the midbrain (substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area) during the late phase of the hemodynamic response to incentive stimuli. Oxytocin’s effects on midbrain responses correlated positively with its effects on positive emotional state. We did not detect an effect of oxytocin on responses in the nucleus accumbens. Whole-brain analyses revealed that oxytocin attenuated medial prefrontal cortical deactivation specifically during anticipation of loss. Our findings demonstrate that intranasal administration of oxytocin modulates human midbrain and medial prefrontal function during motivated behavior. These findings suggest that endogenous oxytocin is a neurochemical mediator of reward behaviors in humans – even in a non-social context – and that the oxytocinergic system is a potential target of pharmacotherapy for psychiatric disorders that involve dysfunction of reward circuitry. PMID:27614896

  4. Oxytocin and Psychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gokce Nur Say

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that plays critical role in mother-infant bonding, pair bonding and prosocial behaviors. Several neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, alcohol/substance addiction, aggression, suicide, eating disorders and personality disorders show abnormalities of oxytocin system. These findings have given rise to the studies searching therapeutic use of oxytocin for psychi-atric disorders. The studies of oxytocin interventions in psychiatric disorders yielded potentially promising findings. This paper reviews the role of oxytocin in emotions, behavior and its effects in psychiatric disorders. [Psikiyatride Guncel Yaklasimlar - Current Approaches in Psychiatry 2016; 8(2: 102-113

  5. Microbial symbionts accelerate wound healing via the neuropeptide hormone oxytocin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theofilos Poutahidis

    Full Text Available Wound healing capability is inextricably linked with diverse aspects of physical fitness ranging from recovery after minor injuries and surgery to diabetes and some types of cancer. Impact of the microbiome upon the mammalian wound healing process is poorly understood. We discover that supplementing the gut microbiome with lactic acid microbes in drinking water accelerates the wound-healing process to occur in half the time required for matched control animals. Further, we find that Lactobacillus reuteri enhances wound-healing properties through up-regulation of the neuropeptide hormone oxytocin, a factor integral in social bonding and reproduction, by a vagus nerve-mediated pathway. Bacteria-triggered oxytocin serves to activate host CD4+Foxp3+CD25+ immune T regulatory cells conveying transplantable wound healing capacity to naive Rag2-deficient animals. This study determined oxytocin to be a novel component of a multi-directional gut microbe-brain-immune axis, with wound-healing capability as a previously unrecognized output of this axis. We also provide experimental evidence to support long-standing medical traditions associating diet, social practices, and the immune system with efficient recovery after injury, sustained good health, and longevity.

  6. Oxytocin reduces alcohol consumption in prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, J R; Wenner, S M; Freestone, D M; Romaine, C C; Parian, M C; Christian, S M; Bohidar, A E; Ndem, J R; Vogel, I R; O'Kane, C M

    2017-10-01

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) negatively affects millions of people every year in the United States, and effective treatments for AUD are still needed. The neuropeptide oxytocin has shown promise for reducing alcohol drinking in mice and rats. Because oxytocin also plays a key role in complex prosocial behaviors like bonding and attachment, we tested the effect of oxytocin on alcohol drinking in prairie voles, a species that both consumes high amounts of alcohol and forms oxytocin dependent social bonds in a manner similar to humans. Oxytocin treatment (1.0, 3.0, and 10.0mg/kg, i.p.) reduced alcohol consumption in male and female prairie voles in animals that had access to 15% ethanol vs water every other day for 12 alcohol drinking sessions. In animals with continuous access to 15% alcohol and water, oxytocin (3.0mg/kg) reduced alcohol consumption only in the first hour of access after treatment, with no significant effects on consumption over the 24-hr period. In an open field locomotor test, oxytocin (1.0, 3.0, and 10.0mg/kg, i.p.) did not affect overall locomotor activity; however, ethanol (2g/kg, i.p.) increased locomotor activity in males and females, and produced anxiolytic effects (increased time in the center of an open field) in females only. Because prairie voles have been shown to match the alcohol consumption of their cage mate, we evaluated the relationship between cage mates' alcohol drinking. There was an overall pattern of social facilitation (consumption by one cage mate predicted consumption by the other cage mate); however, we found significant individual differences across cages in which many cages did not show significant matching, and, in some cases one cage mate's consumption negatively predicted the other cage mate's consumption. Overall, our data provide support for the potential of oxytocin as a treatment to reduce alcohol consumption. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Oxytocin: the neuropeptide of love reveals some of its secrets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Inga D

    2007-04-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin is synthesized in the brain and released from neurohypophyseal terminals into the blood and within defined brain regions that regulate emotional, cognitive, and social behaviors. A recent study of CD38-/- mice (Jin et al., 2007) has demonstrated an essential role for the transmembrane receptor CD38 in secretion of oxytocin into the blood.

  8. genetic overexpression of NR2B subunit enhances social recognition memory for different strains and species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Stephanie A; Tsien, Joe Z

    2012-01-01

    The ability to learn and remember conspecifics is essential for the establishment and maintenance of social groups. Many animals, including humans, primates and rodents, depend on stable social relationships for survival. Social learning and social recognition have become emerging areas of interest for neuroscientists but are still not well understood. It has been established that several hormones play a role in the modulation of social recognition including estrogen, oxytocin and arginine vasopression. Relatively few studies have investigated how social recognition might be improved or enhanced. In this study, we investigate the role of the NMDA receptor in social recognition memory, specifically the consequences of altering the ratio of the NR2B:NR2A subunits in the forebrain regions in social behavior. We produced transgenic mice in which the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor was overexpressed postnatally in the excitatory neurons of the forebrain areas including the cortex, amygdala and hippocampus. We investigated the ability of both our transgenic animals and their wild-type littermate to learn and remember juvenile conspecifics using both 1-hr and 24-hr memory tests. Our experiments show that the wild-type animals and NR2B transgenic mice preformed similarly in the 1-hr test. However, transgenic mice showed better performances in 24-hr tests of recognizing animals of a different strain or animals of a different species. We conclude that NR2B overexpression in the forebrain enhances social recognition memory for different strains and animal species.

  9. Clinical trial of modulatory effects of oxytocin treatment on higher-order social cognition in autism spectrum disorder: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind and crossover trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preckel, Katrin; Kanske, Philipp; Singer, Tania; Paulus, Frieder M; Krach, Sören

    2016-09-21

    Autism spectrum disorders are neurodevelopmental conditions with severe impairments in social communication and interaction. Pioneering research suggests that oxytocin can improve motivation, cognition and attention to social cues in patients with autism spectrum disorder. The aim of this clinical trial is to characterize basic mechanisms of action of acute oxytocin treatment on neural levels and to relate these to changes in different levels of socio-affective and -cognitive functioning. This clinical study is a randomized, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled, multicenter functional magnetic resonance imaging study with two arms. A sample of 102 male autism spectrum disorder patients, diagnosed with Infantile Autistic Disorder (F84.0 according to ICD-10), Asperger Syndrome (F84.5 according to ICD-10), or Atypical Autism (F84.1 according to ICD-10) will be recruited and will receive oxytocin and placebo nasal spray on two different days. Autism spectrum disorder patients will be randomized to determine who receives oxytocin on the first and who on the second visit. Healthy control participants will be recruited and case-control matched to the autism spectrum disorder patients. The primary outcome will be neural network activity, measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging while participants perform socio-affective and -cognitive tasks. Behavioral markers such as theory of mind accuracy ratings and response times will be assessed as secondary outcomes in addition to physiological measures such as skin conductance. Trait measures for alexithymia, interpersonal reactivity, and social anxiety will also be evaluated. Additionally, we will analyze the effect of oxytocin receptor gene variants and how these potentially influence the primary and secondary outcome measures. Functional magnetic resonance imaging assessments will take place at two time points which will be scheduled at least two weeks apart to ensure a sufficient wash-out time after oxytocin

  10. The effect of oxytocin on group formation and strategic thinking in men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydogan, Gökhan; Jobst, Andrea; Loy, Fabian; Dehning, Sandra; Zill, Peter; Müller, Norbert; Kocher, Martin

    2018-04-01

    Decision-making in groups is a remarkable and decisive element of human societies. Humans are able to organize themselves in groups, engage in collaborative decision-making processes and arrive at a binding agreement, even in the absence of unanimous consent. However, the transfer of decision-making autonomy requires a willingness to deliberately expose oneself to the decisions of others. A lack of trust in the abilities of others or of the underlying decision-making process, i.e. public trust, can lead to a breakdown of organizations in political or economic domains. Recent studies indicate that the biological basis of trust on an individual level is related to Oxytocin, an endogenous neuropeptide and hormone, which is also associated with pro-social behavior and positive conflict resolution. However, little is known about the effects of Oxytocin on the inclination of individuals to form or join groups and to deliberately engage in collaborative decision-making processes. Here, we show that intranasal administration of Oxytocin (n = 60) compared to placebo (n = 60) in males causes an adverse effect on the choice for forming groups in the presence of a competitive environment. In particular, Oxytocin negatively affects the willingness to work collaboratively in a p-Beauty contest game, whereas the effect is most pronounced for participants with relatively high strategic sophistication. Since our data provide initial evidence that Oxytocin has a positive effect on strategic thinking and performance in the p-Beauty contest game, we argue that the adverse effect on group formation might be rooted in an enhanced strategic sophistication of participants treated with Oxytocin. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: the possible role of oxytocin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea eBeetz

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available During the last decade it has become more widely accepted that pet-ownership and animal-assistance in therapy and education may have a multitude of positive effects on humans. Here, we review the evidence from 67 original studies on human-animal interactions (HAI which met our inclusion criteria with regard to sample size, peer-review and standard scientific research design. Among the well-documented effects of HAI in humans of different ages, with and without special medical or mental health conditions are benefits for: social attention, social behavior, interpersonal interactions and mood; stress-related parameters such as cortisol, heart rate, and blood pressure; self-reported fear and anxiety; and mental and physical health, especially cardiovascular diseases. Limited evidence exists for positive effects of HAI on: reduction of stress-related parameters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine; improvement of immune system functioning and pain management; increased trustworthiness of and trust towards other persons; reduced aggression; enhanced empathy and improved learning. We propose that the activation of the oxytocin system plays a key role in the majority of these reported psychological and psychophysiological effects of HAI. Oxytocin and HAI effects largely overlap, as documented by research in both, humans and animals, and first studies found that HAI affects the oxytocin system. As a common underlying mechanism, the activation of the oxytocin system does not only provide an explanation, but also allows an integrative view of the different effects of HAI.

  12. Involvement of the oxytocin system in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the sex-specific regulation of social recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumais, Kelly M; Alonso, Andrea G; Immormino, Marisa A; Bredewold, Remco; Veenema, Alexa H

    2016-02-01

    Sex differences in the oxytocin (OT) system in the brain may explain why OT often regulates social behaviors in sex-specific ways. However, a link between sex differences in the OT system and sex-specific regulation of social behavior has not been tested. Here, we determined whether sex differences in the OT receptor (OTR) or in OT release in the posterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (pBNST) mediates sex-specific regulation of social recognition in rats. We recently showed that, compared to female rats, male rats have a three-fold higher OTR binding density in the pBNST, a sexually dimorphic area implicated in the regulation of social behaviors. We now demonstrate that OTR antagonist (5 ng/0.5 μl/side) administration into the pBNST impairs social recognition in both sexes, while OT (100 pg/0.5 μl/side) administration into the pBNST prolongs the duration of social recognition in males only. These effects seem specific to social recognition, as neither treatment altered total social investigation time in either sex. Moreover, baseline OT release in the pBNST, as measured with in vivo microdialysis, did not differ between the sexes. However, males showed higher OT release in the pBNST during social recognition compared to females. These findings suggest a sex-specific role of the OT system in the pBNST in the regulation of social recognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Oxytocin and Aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Trynke R; Neumann, Inga D

    2017-09-02

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has a solid reputation as a facilitator of social interactions such as parental and pair bonding, trust, and empathy. The many results supporting a pro-social role of OT have generated the hypothesis that impairments in the endogenous OT system may lead to antisocial behavior, most notably social withdrawal or pathological aggression. If this is indeed the case, administration of exogenous OT could be the "serenic" treatment that psychiatrists have for decades been searching for.In the present review, we list and discuss the evidence for an endogenous "hypo-oxytocinergic state" underlying aggressive and antisocial behavior, derived from both animal and human studies. We furthermore examine the reported effects of synthetic OT administration on aggression in rodents and humans.Although the scientific findings listed in this review support, in broad lines, the link between a down-regulated or impaired OT system activity and increased aggression, the anti-aggressive effects of synthetic OT are less straightforward and require further research. The rather complex picture that emerges adds to the ongoing debate questioning the unidirectional pro-social role of OT, as well as the strength of the effects of intranasal OT administration in humans.

  14. Visual systemizing preference in children with autism: A randomized controlled trial of intranasal oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strathearn, Lane; Kim, Sohye; Bastian, D Anthony; Jung, Jennifer; Iyengar, Udita; Martinez, Sheila; Goin-Kochel, Robin P; Fonagy, Peter

    2018-05-01

    Several studies have suggested that the neuropeptide oxytocin may enhance aspects of social communication in autism. Little is known, however, about its effects on nonsocial manifestations, such as restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. In the empathizing-systemizing theory of autism, social deficits are described along the continuum of empathizing ability, whereas nonsocial aspects are characterized in terms of an increased preference for patterned or rule-based systems, called systemizing. We therefore developed an automated eye-tracking task to test whether children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to matched controls display a visual preference for more highly organized and structured (systemized) real-life images. Then, as part of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, we examined the effect of intranasal oxytocin on systemizing preferences in 16 male children with ASD, compared with 16 matched controls. Participants viewed 14 slides, each containing four related pictures (e.g., of people, animals, scenes, or objects) that differed primarily on the degree of systemizing. Visual systemizing preference was defined in terms of the fixation time and count for each image. Unlike control subjects who showed no gaze preference, individuals with ASD preferred to fixate on more highly systemized pictures. Intranasal oxytocin eliminated this preference in ASD participants, who now showed a similar response to control subjects on placebo. In contrast, control participants increased their visual preference for more systemized images after receiving oxytocin versus placebo. These results suggest that, in addition to its effects on social communication, oxytocin may play a role in some of the nonsocial manifestations of autism.

  15. A functional MRI study on how oxytocin affects decision making in social dilemmas: Cooperate as long as it pays off, aggress only when you think you can win.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Bruno; Declerck, Carolyn H; Boone, Christophe; Parizel, Paul M

    2017-08-01

    We investigate if the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT), known to moderate social behaviour, influences strategic decision making in social dilemmas by facilitating the integration of incentives and social cues. Participants (N=29) played two economic games with different incentive structures in the fMRI scanner after receiving OT or placebo (following a double blind, within-subject design). Pictures of angry or neutral faces (the social cues) were displayed alongside the game matrices. Consistent with a priori hypotheses based on the modulatory role of OT in mesolimbic dopaminergic brain regions, the results indicate that, compared to placebo, OT significantly increases the activation of the nucleus accumbens during an assurance (coordination) game that rewards mutual cooperation. This increases appetitive motivation so that cooperative behaviour is facilitated for risk averse individuals. OT also significantly attenuates the amygdala, thereby reducing the orienting response to social cues. The corresponding change in behaviour is only apparent in the chicken (or anti-coordination) game, where aggression is incentivized but fatal if the partner also aggresses. Because of this ambiguity, decision making can be improved by additional information, and OT steers decisions in the chicken game in accordance with the valence of the facial cue: aggress when face is neutral; retreat when it is angry. Through its combined influence on amygdala and nucleus accumbens, OT improves the selection of a cooperative or aggressive strategy in function of the best match between the incentives of the game and the social cues present in the decision environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Age and sex differences in oxytocin and vasopressin V1a receptor binding densities in the rat brain: focus on the social decision-making network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Caroline J W; Poehlmann, Max L; Li, Sara; Ratnaseelan, Aarane M; Bredewold, Remco; Veenema, Alexa H

    2017-03-01

    Oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) regulate various social behaviors via activation of the OT receptor (OTR) and the AVP V1a receptor (V1aR) in the brain. Social behavior often differs across development and between the sexes, yet our understanding of age and sex differences in brain OTR and V1aR binding remains incomplete. Here, we provide an extensive analysis of OTR and V1aR binding density throughout the brain in juvenile and adult male and female rats, with a focus on regions within the social decision-making network. OTR and V1aR binding density were higher in juveniles than in adults in regions associated with reward and socio-spatial memory and higher in adults than in juveniles in key regions of the social decision-making network and in cortical regions. We discuss possible implications of these shifts in OTR and V1aR binding density for the age-specific regulation of social behavior. Furthermore, sex differences in OTR and V1aR binding density were less numerous than age differences. The direction of these sex differences was region-specific for OTR but consistently higher in females than in males for V1aR. Finally, almost all sex differences in OTR and V1aR binding density were already present in juveniles and occurred in regions with denser binding in adults compared to juveniles. Possible implications of these sex differences for the sex-specific regulation of behavior, as well potential underlying mechanisms, are discussed. Overall, these findings provide an important framework for testing age- and sex-specific roles of OTR and V1aR in the regulation of social behavior.

  17. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Sophie Knobloch

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians, magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing oxytocin, vasopressin and their homologs reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds and mammals into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots.

  18. Opposing effects of oxytocin on overt compliance and lasting changes to memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edelson, Micah G; Shemesh, Maya; Weizman, Abraham; Yariv, Shahak; Sharot, Tali; Dudai, Yadin

    2015-03-01

    From infancy we learn to comply with societal norms. However, overt compliance is not necessarily accompanied by a change in internal beliefs. The neuromodulatory processes underlying these different phenomena are not yet understood. Here, we test the role of oxytocin in controlling overt compliance versus internalization of information delivered by a social source. After intranasal oxytocin administration, participants showed enhanced compliance to the erroneous opinion of others. However, this expression was coupled with a decrease in the influence of others on long-term memories. Our data suggest that this dissociation may result from reduced conflict in the face of social pressure, which increases immediate conforming behavior, but reduces processing required for deep encoding. These findings reveal a neurobiological control system that oppositely affects internalization and overt compliance.

  19. Oxytocin modulates female sociosexual behavior through a specific class of prefrontal cortical interneurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Miho; Görlich, Andreas; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Human imaging studies have revealed that intranasal administration of the “prosocial” hormone oxytocin (OT) activates the frontal cortex, and that this action of OT correlates with enhanced brain function in autism. Here we report the discovery of a population of somatostatin (Sst) positive, regular spiking interneurons that express the oxytocin receptor (OxtrINs). Silencing of OxtrINs in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of female mice resulted in loss of social interest in male mice specifically during the sexually receptive phase of the estrous cycle. This sociosexual deficit was also present in mice in which the Oxtr gene was conditionally deleted from the mPFC, and in control mice infused with an Oxtr antagonist. Our data demonstrate a gender, cell type and state specific role for OT/Oxtr signaling in the mPFC, and identify a latent cortical circuit element that may modulate other complex social behaviors in response to OT. PMID:25303526

  20. Increased Serum and Urinary Oxytocin Concentrations after Nasal Administration in Beagle Dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Temesi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available In recent years more and more studies have revealed the effect of extraneous oxytocin on the social behavior of dogs. The distribution of administered oxytocin in different physiologically relevant compartments is important because this knowledge forms the basis for the timing of behavior tests after the administration. Most behavioral studies rely on the non-invasive intranasal application of oxytocin. The aim of this study was to determine the time course of intranasal administered oxytocin secretion into blood and urine and also establish a connection between intranasal received oxytocin and urinary cortisol in dogs. In our experiment, four dogs received three puffs, 12 IU intranasal oxytocin treatment, two dogs received three puffs intranasal placebo treatment. Blood and urine samples were collected immediately prior to the administration then regularly during 4 h. After nasal oxytocin application, the serum oxytocin concentration increased, reached a maximum 15 min after the treatment and then rapidly returned to baseline levels 45 min later. The peak urinary oxytocin concentration occurred between 45 and 60 min after administration and returned to baseline levels slowly. We found considerable differences among individuals in the secretion of oxytocin in both the serum and the urinary oxytocin concentration measurements. Our results confirm that intranasally administered oxytocin passes into the blood stream. The time course of intranasally administered oxytocin secretion is similar to the time course of intravenously administered oxytocin secretion, and the peak values are also similar in both the serum and the urinary oxytocin concentration measurements, although there are large individual differences.

  1. Beneficial effects of chronic oxytocin administration and social co-housing in a rodent model of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janezic, Eric M; Uppalapati, Swetha; Nagl, Stephanie; Contreras, Marco; French, Edward D; Fellous, Jean-Marc

    2016-12-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is in part due to a deficit in memory consolidation and extinction. Oxytocin (OXT) has anxiolytic effects and promotes prosocial behaviors in both rodents and humans, and evidence suggests that it plays a role in memory consolidation. We studied the effects of administered OXT and social co-housing in a rodent model of PTSD. Acute OXT yielded a short-term increase in the recall of the traumatic memory if administered immediately after trauma. Low doses of OXT delivered chronically had a cumulating anxiolytic effect that became apparent after 4 days and persisted. Repeated injections of OXT after short re-exposures to the trauma apparatus yielded a long-term reduction in anxiety. Co-housing with naive nonshocked animals decreased the memory of the traumatic context compared with single-housed animals. In the long term, these animals showed less thigmotaxis and increased interest in novel objects, and a low OXT plasma level. Co-housed PTSD animals showed an increase in risk-taking behavior. These results suggest beneficial effects of OXT if administered chronically through increases in memory consolidation after re-exposure to a safe trauma context. We also show differences between the benefits of social co-housing with naive rats and co-housing with other shocked animals on trauma-induced long-term anxiety.

  2. Targeting the Oxytocin System to Treat Addictive Disorders: Rationale and Progress to Date

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mary R.; Rohn, Matthew C.H.; Tanda, Gianluigi; Leggio, Lorenzo

    2016-01-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin plays a role in reward, stress, social affiliation, learning and memory processes. As such there is increasing interest in oxytocin as a potential treatment for addictions. The oxytocin system is itself altered by acute or chronic exposure to drugs of abuse. A large number of preclinical studies in rodents have investigated the effect of oxytocin on various drug-induced behaviors to determine whether oxytocin can reverse the neuroadaptations occurring with repeated drug and alcohol use. In addition, the mechanisms by which oxytocin acts to modify the behavioral response to drugs of abuse are beginning to be understood. More recently, a few small clinical studies have been conducted in cocaine, cannabis and alcohol dependence. This review summarizes the preclinical as well as clinical literature to date on the oxytocin system and its relevance to drug and alcohol addiction. PMID:26932552

  3. An Early Postnatal Oxytocin Treatment Prevents Social and Learning Deficits in Adult Mice Deficient for Magel2, a Gene Involved in Prader-Willi Syndrome and Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meziane, Hamid; Schaller, Fabienne; Bauer, Sylvian; Villard, Claude; Matarazzo, Valery; Riet, Fabrice; Guillon, Gilles; Lafitte, Daniel; Desarmenien, Michel G; Tauber, Maithé; Muscatelli, Françoise

    2015-07-15

    Mutations of MAGEL2 have been reported in patients presenting with autism, and loss of MAGEL2 is also associated with Prader-Willi syndrome, a neurodevelopmental genetic disorder. This study aimed to determine the behavioral phenotype of Magel2-deficient adult mice, to characterize the central oxytocin (OT) system of these mutant mice, and to test the curative effect of a peripheral OT treatment just after birth. We assessed the social and cognitive behavior of Magel2-deficient mice, analyzed the OT system of mutant mice treated or not by a postnatal administration of OT, and determined the effect of this treatment on the brain. Magel2 inactivation induces a deficit in social recognition and social interaction and a reduced learning ability in adult male mice. In these mice, we reveal anatomical and functional modifications of the OT system and show that these defects change from birth to adulthood. Daily administration of OT in the first postnatal week was sufficient to prevent deficits in social behavior and learning abilities in adult mutant male mice. We show that this OT treatment partly restores a normal OT system. Thus, we report that an alteration of the OT system around birth has long-term consequences on behavior and on cognition. Importantly, an acute OT treatment of Magel2-deficient pups has a curative effect. Our study reveals that OT plays a crucial role in setting social behaviors during a period just after birth. An early OT treatment in this critical period could be a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders such as Prader-Willi syndrome and autism. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Intranasal Oxytocin Normalizes Amygdala Functional Connectivity in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koch, Saskia B. J.; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Nawijn, Laura; Frijling, Jessie L.; Veltman, Dick J.; Olff, Miranda

    2016-01-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been suggested as a promising pharmacological agent for medication-enhanced psychotherapy in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of its anxiolytic and prosocial properties. We therefore investigated the behavioral and neurobiological effects of a single

  5. Enhancing Social Communication Between Groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T. Stevens; P. Hughes (Peter); D. Williams; I. Craigie; I. Kegel; P.S. Cesar Garcia (Pablo Santiago); A.J. Jansen (Jack); M.F. Usrsu; M. Frantzis; N. Farber; M. Lutzky; S. Vogel

    2010-01-01

    htmlabstractThis paper describes a prototype software platform that supports advanced communications services, specifically services enabling effective group-to-group communications with a social purpose, between remote homes. The architecture, the individual components, their interfaces, and the

  6. Oxytocin increases liking for a country’s people and national flag but not for other cultural symbols or consumer products.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaole eMa

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide oxytocin enhances in-group favoritism and ethnocentrism in males. However, whether such effects also occur in women and extend to national symbols and companies/consumer products is unclear. In a between-subject, double-blind placebo controlled experiment we have investigated the effect of intranasal oxytocin on likeability and arousal ratings given by 51 adult Chinese males and females for pictures depicting people or national symbols/consumer products from both strong and weak in-groups (China and Taiwan and corresponding out-groups (Japan and South Korea. To assess duration of treatment effects subjects were also re-tested after one week. Results showed that although oxytocin selectively increased the bias for overall liking for Chinese social stimuli and the national flag, it had no effect on the similar bias towards other Chinese cultural symbols, companies and consumer products. This enhanced bias was maintained one week after treatment. No overall oxytocin effects were found for Taiwanese, Japanese or South Korean pictures. Our findings show for the first time that oxytocin increases liking for a nation’s society and flag in both men and women, but not that for other cultural symbols or companies/consumer products.

  7. Characterization of the oxytocin system regulating affiliative behavior in female prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, H E; Cole, C D; Smith, Y; Neumann, I D; Landgraf, R; Murphy, A Z; Young, L J

    2009-09-15

    Oxytocin regulates partner preference formation and alloparental behavior in the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) by activating oxytocin receptors in the nucleus accumbens of females. Mating facilitates partner preference formation, and oxytocin-immunoreactive fibers in the nucleus accumbens have been described in prairie voles. However, there has been no direct evidence of oxytocin release in the nucleus accumbens during sociosexual interactions, and the origin of the oxytocin fibers is unknown. Here we show for the first time that extracellular concentrations of oxytocin are increased in the nucleus accumbens of female prairie vole during unrestricted interactions with a male. We further show that the distribution of oxytocin-immunoreactive fibers in the nucleus accumbens is conserved in voles, mice and rats, despite remarkable species differences in oxytocin receptor binding in the region. Using a combination of site-specific and peripheral infusions of the retrograde tracer Fluorogold, we demonstrate that the nucleus accumbens oxytocin-immunoreactive fibers likely originate from paraventricular and supraoptic hypothalamic neurons. This distribution of retrogradely labeled neurons is consistent with the hypothesis that striatal oxytocin fibers arise from collaterals of magnocellular neurons of the neurohypophysial system. If correct, this may serve to coordinate peripheral and central release of oxytocin with appropriate behavioral responses associated with reproduction, including pair bonding after mating, and maternal responsiveness following parturition and during lactation.

  8. Oxytocin and first impressions

    OpenAIRE

    Friberg, Mads

    2012-01-01

    Subtle facial expressions may cause "core impressions" of other people, i.e. a feeling of like or dislike witch is affected by facial cues that is not explicitly and consciously recognized. In the present investigation, we were interested in how the neuropeptide oxytocin affects recognition of these subtle facial expressions. Participants received oxytocin or placebo, and viewed static and dynamic "hybrid" faces that showed a facial expression (happiness, anger, fear, sadness) only in the lo...

  9. Radioimmunoassay of oxytocin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dawood, M.Y.; Raghavan, K.S.; Pociask, C.

    1978-01-01

    The evaluation of a radioimmunoassay of oxytocin is described. The method involved careful collection and transportation of blood at 4 0 C, acidification of the plasma, extraction with Fuller's earth and radioimmunoassay using antisera raised in rabbits immunized against oxytocin conjugated to bovine serum albumin and 125 I-labelled oxytocin. The antisera showed insignificant cross-reaction with a variety of small peptides including vasopressin and vasotocin. The limit of detection of the assay was 2.5 pg with intra-assay and interassay coefficients of variation of 7 to 15% and 12 to 18% respectively. Seventy-seven per cent (88 out of 116) of the pregnant women tested had detect-able maternal plasma oxytocin. Serial samples of maternal plasma showed a significant increase in oxytocin from the first to the second stage of labour and a significant decrease in the third stage. Oxytocin concentrations in the umbilical arterial plasma were significantly higher in patients in labour. The significance of these findings is discussed. (author)

  10. Oxytocin and eating disorders: a narrative review on emerging findings and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giel, Katrin; Zipfel, Stephan; Hallschmid, Manfred

    2017-11-28

    The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin regulates reproductive behavior and mother-infant interaction, and conclusive studies in humans indicate that oxytocin is also a potent modulator of psychosocial function. Pilot experiments have yielded first evidence that this neuropeptide moreover influences eating behavior. Brain administration of oxytocin in animals with normal weight, but also with diet-induced or genetically induced obesity, attenuates food intake and reduces body weight. In normal-weight and obese individuals, acute intranasal oxytocin delivery curbs calorie intake from main dishes and snacks. Such effects might converge with the poignant social and cognitive impact of oxytocin to also improve dysfunctional eating behavior in the therapeutic context. This assumption has received support in first studies showing that oxytocin might play a role in the disease process of anorexia nervosa. In contrast, respective experiments in patients with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are still scarce. We briefly summarize currently available studies on the involvement of the oxytocin system in the pathophysiology of eating disorders, as well as on the effects of oxytocin administration in patients with these disorders. We propose a framework of oxytocin's role and its therapeutic potential in eating disorders that aims at integrating social and metabolic aspects of its pharmacological profile, and ponder perspectives and limitations of oxytocin use in the clinical setting. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  11. Neonatal oxytocin manipulations have long-lasting, sexually dimorphic effects on vasopressin receptors

    OpenAIRE

    Bales, KL; Plotsky, PM; Young, LJ; Lim, MM; Grotte, N; Ferrer, E; Carter, CS

    2007-01-01

    Developmental exposure to oxytocin (OT) or oxytocin antagonists (OTAs) has been shown to cause long-lasting and often sexually dimorphic effects on social behaviors in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Because regulation of social behavior in monogamous mammals involves central receptors for OT, arginine vasopressin (AVP), and dopamine, we examined the hypothesis that the lon...

  12. Enhancing social skills through cooperative learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M J Booysen

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available The National Curriculum Statement of South Africa envisages qualified and competent teachers to deal with the diversity of learners and their needs in the classroom. One of the needs refers to all learners (Gr R-12 who need to acquire the necessary social skills to enable them to work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organization and community. These skills refer inter alia to: learning to work with others, listening to others, giving attention, asking clarifying questions, learning how to evaluate, and to praise others, handling conflict, reflecting on group work and allowing all group members to participate. The most obvious place to deal purposefully with the development of social skills is the classroom. This implies that alternative ways and methods of teaching must be introduced to develop the necessary social skills. This article reports on the findings obtained from a combined quantitative and qualitative study that set out to determine the levels of social competence achieved by a group of Grade 2 learners, and the possible association of a cooperative teaching and learning intervention programme for enhancing the social skills of these learners. The results revealed the latent potential of cooperative learning to enhance the social skills of Grade 2 learners. The significance of this research lies in the contribution it makes to establish the social competence of a group of Grade 2 learners and to determine the possibilities for enhancing their social skills through cooperative learning.

  13. The role of oxytocin in the pathogenesis and treatment of schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jusiak Katarzyna

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Until recently, oxytocin was mainly associated with the pathophysiology of childbirth and sexual functions, but lately this hormone has become the object of interest to psychiatry and psychology due to the significant influence of oxytocin on human behavior in the field of social and emotional functioning. Current scientific research focuses on the participation of oxytocin in the pathogenesis and therapy of mental disorders.

  14. Oxytocin increases bias, but not accuracy, in face recognition line-ups

    OpenAIRE

    Bate, Sarah; Bennetts, Rachel; Parris, Benjamin A.; Bindemann, Markus; Udale, Robert; Bussunt, Amanda

    2014-01-01

    Previous work indicates that intranasal inhalation of oxytocin improves face recognition skills, raising the possibility that it may be used in security settings. However, it is unclear whether oxytocin directly acts upon the core face-processing system itself, or indirectly improves face recognition via affective or social salience mechanisms. In a double-blind procedure, 60 participants received either an oxytocin or placebo nasal spray before completing the One-in-Ten task – a standardized...

  15. Why social attachment and oxytocin protect against addiction and stress: Insights from the dynamics between ventral and dorsal corticostriatal systems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tops, M.; Koole, S.L.; IJzerman, H.; Buisman-Pijlman, F.T.

    2014-01-01

    The present article advances a neurobiological model of the reciprocal associations between social attachment and drug abuse, and social attachment and chronic stress, as overlapping systems are involved in stress coping and social attachment. In terms of coping, responding to a novel stressor or

  16. Why social attachment and oxytocin protect against addiction and stress : Insights from the dynamics between ventral and dorsal corticostriatal systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tops, M.; Koole, S.L.; Ijzerman, H.; Buisman-Pijlman, F.T.A.

    2014-01-01

    The present article advances a neurobiological model of the reciprocal associations between social attachment and drug abuse, and social attachment and chronic stress, as overlapping systems are involved in stress coping and social attachment. In terms of coping, responding to a novel stressor or

  17. Oxytocin and the Biopsychology of Performance in Team Sports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepping, Gert-Jan; Timmermans, Erik J.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the biopsychological underpinnings of expert performance in team sports. In this paper we show that there is a vast support for oxytocin as a neuropeptide involved in the encouragement of important processes linked to greater team performance in sport. We argue that oxytocin is related to biopsychological processes aimed at convergence of emotions and moods between people, and in doing so it is a critical neuropeptide involved in the shaping of important team processes in sport such as trust, generosity, altruism, cohesion, cooperation, and social motivation, and also envy and gloating. Future research should examine the role of oxytocin in these essential components of sport performance. In particular, the link between oxytocin, emotional contagion and the cultivation of experiences of positive emotions is a worthwhile line of investigation for sport participation and development as well as high performance in sport. PMID:22997498

  18. Oxytocin and the biopsychology of performance in team sports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepping, Gert-Jan; Timmermans, Erik J

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the biopsychological underpinnings of expert performance in team sports. In this paper we show that there is a vast support for oxytocin as a neuropeptide involved in the encouragement of important processes linked to greater team performance in sport. We argue that oxytocin is related to biopsychological processes aimed at convergence of emotions and moods between people, and in doing so it is a critical neuropeptide involved in the shaping of important team processes in sport such as trust, generosity, altruism, cohesion, cooperation, and social motivation, and also envy and gloating. Future research should examine the role of oxytocin in these essential components of sport performance. In particular, the link between oxytocin, emotional contagion and the cultivation of experiences of positive emotions is a worthwhile line of investigation for sport participation and development as well as high performance in sport.

  19. Oxytocin and the Biopsychology of Performance in Team Sports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gert-Jan Pepping

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the biopsychological underpinnings of expert performance in team sports. In this paper we show that there is a vast support for oxytocin as a neuropeptide involved in the encouragement of important processes linked to greater team performance in sport. We argue that oxytocin is related to biopsychological processes aimed at convergence of emotions and moods between people, and in doing so it is a critical neuropeptide involved in the shaping of important team processes in sport such as trust, generosity, altruism, cohesion, cooperation, and social motivation, and also envy and gloating. Future research should examine the role of oxytocin in these essential components of sport performance. In particular, the link between oxytocin, emotional contagion and the cultivation of experiences of positive emotions is a worthwhile line of investigation for sport participation and development as well as high performance in sport.

  20. "Lie to me"-Oxytocin impairs lie detection between sexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfundmair, Michaela; Erk, Wiebke; Reinelt, Annika

    2017-10-01

    The hormone oxytocin modulates various aspects of social behaviors and even seems to lead to a tendency for gullibility. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of oxytocin on lie detection. We hypothesized that people under oxytocin would be particularly susceptible to lies told by people of the opposite sex. After administration of oxytocin or a placebo, male and female participants were asked to judge the veracity of statements from same- vs. other-sex actors who either lied or told the truth. Results showed that oxytocin decreased the ability of both male and female participants to correctly classify other-sex statements as truths or lies compared to placebo. This effect was based on a lower ability to detect lies and not a stronger bias to regard truth statements as false. Revealing a new effect of oxytocin, the findings may support assumptions about the hormone working as a catalyst for social adaption. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Oxytocin increases amygdala reactivity to threatening scenes in females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lischke, Alexander; Gamer, Matthias; Berger, Christoph; Grossmann, Annette; Hauenstein, Karlheinz; Heinrichs, Markus; Herpertz, Sabine C; Domes, Gregor

    2012-09-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) is well known for its profound effects on social behavior, which appear to be mediated by an OT-dependent modulation of amygdala activity in the context of social stimuli. In humans, OT decreases amygdala reactivity to threatening faces in males, but enhances amygdala reactivity to similar faces in females, suggesting sex-specific differences in OT-dependent threat-processing. To further explore whether OT generally enhances amygdala-dependent threat-processing in females, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a randomized within-subject crossover design to measure amygdala activity in response to threatening and non-threatening scenes in 14 females following intranasal administration of OT or placebo. Participants' eye movements were recorded to investigate whether an OT-dependent modulation of amygdala activity is accompanied by enhanced exploration of salient scene features. Although OT had no effect on participants' gazing behavior, it increased amygdala reactivity to scenes depicting social and non-social threat. In females, OT may, thus, enhance the detection of threatening stimuli in the environment, potentially by interacting with gonadal steroids, such as progesterone and estrogen. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Enhancing Placebo Effects: Insights From Social Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    SLIWINSKI, JIM; ELKINS, GARY R.

    2012-01-01

    Placebo effects are widely recognized as having a potent impact upon treatment outcomes in both medical and psychological interventions, including hypnosis. In research utilizing randomized clinical trials, there is usually an effort to minimize or control placebo effects. However, in clinical practice there may be significant benefits in enhancing placebo effects. Prior research from the field of social psychology has identified three factors that may enhance placebo effects, namely: priming, client perceptions, and the theory of planned behavior. These factors are reviewed and illustrated via a case example. The consideration of social-psychological factors to enhance positive expectancies and beliefs has implications for clinical practice as well as future research into hypnotic interventions. PMID:23488251

  3. Intranasal administration of oxytocin increases envy and schadenfreude (gloating).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamay-Tsoory, Simone G; Fischer, Meytal; Dvash, Jonathan; Harari, Hagai; Perach-Bloom, Nufar; Levkovitz, Yechiel

    2009-11-01

    Humans have a strong social tendency to compare themselves with others. We tend to feel envious when we receive less valuable rewards and may rejoice when our payoffs are more advantageous. Envy and schadenfreude (gloating over the other's misfortune) are social emotions widely agreed to be a symptom of the human social tendency to compare one's payoffs with those of others. Given the important social components of envy and gloating, we speculated that oxytocin may have a modulating effect on the intensity of these emotions. Fifty-six participants participated in this double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject study. Following the administration of oxytocin or a placebo, participants played a game of chance with another (fake) participant who either won more money (envy manipulation), lost more money (schadenfreude manipulation), or won/lost equal amounts of money. In comparison with the placebo, oxytocin increased the envy ratings during unequal monetary gain conditions involving relative loss (when the participant gained less money than another player). Oxytocin also increased the ratings of gloating during relative gain conditions (when the participant gained more money than the other player). By contrast, oxytocin had no effect on the emotional ratings following equal monetary gains nor did it affect general mood ratings. These results suggest that the oxytocinergic system is involved in modulating envy and gloating. Thus, contrary to the prevailing belief that this system is involved solely in positive prosocial behaviors, it probably plays a key role in a wider range of social emotion-related behaviors.

  4. The role of oxytocin in social bonding, stress regulation and mental health: an update on the moderating effects of context and interindividual differences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, Miranda; Frijling, Jessie L.; Kubzansky, Laura D.; Bradley, Bekh; Ellenbogen, Mark A.; Cardoso, Christopher; Bartz, Jennifer A.; Yee, Jason R.; van Zuiden, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this review we summarize the results and conclusions of five studies as presented in a symposium at the 42nd annual meeting of the International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology, in New York in September 2012. Oxytocin administration has received increasing attention for its role in promoting

  5. Dose-dependent social-cognitive effects of intranasal oxytocin delivered with novel Breath Powered device in adults with autism spectrum disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind crossover trial

    OpenAIRE

    Quintana, D S; Westlye, L T; Hope, S; N?rland, T; Elvs?shagen, T; D?rum, E; Rustan, ?; Valstad, M; Rezvaya, L; Lishaugen, H; Stens?nes, E; Yaqub, S; Smerud, K T; Mahmoud, R A; Djupesland, P G

    2017-01-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin has shown promise as a treatment for symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, clinical research progress has been hampered by a poor understanding of oxytocin?s dose?response and sub-optimal intranasal delivery methods. We examined two doses of oxytocin delivered using a novel Breath Powered intranasal delivery device designed to improve direct nose-to-brain activity in a double-blind, crossover, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. In a randomized sequ...

  6. A randomised controlled trial comparing oxytocin and oxytocin + ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    'rule of threes' as a means of administering oxytocin: 3 IU IVI as a slow bolus every 3 minutes depending on the contraction of the uterus.[5] The following guidelines were published in the SAMJ in. April 2015 for primary prophylaxis of PPH at CS:[6] (i) oxytocin. 2.5 IU IVI as a slow bolus (over 30 seconds); (ii) oxytocin 7.5 IU.

  7. The Oxytocin Receptor Gene (OXTR) and gazing behavior during social interaction: An observational study in young adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhagen, M.; Engels, R.C.M.E.; Roekel, G.H. van

    2014-01-01

    Background: In the present study, the relation between a polymorphic marker within the OXTR gene (rs53576) and gazing behavior during two separate social interaction tasks was examined. Gazing behavior was considered to be an integral part of belonging regulation processes. Methods: We conducted an

  8. Standardization of HPTLC method for the estimation of oxytocin in edibles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rani, Roopa; Medhe, Sharad; Raj, Kumar Rohit; Srivastava, Manmohan

    2013-12-01

    Adulteration in food stuff has been regarded as a major social evil and is a mind-boggling problem in society. In this study, a rapid, reliable and cost effective High Performance thin layer Chromatography (HPTLC) has been established for the estimation of oxytocin (adulterant) in vegetables, fruits and milk samples. Oxytocin is one of the most frequently used adulterant added in vegetables and fruits for increasing the growth rate and also to enhance milk production from lactating animals. The standardization of the method was based on simulation parameters of mobile phase, stationary phase and saturation time. The mobile phase used was MeOH: Ammonia (pH 6.8), optimized stationary phase was silica gel and saturation time of 5 min. The method was validated by testing its linearity, accuracy, precision, repeatability and limits of detection and quantification. Thus, the proposed method is simple, rapid and specific and was successfully employed for quality and quantity monitoring of oxytocin content in edible products.

  9. Oxytocin attenuates aversive response to nicotine and anxiety-like behavior in adolescent rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyunchan; Jang, Minji; Noh, Jihyun

    2017-02-01

    Initial tobacco use is initiated with rewarding and aversive properties of nicotine and aversive response to nicotine plays a critical role in nicotine dependency. Decrease of nicotine aversion increases the nicotine use that causes behavioral and neuronal changes of animals. Oxytocin influences drug abuse and reciprocally affect vulnerability to drug use. To assess the effect of oxytocin on initial nicotine aversion and anxiety, we examined voluntary oral nicotine intake and anxiety-like behavior following oxytocin treatment in adolescent rats. Sprague-Dawley male rats (4 weeks old) were used. For oxytocin administration, rats were injected subcutaneously with saline or oxytocin (0.01, 0.1 and 1mg/kg) according to the assigned groups. Voluntary oral nicotine consumption test was performed by two bottle free-choice paradigm. To examine anxiety-like behavior in rats, we performed a light/dark box test. Oxytocin not only significantly increased the nicotine intake but also alleviated nicotine aversion after acclimation to nicotine solution in a concentration dependent manner. Meanwhile, oxytocin significantly reduced anxiety-like behavior. We suggest that oxytocin itself mitigates aversive response toward initial nicotine intake and anxiety-like behavior. These results widen the psychophysiological perspective on oxytocin for better understanding of nicotine addiction related behaviors influenced by diverse social factors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Creating sustainable city by enhancing social capital

    Science.gov (United States)

    Affandi, R. A.; Mursitama, T. N.

    2018-03-01

    Scholars have been discussing social capital since the last two decades. They analyzed from various perspectives such as sociology, education, political participation, strengthening democratic values and economic empowerment of the society. However, study related to the implementation that benefits directly to the society is needed. This study examines how to create a sustainable city by enhancing social capital from both macro and micro analyses. This combination of analysis offers deeper understanding both from decision makers at city level and individuals, groups and society. We will conduct qualitative approach mainly by interviews and direct observation to collect the data. also, we also analyze publicly available data. Finally, this study contributes to new understanding in creating a sustainable city, not only about the environment and physical aspects, but also about ensuring political economic, democratic values, and social welfare.

  11. Lack of association between human plasma oxytocin and interpersonal trust in a Prisoner's Dilemma paradigm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Christensen

    Full Text Available Expanding interest in oxytocin, particularly the role of endogenous oxytocin in human social behavior, has created a pressing need for replication of results and verification of assay methods. In this study, we sought to replicate and extend previous results correlating plasma oxytocin with trust and trustworthy behavior. As a necessary first step, the two most commonly used commercial assays were compared in human plasma via the addition of a known quantity of exogenous oxytocin, with and without sample extraction. Plasma sample extraction was found to be critical in obtaining repeatable concentrations of oxytocin. In the subsequent trust experiment, twelve samples in duplicate, from each of 82 participants, were collected over approximately six hours during the performance of a Prisoner's Dilemma task paradigm that stressed human interpersonal trust. We found no significant relationship between plasma oxytocin concentrations and trusting or trustworthy behavior. In light of these findings, previous published work that used oxytocin immunoassays without sample extraction should be reexamined and future research exploring links between endogenous human oxytocin and trust or social behavior should proceed with careful consideration of methods and appropriate biofluids for analysis.

  12. Association between genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene and emotional withdrawal, but not between oxytocin pathway genes and diagnosis in psychotic disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marit eHaram

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Social dysfunction is common in patients with psychotic disorders. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide with a central role in social behaviour. This study aims to explore the relationship between oxytocin pathway genes and symptoms related to social dysfunction in patients with psychotic disorders. We performed association analyses between four oxytocin pathway genes (OXT, OXTR, AVP, CD38 and four areas of social behaviour-related psychopathology as measured by Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS. For this purpose, we used both a polygenic risk score (PGRS and single OXTR candidate SNPs previously reported in the literature (rs53576, rs237902, rs2254298. A total of 734 subjects with DSM-IV psychotic spectrum disorders and 420 healthy controls were included. Oxytocin pathway PGRSs were calculated based on the independent Psychiatric Genomics Consortium study sample. There was a significant association between symptom of Emotional Withdrawal and the previously reported OXTR risk allele A in rs53576. No significant associations between oxytocin pathway gene variants and a diagnosis of psychotic disorder were found. Our findings indicate that while oxytocin pathway genes do not appear to contribute to the susceptibility to psychotic disorders, variations in the OXTR gene might play a role in the development of impaired social behaviour.

  13. Expression and activation of the oxytocin receptor in airway smooth muscle cells: Regulation by TNFα and IL-13

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siddiqui Salman

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During pregnancy asthma may remain stable, improve or worsen. The factors underlying the deleterious effect of pregnancy on asthma remain unknown. Oxytocin is a neurohypophyseal protein that regulates a number of central and peripheral responses such as uterine contractions and milk ejection. Additional evidence suggests that oxytocin regulates inflammatory processes in other tissues given the ubiquitous expression of the oxytocin receptor. The purpose of this study was to define the role of oxytocin in modulating human airway smooth muscle (HASMCs function in the presence and absence of IL-13 and TNFα, cytokines known to be important in asthma. Method Expression of oxytocin receptor in cultured HASMCs was performed by real time PCR and flow cytomery assays. Responses to oxytocin was assessed by fluorimetry to detect calcium signals while isolated tracheal rings and precision cut lung slices (PCLS were used to measure contractile responses. Finally, ELISA was used to compare oxytocin levels in the bronchoalveloar lavage (BAL samples from healthy subjects and those with asthma. Results PCR analysis demonstrates that OXTR is expressed in HASMCs under basal conditions and that both interleukin (IL-13 and tumor necrosis factor (TNFα stimulate a time-dependent increase in OXTR expression at 6 and 18 hr. Additionally, oxytocin increases cytosolic calcium levels in fura-2-loaded HASMCs that were enhanced in cells treated for 24 hr with IL-13. Interestingly, TNFα had little effect on oxytocin-induced calcium response despite increasing receptor expression. Using isolated murine tracheal rings and PCLS, oxytocin also promoted force generation and airway narrowing. Further, oxytocin levels are detectable in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL fluid derived from healthy subjects as well as from those with asthma. Conclusion Taken together, we show that cytokines modulate the expression of functional oxytocin receptors in HASMCs suggesting a

  14. Consequence of oxytocin injections on minerals concentration in Sahiwal cow milk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hameed, A.; Anjum, F.M.; Zahoor, T.; Jamil, A.

    2010-01-01

    The major objective of this study was to find out the consequence of exogenous administration of oxytocin to Sahiwal cow, local breed of Pakistan (to enhance milk let down) on mineral composition. Milk samples were collected from two groups of eight animals under controlled atmosphere and feeding input. The analysis of fodder and feed samples were also carried out to support this study. Means of macro and micro minerals of fodder and feed samples were determined. One group of Sahiwal cows was subjected to intramuscular injection of oxytocin (20 IU). The milk obtained from oxytocin injected animals possessed significantly higher sodium and chloride with increment in ash content. Lactose content decreased by 0.39% and ash content increased by 0.08% in milk treated with oxytocin injections. Oxytocin administration increased the level of Na (19.74%), Cl (9.39%) and Cu (146.89%) while K content decreased (10.06%). (author)

  15. Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin on Aggressive Responding in Antisocial Personality Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcorn, Joseph L; Rathnayaka, Nuvan; Swann, Alan C; Moeller, F Gerard; Lane, Scott D

    2015-12-01

    The oxytocin receptor is important in several domains of social behavior, and administration of oxytocin modulates social responding in several mammalian species, including humans. Oxytocin has both therapeutic and scientific potential for elucidating the neural and behavioral mechanisms governing social behavior. In the present study, operationally-defined aggressive behavior of six males with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) was measured following acute intranasal oxytocin dosing (12, 24, and 48 international units) and placebo, using a well-validated laboratory task of human aggression (Point-Subtraction Aggression Paradigm, or PSAP). The PSAP provides participants with concurrently available monetary-earning and operationally-defined aggressive response options, maintained by fixed ratio schedules of consequences. Shifts in response rates and inter-response time (IRT) distributions were observed on the aggressive response option following oxytocin doses, relative to placebo. Few changes were observed in monetary-reinforced responding. However, across participants the direction and magnitude of changes in aggressive responding were not systematically related to dose. No trends were observed between psychometric or physiological data and oxytocin dosing or aggressive behavior. While this report is to our knowledge the first to examine the acute effects of oxytocin in this population at high risk for violence and other forms of antisocial behavior, several limitations in the experimental design and the results cast the study as a preliminary report. Strategies for more extensive future projects are discussed.

  16. Emotion recognition and oxytocin in patients with schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averbeck, B. B.; Bobin, T.; Evans, S.; Shergill, S. S.

    2012-01-01

    Background Studies have suggested that patients with schizophrenia are impaired at recognizing emotions. Recently, it has been shown that the neuropeptide oxytocin can have beneficial effects on social behaviors. Method To examine emotion recognition deficits in patients and see whether oxytocin could improve these deficits, we carried out two experiments. In the first experiment we recruited 30 patients with schizophrenia and 29 age- and IQ-matched control subjects, and gave them an emotion recognition task. Following this, we carried out a second experiment in which we recruited 21 patients with schizophrenia for a double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study of the effects of oxytocin on the same emotion recognition task. Results In the first experiment we found that patients with schizophrenia had a deficit relative to controls in recognizing emotions. In the second experiment we found that administration of oxytocin improved the ability of patients to recognize emotions. The improvement was consistent and occurred for most emotions, and was present whether patients were identifying morphed or non-morphed faces. Conclusions These data add to a growing literature showing beneficial effects of oxytocin on social–behavioral tasks, as well as clinical symptoms. PMID:21835090

  17. Dopamine and oxytocin interactions underlying behaviors: potential contributions to behavioral disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskerville, Tracey A; Douglas, Alison J

    2010-06-01

    Dopamine is an important neuromodulator that exerts widespread effects on the central nervous system (CNS) function. Disruption in dopaminergic neurotransmission can have profound effects on mood and behavior and as such is known to be implicated in various neuropsychiatric behavioral disorders including autism and depression. The subsequent effects on other neurocircuitries due to dysregulated dopamine function have yet to be fully explored. Due to the marked social deficits observed in psychiatric patients, the neuropeptide, oxytocin is emerging as one particular neural substrate that may be influenced by the altered dopamine levels subserving neuropathologic-related behavioral diseases. Oxytocin has a substantial role in social attachment, affiliation and sexual behavior. More recently, it has emerged that disturbances in peripheral and central oxytocin levels have been detected in some patients with dopamine-dependent disorders. Thus, oxytocin is proposed to be a key neural substrate that interacts with central dopamine systems. In addition to psychosocial improvement, oxytocin has recently been implicated in mediating mesolimbic dopamine pathways during drug addiction and withdrawal. This bi-directional role of dopamine has also been implicated during some components of sexual behavior. This review will discuss evidence for the existence dopamine/oxytocin positive interaction in social behavioral paradigms and associated disorders such as sexual dysfunction, autism, addiction, anorexia/bulimia, and depression. Preliminary findings suggest that whilst further rigorous testing has to be conducted to establish a dopamine/oxytocin link in human disorders, animal models seem to indicate the existence of broad and integrated brain circuits where dopamine and oxytocin interactions at least in part mediate socio-affiliative behaviors. A profound disruption to these pathways is likely to underpin associated behavioral disorders. Central oxytocin pathways may serve as a

  18. Oxytocin increases the influence of public service advertisements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Ying Lin

    Full Text Available This paper presents a neurophysiologic model of effective public service advertisements (PSAs and reports two experiments that test the model. In Experiment 1, we show that after watching 16 PSAs participants who received oxytocin, compared to those given a placebo, donated to 57% more causes, donated 56% more money, and reported 17% greater concern for those in the ads. In Experiment 2, we measured adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH and oxytocin levels in blood before and after participants watched a PSA. As predicted by the model, donations occurred when participants had increases in both ACTH and oxytocin. Our results indicate that PSAs with social content that cause OT release will be more effective than those that do not. Our results also explain why some individuals do not respond to PSAs.

  19. Oxytocin increases the influence of public service advertisements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Pei-Ying; Grewal, Naomi Sparks; Morin, Christophe; Johnson, Walter D; Zak, Paul J

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a neurophysiologic model of effective public service advertisements (PSAs) and reports two experiments that test the model. In Experiment 1, we show that after watching 16 PSAs participants who received oxytocin, compared to those given a placebo, donated to 57% more causes, donated 56% more money, and reported 17% greater concern for those in the ads. In Experiment 2, we measured adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and oxytocin levels in blood before and after participants watched a PSA. As predicted by the model, donations occurred when participants had increases in both ACTH and oxytocin. Our results indicate that PSAs with social content that cause OT release will be more effective than those that do not. Our results also explain why some individuals do not respond to PSAs.

  20. Antiaggressive activity of central oxytocin in male rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calcagnoli, F.; de Boer, S.F.; Althaus, M.; den Boer, J.A.; Koolhaas, J.M.

    2013-01-01

    A substantial body of research suggests that the neuropeptide oxytocin promotes social affiliative behaviors in a wide range of animals including humans. However, its antiaggressive action has not been unequivocally demonstrated in male laboratory rodents. Our primary goal was to examine the

  1. Oxytocin and vasopressin modulation of the neural correlates of motivation and emotion: results from functional MRI studies in awake rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Febo, Marcelo; Ferris, Craig F

    2014-09-11

    Oxytocin and vasopressin modulate a range of species typical behavioral functions that include social recognition, maternal-infant attachment, and modulation of memory, offensive aggression, defensive fear reactions, and reward seeking. We have employed novel functional magnetic resonance mapping techniques in awake rats to explore the roles of these neuropeptides in the maternal and non-maternal brain. Results from the functional neuroimaging studies that are summarized here have directly and indirectly confirmed and supported previous findings. Oxytocin is released within the lactating rat brain during suckling stimulation and activates specific subcortical networks in the maternal brain. Both vasopressin and oxytocin modulate brain regions involved unconditioned fear, processing of social stimuli and the expression of agonistic behaviors. Across studies there are relatively consistent brain networks associated with internal motivational drives and emotional states that are modulated by oxytocin and vasopressin. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Effects of oxytocin on behavioral and ERP measures of recognition memory for own-race and other-race faces in women and men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzmann, Grit; Bird, Christopher W; Freeman, Megan; Curran, Tim

    2013-10-01

    Oxytocin has been shown to affect human social information processing including recognition memory for faces. Here we investigated the neural processes underlying the effect of oxytocin on memorizing own-race and other-race faces in men and women. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, between-subject study, participants received either oxytocin or placebo before studying own-race and other-race faces. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) during both the study and recognition phase to investigate neural correlates of oxytocin's effect on memory encoding, memory retrieval, and perception. Oxytocin increased the accuracy of familiarity judgments in the recognition test. Neural correlates for this effect were found in ERPs related to memory encoding and retrieval but not perception. In contrast to its facilitating effects on familiarity, oxytocin impaired recollection judgments, but in men only. Oxytocin did not differentially affect own-race and other-race faces. This study shows that oxytocin influences memory, but not perceptual processes, in a face recognition task and is the first to reveal sex differences in the effect of oxytocin on face memory. Contrary to recent findings in oxytocin and moral decision making, oxytocin did not preferentially improve memory for own-race faces. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Boosting recovery rather than buffering reactivity: Higher stress-induced oxytocin secretion is associated with increased cortisol reactivity and faster vagal recovery after acute psychosocial stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engert, Veronika; Koester, Anna M; Riepenhausen, Antje; Singer, Tania

    2016-12-01

    Animal models and human studies using paradigms designed to stimulate endogenous oxytocin release suggest a stress-buffering role of oxytocin. We here examined the involvement of stress-induced peripheral oxytocin secretion in reactivity and recovery phases of the human psychosocial stress response. Healthy male and female participants (N=114) were subjected to a standardized laboratory stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test. In addition to plasma oxytocin, cortisol was assessed as a marker of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA-) axis activity, alpha-amylase and heart rate as markers of sympathetic activity, high frequency heart rate variability as a marker of vagal tone and self-rated anxiety as an indicator of subjective stress experience. On average, oxytocin levels increased by 51% following psychosocial stress. The stress-induced oxytocin secretion, however, did not reduce stress reactivity. To the contrary, higher oxytocin secretion was associated with greater cortisol reactivity and peak cortisol levels in both sexes. In the second phase of the stress response the opposite pattern was observed, with higher oxytocin secretion associated with faster vagal recovery. We suggest that after an early stage of oxytocin and HPA-axis co-activation, the stress-reducing action of oxytocin unfolds. Due to the time lag it manifests as a recovery-boosting rather than a reactivity-buffering effect. By reinforcing parasympathetic autonomic activity, specifically during stress recovery, oxytocin may provide an important protective function against the health-compromising effects of sustained stress. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Oxytocin increases bias, but not accuracy, in face recognition line-ups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bate, Sarah; Bennetts, Rachel; Parris, Benjamin A; Bindemann, Markus; Udale, Robert; Bussunt, Amanda

    2015-07-01

    Previous work indicates that intranasal inhalation of oxytocin improves face recognition skills, raising the possibility that it may be used in security settings. However, it is unclear whether oxytocin directly acts upon the core face-processing system itself or indirectly improves face recognition via affective or social salience mechanisms. In a double-blind procedure, 60 participants received either an oxytocin or placebo nasal spray before completing the One-in-Ten task-a standardized test of unfamiliar face recognition containing target-present and target-absent line-ups. Participants in the oxytocin condition outperformed those in the placebo condition on target-present trials, yet were more likely to make false-positive errors on target-absent trials. Signal detection analyses indicated that oxytocin induced a more liberal response bias, rather than increasing accuracy per se. These findings support a social salience account of the effects of oxytocin on face recognition and indicate that oxytocin may impede face recognition in certain scenarios. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Self-soothing behaviors with particular reference to oxytocin release induced by non-noxious sensory stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin; Handlin, Linda; Petersson, Maria

    2014-01-01

    Oxytocin, a hypothalamic nonapeptide, is linked to increased levels of social interaction, well-being and anti-stress effects. The effects of oxytocin that is released by sensory stimulation during different kinds of interactive behaviors are often underestimated or even forgotten. In fact, many of the positive effects caused during interaction, such a wellbeing, stress reduction and even health promotion, are indeed linked to oxytocin released in response to activation of various types of sensory nerves. Oxytocin is released in response to activation of sensory nerves during labor, breastfeeding and sexual activity. In addition oxytocin is released in response to low intensity stimulation of the skin, e.g., in response to touch, stroking, warm temperature, etc. Consequently oxytocin is not only released during interaction between mothers and infants, but also during positive interaction between adults or between humans and animals. Finally oxytocin is also released in response to suckling and food intake. Oxytocin released in the brain in response to sensory stimulation as a consequence of these types of interactive behaviors, contributes to every day wellbeing and ability to handle stress. Food intake or sex may be used or even abused to achieve oxytocin-linked wellbeing and stress relief to compensate for lack of good relationships or when the levels of anxiety are high. The present review article will summarize the role played by oxytocin released by sensory (in particular somatosensory) stimulation, during various kinds of interactive behaviors. Also the fact that the anti-stress effects of oxytocin are particularly strong when oxytocin is released in response to "low intensity" stimulation of the skin will be highlighted.

  6. Self-soothing behaviors with particular reference to oxytocin release induced by non-noxious sensory stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin eUvnäs-Moberg

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin, a hypothalamic nonapeptide, is linked to increased levels of social interaction, well-being and anti-stress effects. The effects of oxytocin that is released by sensory stimulation during different kinds of interactive behaviors are often underestimated or even forgotten. In fact, many of the positive effects caused during interaction, such a wellbeing, stress reduction and even health promotion, are indeed linked to oxytocin released in response to activation of various types of sensory nerves. Oxytocin is released in response to activation of sensory nerves during labor, breastfeeding and sexual activity. In addition oxytocin is released in response to low intensity stimulation of the skin, e.g. in response to touch, stroking, warm temperature etc . Consequently oxytocin is not only released during interaction between mothers and infants, but also during positive interaction between adult or between humans and animals. Finally oxytocin is also released in response to suckling and food intake. Oxytocin released in the brain in response to sensory stimulation as a consequence of these types of interactive behaviors, contributes to every day wellbeing and ability to handle stress. Food intake or sex may be used or even abused to achieve oxytocin-linked wellbeing and stress relief to compensate for lack of good relationships or when the levels of anxiety are high. The present review article will summarize the role played by oxytocin released by sensory (in particular somatosensory stimulation, during various kinds of interactive behaviors. Also the fact that the anti-stress effects of oxytocin are particularly strong when oxytocin is released in response to low intensity stimulation of the skin will be highlighted.

  7. No laughing matter: intranasal oxytocin administration changes functional brain connectivity during exposure to infant laughter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riem, Madelon M E; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Tops, Mattie; Boksem, Maarten A S; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J

    2012-04-01

    Infant laughter is a rewarding experience. It activates neural reward circuits and promotes parental proximity and care, thus facilitating parent-infant attachment. The neuropeptide oxytocin might enhance the incentive salience of infant laughter by modulating neural circuits related to the perception of infant cues. In a randomized controlled trial with functional magnetic resonance imaging we investigated the influence of intranasally administered oxytocin on functional brain connectivity in response to infant laughter. Blood oxygenation level-dependent responses to infant laughter were measured in 22 nulliparous women who were administered oxytocin and 20 nulliparous women who were administered a placebo. Elevated oxytocin levels reduced activation in the amygdala during infant laughter and enhanced functional connectivity between the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate, the hippocampus, the precuneus, the supramarginal gyri, and the middle temporal gyrus. Increased functional connectivity between the amygdala and regions involved in emotion regulation may reduce negative emotional arousal while enhancing the incentive salience of the infant laughter.

  8. Oxytocin: Old Hormone, New Drug

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolanta Gutkowska

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin (OT, traditionally associated with reproductive functions, was revisited recently, and several new functions in cardiovascular regulation were discovered. These functions include stimulation of the cardioprotective mediators nitric oxide (NO and atrial natriuretic peptide. OT’s cardiovascular outcomes comprise: (i natriuresis, (ii blood pressure reduction, (iii negative inotropic and chronotropic effects, (iv parasympathetic neuromodulation, (v NO pathway involvement in vasodilatation and endothelial cell growth, (vi anti-inflammatory and (vii antioxidant activities as well as (viii metabolic effects. In addition, we have reported abundant OT in the early developing heart with its capacity to generate cardiomyocytes (CMs from mouse embryonic stem cells and stem cells residing in the heart. OT increases glucose uptake by cultured CMs, in normal, hypoxic and even in insulin resistance conditions. In experimentally-induced myocardial infarction in rats, continuous in vivo OT delivery improves the cardiac healing process and cardiac work, diminishes inflammation, and stimulates angiogenesis. Therefore, in pathological situations, OT plays an anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective role, enhancing vascular and metabolic functions, with potential therapeutic application(s.

  9. Oxytocin receptor genetic variation relates to empathy and stress reactivity in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Sarina M; Saslow, Laura R; Garcia, Natalia; John, Oliver P; Keltner, Dacher

    2009-12-15

    Oxytocin, a peptide that functions as both a hormone and neurotransmitter, has broad influences on social and emotional processing throughout the body and the brain. In this study, we tested how a polymorphism (rs53576) of the oxytocin receptor relates to two key social processes related to oxytocin: empathy and stress reactivity. Compared with individuals homozygous for the G allele of rs53576 (GG), individuals with one or two copies of the A allele (AG/AA) exhibited lower behavioral and dispositional empathy, as measured by the "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" Test and an other-oriented empathy scale. Furthermore, AA/AG individuals displayed higher physiological and dispositional stress reactivity than GG individuals, as determined by heart rate response during a startle anticipation task and an affective reactivity scale. Our results provide evidence of how a naturally occurring genetic variation of the oxytocin receptor relates to both empathy and stress profiles.

  10. Pupil-mimicry conditions trust in partners: moderation by oxytocin and group membership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kret, Mariska E; De Dreu, Carsten K W

    2017-03-15

    Across species, oxytocin, an evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide, facilitates social communication by attuning individuals to conspecifics' social signals, fostering trust and bonding. The eyes have an important signalling function; and humans use their salient and communicative eyes to intentionally and unintentionally send social signals to others, by contracting the muscles around their eyes and pupils. In our earlier research, we observed that interaction partners with dilating pupils are trusted more than partners with constricting pupils. But over and beyond this effect, we found that the pupil sizes of partners synchronize and that when pupils synchronously dilate, trust is further boosted. Critically, this linkage between mimicry and trust was bound to interactions between ingroup members. The current study investigates whether these findings are modulated by oxytocin and sex of participant and partner. Using incentivized trust games with partners from ingroup and outgroup whose pupils dilated, remained static or constricted, this study replicates our earlier findings. It further reveals that (i) male participants withhold trust from partners with constricting pupils and extend trust to partners with dilating pupils, especially when given oxytocin rather than placebo; (ii) female participants trust partners with dilating pupils most, but this effect is blunted under oxytocin; (iii) under oxytocin rather than placebo, pupil dilation mimicry is weaker and pupil constriction mimicry stronger; and (iv) the link between pupil constriction mimicry and distrust observed under placebo disappears under oxytocin. We suggest that pupil-contingent trust is parochial and evolved in social species in and because of group life. © 2017 The Authors.

  11. The role of oxytocin in relationships between dogs and humans and potential applications for the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thielke, Lauren E; Udell, Monique A R

    2017-02-01

    The hormone oxytocin plays an important role in attachment formation and bonding between humans and domestic dogs. Recent research has led to increased interest in potential applications for intranasal oxytocin to aid with the treatment of psychological disorders in humans. While a few studies have explored the effects of intranasally administered oxytocin on social cognition and social bonding in dogs, alternative applications have not yet been explored for the treatment of behavioural problems in this species. One potentially important application for intranasal oxytocin in dogs could be the treatment of separation anxiety, a common attachment disorder in dogs. Here we provide an overview of what is known about the role of oxytocin in the human-dog bond and canine separation anxiety, and discuss considerations for future research looking to integrate oxytocin into behavioural treatment based on recent findings from both the human and dog literature. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  12. Visualization of oxytocin release that mediates paired pulse facilitation in hypothalamic pathways to brainstem autonomic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramón A Piñol

    Full Text Available Recent work has shown that oxytocin is involved in more than lactation and uterine contraction. The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN contains neuroendocrine neurons that control the release of hormones, including vasopressin and oxytocin. Other populations of PVN neurons do not release hormones, but rather project to and release neurotransmitters onto other neurons in the CNS involved in fluid retention, thermoregulation, sexual behavior and responses to stress. Activation of oxytocin receptors can be cardioprotective and reduces the adverse cardiovascular consequences of anxiety and stress, yet how oxytocin can affect heart rate and cardiac function is unknown. While anatomical work has shown the presence of peptides, including oxytocin, in the projections from the PVN to parasympathetic nuclei, electrophysiological studies to date have only demonstrated release of glutamate and activation of fast ligand gated receptors in these pathways. In this study, using rats, we directly show, using sniffer CHO cells that express oxytocin receptors and the Ca2+ indicator R-GECO, that optogenetic activation of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 expressing PVN fibers in the brainstem activates oxytocin receptors in the dorsomotor nucleus of the vagus (DMNV. We also demonstrate that while a single photoactivation of PVN terminals only activates glutamatergic receptors in brainstem cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs, neurons that dominate the neural control of heart rate, both the paired pulse facilitation, and sustained enhancement of glutamate release in this pathway is mediated by activation of oxytocin receptors. Our results provide direct evidence that a pathway from the PVN likely releases oxytocin and enhances short-term plasticity of this critical autonomic connection.

  13. Visualization of Oxytocin Release that Mediates Paired Pulse Facilitation in Hypothalamic Pathways to Brainstem Autonomic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piñol, Ramón A.; Jameson, Heather; Popratiloff, Anastas; Lee, Norman H.; Mendelowitz, David

    2014-01-01

    Recent work has shown that oxytocin is involved in more than lactation and uterine contraction. The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) contains neuroendocrine neurons that control the release of hormones, including vasopressin and oxytocin. Other populations of PVN neurons do not release hormones, but rather project to and release neurotransmitters onto other neurons in the CNS involved in fluid retention, thermoregulation, sexual behavior and responses to stress. Activation of oxytocin receptors can be cardioprotective and reduces the adverse cardiovascular consequences of anxiety and stress, yet how oxytocin can affect heart rate and cardiac function is unknown. While anatomical work has shown the presence of peptides, including oxytocin, in the projections from the PVN to parasympathetic nuclei, electrophysiological studies to date have only demonstrated release of glutamate and activation of fast ligand gated receptors in these pathways. In this study, using rats, we directly show, using sniffer CHO cells that express oxytocin receptors and the Ca2+ indicator R-GECO, that optogenetic activation of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) expressing PVN fibers in the brainstem activates oxytocin receptors in the dorsomotor nucleus of the vagus (DMNV). We also demonstrate that while a single photoactivation of PVN terminals only activates glutamatergic receptors in brainstem cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs), neurons that dominate the neural control of heart rate, both the paired pulse facilitation, and sustained enhancement of glutamate release in this pathway is mediated by activation of oxytocin receptors. Our results provide direct evidence that a pathway from the PVN likely releases oxytocin and enhances short-term plasticity of this critical autonomic connection. PMID:25379676

  14. Oxytocin and Serotonin Brain Mechanisms in the Nonhuman Primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefevre, Arthur; Richard, Nathalie; Jazayeri, Mina; Beuriat, Pierre-Aurélien; Fieux, Sylvain; Zimmer, Luc; Duhamel, Jean-René; Sirigu, Angela

    2017-07-12

    Oxytocin (OT) is increasingly studied for its therapeutic potential in psychiatric disorders, which are associated with the deregulation of several neurotransmission systems. Studies in rodents demonstrated that the interaction between OT and serotonin (5-HT) is critical for several aspects of social behavior. Using PET scan in humans, we have recently found that 5-HT 1A receptor (5-HT 1A R) function is modified after intranasal oxytocin intake. However, the underlying mechanism between OT and 5-HT remains unclear. To understand this interaction, we tested 3 male macaque monkeys using both [ 11 C]DASB and [ 18 F]MPPF, two PET radiotracers, marking the serotonin transporter and the 5-HT 1A R, respectively. Oxytocin (1 IU in 20 μl of ACSF) or placebo was injected into the brain lateral ventricle 45 min before scans. Additionally, we performed postmortem autoradiography. Compared with placebo, OT significantly reduced [ 11 C]DASB binding potential in right amygdala, insula, and hippocampus, whereas [ 18 F]MPPF binding potential increased in right amygdala and insula. Autoradiography revealed that [ 11 C]DASB was sensitive to physiological levels of 5-HT modification, and that OT does not act directly on the 5-HT 1A R. Our results show that oxytocin administration in nonhuman primates influences serotoninergic neurotransmission via at least two ways: (1) by provoking a release of serotonin in key limbic regions; and (2) by increasing the availability of 5-HT 1A R receptors in the same limbic areas. Because these two molecules are important for social behavior, our study sheds light on the specific nature of their interaction, therefore helping to develop new mechanisms-based therapies for psychiatric disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Social behavior is largely controlled by brain neuromodulators, such as oxytocin and serotonin. While these are currently targeted in the context of psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, a new promising pharmaceutical

  15. Social Media Tips to Enhance Medical Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Vikas; Kotsenas, Amy L

    2017-06-01

    In this article, we describe how social media can supplement traditional education, articulate the advantages and disadvantages of various social media platforms for both teachers and learners, discuss best practices to maintain confidentiality of protected health information, and provide tips for implementing social media-based teaching into the training curriculum. Copyright © 2017 The Association of University Radiologists. All rights reserved.

  16. Variation in Oxytocin is Related to Variation in Affiliative Behavior in Monogamous, Pairbonded Tamarins

    OpenAIRE

    Snowdon, Charles T.; Pieper, Bridget A.; Boe, Carla Y.; Cronin, Katherine A.; Kurian, Aimee V.; Ziegler, Toni E.

    2010-01-01

    Oxytocin plays an important role in monogamous pairbonded female voles, but not in polygamous voles. Here we examined a socially-monogamous cooperatively breeding primate where both sexes share in parental care and territory defense for within species variation in behavior and female and male oxytocin levels in 14 pairs of cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus), In order to obtain a stable chronic assessment of hormones and behavior, we observed behavior and collected urinary hormonal samples...

  17. Oxytocin makes females, but not males, less forgiving following betrayal of trust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Shuxia; Zhao, Weihua; Cheng, Rui; Geng, Yayuan; Luo, Lizhu; Kendrick, Keith M

    2014-11-01

    Although oxytocin has been shown to enhance trust behavior, to date no study has directly established whether oxytocin can modulate the effect of repair strategies on restoring damaged trust. In the current double-blind, between-subjects, placebo-controlled design study, two repair strategies were used to examine the effect of intranasal oxytocin administration on modulating trust restoration in a revised trust game. The results showed that although oxytocin had no overall effect on modulating trust restoration, it did have a significant gender specific effect. Female subjects showed less evidence for trust repair in the oxytocin compared with the placebo treatment group. This suggests that oxytocin may make female subjects exhibit more punitive behavior towards partners who violate their trust and less sensitive to repair strategies provided by them. Interestingly, this gender specific effect was more evident in the context of attempted trust repair using financial compensation. However, it also extended to both apology alone and no compensation conditions, but not to the fair one, in females exhibiting high trait forgiveness. Thus females with a more forgiving attitude towards betrayal may actually be more likely to punish betrayal following oxytocin treatment.

  18. Oxytocin Acts in Nucleus Accumbens to Attenuate Methamphetamine Seeking and Demand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Brittney M; Bentzley, Brandon S; Regen-Tuero, Helaina; See, Ronald E; Reichel, Carmela M; Aston-Jones, Gary

    2017-06-01

    Evidence indicates that oxytocin, an endogenous peptide well known for its role in social behaviors, childbirth, and lactation, is a promising addiction pharmacotherapy. We employed a within-session behavioral-economic (BE) procedure in rats to examine oxytocin as a pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine (meth) addiction. The BE paradigm was modeled after BE procedures used to assess motivation for drugs in humans with addiction. The same BE variables assessed across species have been shown to predict later relapse behavior. Thus, the translational potential of preclinical BE studies is particularly strong. We tested the effects of systemic and microinfused oxytocin on demand for self-administered intravenous meth and reinstatement of extinguished meth seeking in male and female rats using a BE paradigm. Correlations between meth demand and meth seeking were assessed. Female rats showed greater demand (i.e., motivation) for meth compared with male rats. In both male and female rats, meth demand predicted reinstatement of meth seeking, and systemic oxytocin decreased demand for meth and attenuated reinstatement to meth seeking. Oxytocin was most effective at decreasing meth demand and seeking in rats with the strongest motivation for drug. Finally, these effects of systemic oxytocin were mediated by actions in the nucleus accumbens. Oxytocin decreases meth demand and seeking in both sexes, and these effects depend on oxytocin signaling in the nucleus accumbens. Overall, these data indicate that development of oxytocin-based therapies may be a promising treatment approach for meth addiction in humans. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yining; Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-06-14

    Social processes profoundly influence speech and language acquisition. Despite the importance of social influences, little is known about how social interactions modulate vocal learning. Like humans, songbirds learn their vocalizations during development, and they provide an excellent opportunity to reveal mechanisms of social influences on vocal learning. Using yoked experimental designs, we demonstrate that social interactions with adult tutors for as little as 1 d significantly enhanced vocal learning. Social influences on attention to song seemed central to the social enhancement of learning because socially tutored birds were more attentive to the tutor's songs than passively tutored birds, and because variation in attentiveness and in the social modulation of attention significantly predicted variation in vocal learning. Attention to song was influenced by both the nature and amount of tutor song: Pupils paid more attention to songs that tutors directed at them and to tutors that produced fewer songs. Tutors altered their song structure when directing songs at pupils in a manner that resembled how humans alter their vocalizations when speaking to infants, that was distinct from how tutors changed their songs when singing to females, and that could influence attention and learning. Furthermore, social interactions that rapidly enhanced learning increased the activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic midbrain neurons. These data highlight striking parallels between humans and songbirds in the social modulation of vocal learning and suggest that social influences on attention and midbrain circuitry could represent shared mechanisms underlying the social modulation of vocal learning.

  20. Nasal Oxytocin Treatment Biases Dogs’ Visual Attention and Emotional Response toward Positive Human Facial Expressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanni Somppi

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide oxytocin plays a critical role in social behavior and emotion regulation in mammals. The aim of this study was to explore how nasal oxytocin administration affects gazing behavior during emotional perception in domestic dogs. Looking patterns of dogs, as a measure of voluntary attention, were recorded during the viewing of human facial expression photographs. The pupil diameters of dogs were also measured as a physiological index of emotional arousal. In a placebo-controlled within-subjects experimental design, 43 dogs, after having received either oxytocin or placebo (saline nasal spray treatment, were presented with pictures of unfamiliar male human faces displaying either a happy or an angry expression. We found that, depending on the facial expression, the dogs’ gaze patterns were affected selectively by oxytocin treatment. After receiving oxytocin, dogs fixated less often on the eye regions of angry faces and revisited (glanced back at more often the eye regions of smiling (happy faces than after the placebo treatment. Furthermore, following the oxytocin treatment dogs fixated and revisited the eyes of happy faces significantly more often than the eyes of angry faces. The analysis of dogs’ pupil diameters during viewing of human facial expressions indicated that oxytocin may also have a modulatory effect on dogs’ emotional arousal. While subjects’ pupil sizes were significantly larger when viewing angry faces than happy faces in the control (placebo treatment condition, oxytocin treatment not only eliminated this effect but caused an opposite pupil response. Overall, these findings suggest that nasal oxytocin administration selectively changes the allocation of attention and emotional arousal in domestic dogs. Oxytocin has the potential to decrease vigilance toward threatening social stimuli and increase the salience of positive social stimuli thus making eye gaze of friendly human faces more salient for dogs. Our

  1. Social Networking Sites: A premise on enhancement

    OpenAIRE

    MANINDERPAL SINGH SAINI; GYEWON MOON

    2013-01-01

    This article address five constructs that are paramount toward continued evolution of social networking sites (SNS`s) they include, - stabilisation, visual, language, security and flexibility. These constructs add to our proposed framework. Firmly grounded research on social networking sites and literature, we propose that user feedback, is the critical component that stimulates the development and growth of social networking sites online. We offer a framework that can aid new and current soc...

  2. Enhancing Unit Cohesion Via Social Media

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-10

    Leavenworth, March 22, 2016). 8 Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, Social Media Communication : Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics (New York, NY...Gazette 97, no. 2 (February 2013): 8-14. Lipschultz, Jeremy Harris. Social Media Communication : Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics . New York, NY... communicate , but usually limit their scope of online participation to simply obtaining a social media presence. Although having a presence online is

  3. Effects of oxytocin on high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation of adenomysis: A prospective study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Xin; Zou, Min; Zhang, Cai; He, Jia; Mao, Shihua; Wu, Qingrong; He, Min; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Ruitao; Zhang, Lian

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effects of oxytocin on high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation for the treatment of adenomyosis. Materials and methods: Eighty-six patients with adenomyosis from three hospitals were randomly assigned to the oxytocin group or control group for HIFU treatment. During HIFU treatment, 80 units of oxytocin was added in 500 ml of 0.9% normal saline running at the rate of 2 ml/min (0.32 U/min) in the oxytocin group, while 0.9% normal saline was used in the control group. Both patients and HIFU operators were blinded to oxytocin or saline application. Treatment results, adverse effects were compared. Results: When using oxytocin, the non-perfused volume (NPV) ratio was 80.7 ± 11.6%, the energy-efficiency factor (EEF) was 8.1 ± 9.9 J/mm 3 , and the sonication time required to ablate 1 cm 3 was 30.0 ± 36.0 s/cm 3 . When not using oxytocin, the non-perfused volume ratio was 70.8 ± 16.7%, the EEF was 15.8 ± 19.6 J/mm 3 , and the sonication time required to ablate 1 cm 3 was 58.2 ± 72.7 S/cm 3 . Significant difference in the NPV ratio, EEF, and the sonication time required to ablate 1 cm 3 between the two groups was observed. No oxytocin related adverse effects occurred. Conclusion: Oxytocin could significantly decrease the energy for ablating adenomyosis with HIFU, safely enhance the treatment efficiency

  4. Oxytocin differently regulates pressor responses to stress in WKY and SHR rats: the role of central oxytocin and V1a receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wsol, A; Szczepanska-Sadowska, E; Kowalewski, S; Puchalska, L; Cudnoch-Jedrzejewska, A

    2014-01-01

    The role of central oxytocin in the regulation of cardiovascular parameters under resting conditions and during acute stress was investigated in male normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY; n = 40) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR; n = 28). In Experiment 1, mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) and heart rate (HR) were recorded in WKY and SHR rats at rest and after an air-jet stressor during intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusions of vehicle, oxytocin or oxytocin receptor (OTR) antagonist. In Experiment 2, the effects of vehicle, oxytocin and OTR antagonist were determined in WKY rats after prior administration of a V1a vasopressin receptor (V1aR) antagonist. Resting MABP and HR were not affected by any of the ICV infusions either in WKY or in SHR rats. In control experiments (vehicle), the pressor response to stress was significantly higher in SHR. Oxytocin enhanced the pressor response to stress in the WKY rats but reduced it in SHR. During V1aR blockade, oxytocin infusion entirely abolished the pressor response to stress in WKY rats. Combined blockade of V1aR and OTR elicited a significantly greater MABP response to stress than infusion of V1a antagonist and vehicle. This study reveals significant differences in the regulation of blood pressure in WKY and SHR rats during alarming stress. Specifically, the augmentation of the pressor response to stress by exogenous oxytocin in WKY rats is caused by its interaction with V1aR, and endogenous oxytocin regulates the magnitude of the pressor response to stress in WKY rats by simultaneous interaction with OTR and V1aR.

  5. A New Perspective on the Pathophysiology of Borderline Personality Disorder: A Model of the Role of Oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herpertz, Sabine C; Bertsch, Katja

    2015-09-01

    Borderline personality disorder is characterized by three domains of dysfunction: affect dysregulation, behavioral dyscontrol, and interpersonal hypersensitivity. Interpersonal hypersensitivity is associated with a (pre)attentive bias toward negative social information and, on the level of the brain, enhanced bottom-up emotion generation, while affect dysregulation results from abnormal top-down processes. Additionally, the problems of patients with borderline personality disorder in interpersonal functioning appear to be related to alterations in the (social) reward and empathy networks. There is increasing evidence that the oxytocinergic system may be involved in these domains of dysfunction and may thus contribute to borderline psychopathology and even open new avenues for targeted pharmacotherapeutic approaches. From studies in healthy and clinical subjects (including first studies with borderline personality disorder patients), the authors provide a conceptual framework for future research in borderline personality disorder that is based on oxytocinergic modulation of the following biobehavioral mechanisms: 1) the brain salience network favoring adaptive social approach behavior, 2) the affect regulation circuit normalizing top-down processes, 3) the mesolimbic circuit improving social reward experiences, and 4) modulating brain regions involved in cognitive and emotional empathy. In addition, preliminary data point to interactions between the oxytocin and cannabinoid system, with implications for pain processing. These mechanisms, which the authors believe to be modulated by oxytocin, may not be specific for borderline personality disorder but rather may be common to a host of psychiatric disorders in which disturbed parent-infant attachment is a major etiological factor.

  6. African Americans and Network Disadvantage: Enhancing Social Capital through Participation on Social Networking Sites

    OpenAIRE

    Danielle Taana Smith

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the participation of African Americans on social networking sites (SNS), and evaluates the degree to which African Americans engage in activities in the online environment to mitigate social capital deficits. Prior literature suggests that compared with whites, African Americans have less social capital that can enhance their socio-economic mobility. As such, my research question is: do African Americans enhance their social capital through their participation on SNS? I us...

  7. Social Support and Social Anxiety in Use and Perceptions of Online Mental Health Resources: Exploring Social Compensation and Enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppel, Erin K; McKinley, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    This study used the frameworks of social compensation and social enhancement to examine how social anxiety and social support were related to college students' (N=443) use and perceptions of online mental health resources (Web sites and online support groups). Potential interactions between social support and social anxiety were also examined. Consistent with the social compensation hypothesis, perceived usefulness of Web sites was positively associated with social support. Perceived usefulness of online support groups was positively associated with social support when participants reported average or high, but not low, social anxiety. In contrast, previous use of Web sites was consistent with the social compensation hypothesis. Participants who reported less social support were more likely to have used a Web site for a mental or emotional problem. These findings suggest that college students' use and perceptions of online mental health resources vary as a function of social support and social anxiety, and that patterns suggestive of social compensation and social enhancement depend on whether perceptions or actual use of resources are examined. Combined with the significant interaction between social support and social anxiety on perceived usefulness of online support groups, these findings highlight the potential complexity of social compensation and enhancement phenomena.

  8. The Multidimensional Therapeutic Potential of Targeting the Brain Oxytocin System for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Michael T; Neumann, Inga D

    2017-09-24

    The neuropeptide oxytocin is released both into the blood and within the brain in response to reproductive stimuli, such as birth, suckling and sex, but also in response to social interaction and stressors. Substance use disorders, or addictions, are chronic, relapsing brain disorders and are one of the major causes of global burden of disease. Unfortunately, current treatment options for substance use disorders are extremely limited and a treatment breakthrough is sorely needed. There is mounting preclinical evidence that targeting the brain oxytocin system may provide that breakthrough. Substance use disorders are characterised by a viscous cycle of bingeing and intoxication, followed by withdrawal and negative affect, and finally preoccupation and anticipation that triggers relapse and further consumption. Administration of oxytocin has been shown to have a potential therapeutic benefit at each stage of this addiction cycle for numerous drugs of abuse. This multidimensional therapeutic utility is likely due to oxytocin's interactions with key biological systems that underlie the development and maintenance of addiction. Only a few human trials of oxytocin in addicted populations have been completed with the results thus far being mixed. There are numerous other trials underway, and the results are eagerly awaited. However, the ability to fully harness the potential therapeutic benefit of targeting the brain oxytocin system may depend on the development of molecules that selectively stimulate the oxytocin system, but that have superior pharmacokinetic properties to oxytocin itself.

  9. Effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment on plasma oxytocin and cortisol in major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, Charlotte; Dawood, Tye; Barton, David A; Lambert, Gavin W; Tilbrook, Alan J

    2013-04-29

    Oxytocin is known for its capacity to facilitate social bonding, reduce anxiety and for its actions on the stress hypothalamopituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. Since oxytocin can physiologically suppress activity of the HPA axis, clinical applications of this neuropeptide have been proposed in conditions where the function of the HPA axis is dysregulated. One such condition is major depressive disorder (MDD). Dysregulation of the HPA system is the most prominent endocrine change seen with MDD, and normalizing the HPA axis is one of the major targets of recent treatments. The potential clinical application of oxytocin in MDD requires improved understanding of its relationship to the symptoms and underlying pathophysiology of MDD. Previous research has investigated potential correlations between oxytocin and symptoms of MDD, including a link between oxytocin and treatment related symptom reduction. The outcomes of studies investigating whether antidepressive treatment (pharmacological and non-pharmacological) influences oxytocin concentrations in MDD, have produced conflicting outcomes. These outcomes suggest the need for an investigation of the influence of a single treatment class on oxytocin concentrations, to determine whether there is a relationship between oxytocin, the HPA axis (e.g., oxytocin and cortisol) and MDD. Our objective was to measure oxytocin and cortisol in patients with MDD before and following treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRI. We sampled blood from arterial plasma. Patients with MDD were studied at the same time twice; pre- and post- 12 weeks treatment, in an unblinded sequential design (clinicaltrials.govNCT00168493). Results did not reveal differences in oxytocin or cortisol concentrations before relative to following SSRI treatment, and there were no significant relationships between oxytocin and cortisol, or these two physiological variables and psychological symptom scores, before or after treatment. These outcomes

  10. Enhancing Resilience to Disasters using Social Media

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chaniotakis, Emmanouil; Antoniou, Constantinos; Pereira, Francisco Camara

    2017-01-01

    During the last decade, Social Media (SM) have emerged as a prominent trend in social communication, with online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to conquer the internet space with millions of visitors per day. SM usage generates an astonishing amount of information, which could be used...... for scarcely experienced situations, such as mass convergence and emergency events. This study presents a preliminary exploratory analysis on examining the capacity of Social Media to extract information on individuals choices during evacuation. We collect tweets from the evacuation in Oroville, California USA...

  11. Using corporate social responsibility to enhance value.

    OpenAIRE

    Taiwo, Waheed

    2012-01-01

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an important focus in today’s society due to reasons ranging from the new consciousness of people’s impact on the planet to how companies’ excessive pursuit of profit has led to the increased negative impact on people and the environment. As a result of this awareness, companies’ actions are being scrutinised like never before. Even though corporate social responsibility is not a new concept, it has evolved and is known under many different ...

  12. The other side of the coin: Oxytocin decreases the adherence to fairness norms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sina eRadke

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin has been implicated in prosocial behaviors such as trust and generosity. Yet, these effects appear to strongly depend on characteristics of the situation and the people with whom we interact or make decisions. Norms and rules can facilitate and guide our actions, with fairness being a particularly salient and fundamental norm. The current study investigated the effects of intranasal oxytocin administration on fairness considerations in social decision-making in a double‐blind, placebo‐controlled within‐subject design. After having received 24 IU of oxytocin or placebo, participants completed a one‐shot Dictator Game and played the role of the responder in a modified version of the Ultimatum Game, in which an unfair offer of 8 coins for the proposer and 2 coins for the responder is paired with either a fair‐ (5:5 or no‐alternative (8:2. Rejection rates were higher when a fair alternative had been available than when there was no alternative to an unfair offer. Importantly, oxytocin did not de- or increase rejection rates overall, but reduced the sensitivity to contextual fairness, i.e. the context of alternatives in which an offer was made. As dictators, participants allocated less coins to the recipient when given oxytocin than when given placebo, indicating a decline in generosity. These results suggest that oxytocin decreases the adherence to fairness norms in social settings where others are likely to be perceived as not belonging to one’s ingroup. While our findings do not support the prosocial conception of oxytocin, they corroborate recent ideas that the effects of oxytocin are more nuanced than assumed in the past.

  13. Elevated plasma oxytocin levels in children with Prader-Willi syndrome compared with healthy unrelated siblings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Lisa; Manzardo, Ann M; Miller, Jennifer L; Driscoll, Daniel J; Butler, Merlin G

    2016-03-01

    Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic disorder associated with distinct abnormal behaviors including hyperphagia, profound social deficits, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. PWS males showed reduced oxytocin receptor (OTR) gene expression and density in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus that may play a role in PWS psychopathology. Oxytocin is an anorexigenic neuropeptide similar to vasopressin that is associated with social cognition and obsessive-compulsive behavior. To evaluate oxytocin biology in PWS, we examined overnight fasting plasma oxytocin levels in 23 children with PWS (mean ± SD age: 8.2 ± 2.0 year) having genetic confirmation and 18 age matched healthy unrelated siblings without PWS (mean ± SD age: 8.2 ± 2.3 year) and a similar gender ratio under the same clinical assessments, specimen processing and laboratory conditions. Multiplex immune assays were carried out using the Milliplex Human Neuropeptide Magnetic panel and the Luminex system. Natural log-transformed oxytocin levels were analyzed using general linear model adjusting for diagnosis, gender, age and body mass index (BMI). Oxytocin plasma levels were significantly elevated in children with PWS (168 ± 121 pg/ml) compared with unrelated and unaffected siblings without the diagnosis of PWS (64.8 ± 83.8 pg/ml, F = 8.8, P model fit R(2) = 0.33 (P < 0.01). The symptoms of hyperphagia, anxiety and repetitive behaviors classically seen in PWS may be related to the disruption of oxytocin responsivity or feedback in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus possibly influencing vasopressin signaling. Further study is needed to characterize oxytocin function in PWS. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. The effect of oxytocin on biological motion perception in dogs (Canis familiaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovács, Krisztina; Kis, Anna; Kanizsár, Orsolya; Hernádi, Anna; Gácsi, Márta; Topál, József

    2016-05-01

    Recent studies have shown that the neuropeptide oxytocin is involved in the regulation of several complex human social behaviours. There is, however, little research on the effect of oxytocin on basic mechanisms underlying human sociality, such as the perception of biological motion. In the present study, we investigated the effect of oxytocin on biological motion perception in dogs (Canis familiaris), a species adapted to the human social environment and thus widely used to model many aspects of human social behaviour. In a within-subjects design, dogs (N = 39), after having received either oxytocin or placebo treatment, were presented with 2D projection of a moving point-light human figure and the inverted and scrambled version of the same movie. Heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) were measured as physiological responses, and behavioural response was evaluated by observing dogs' looking time. Subjects were also rated on the personality traits of Neuroticism and Agreeableness by their owners. As expected, placebo-pretreated (control) dogs showed a spontaneous preference for the biological motion pattern; however, there was no such preference after oxytocin pretreatment. Furthermore, following the oxytocin pretreatment female subjects looked more at the moving point-light figure than males. The individual variations along the dimensions of Agreeableness and Neuroticism also modulated dogs' behaviour. Furthermore, HR and HRV measures were affected by oxytocin treatment and in turn played a role in subjects' looking behaviour. We discuss how these findings contribute to our understanding of the neurohormonal regulatory mechanisms of human (and non-human) social skills.

  15. Oxytocin, cortisol and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine: neurohormonal aspects of recreational 'ecstasy'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Andrew C

    2016-12-01

    Most research into 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has debated its psychobiological effects in relation to neurotransmission. This article debates the contributory roles of the neurohormones oxytocin and cortisol for their psychobiological effects in humans. The empirical literature on these neurohormones is reviewed and suggestions for future research outlined. Acute MDMA or 'ecstasy' can generate increased levels of oxytocin and cortisol, and these neurohormonal changes may be important for its mood-enhancing and energy-activation effects in humans. However, an initial finding of enhanced sociability correlating with oxytocin levels has not been replicated. Potential reasons are debated. There may be dynamic interactions between the two neurohormones, with greater activation under cortisol, facilitating stronger positive feelings under oxytocin. Chronic regular use of MDMA can adversely affect cortisol in several ways. Regular users show increased cortisol in 3-month hair samples, changes to the cortisol awakening response, and indications of greater daily stress. Furthermore, these cortisol findings suggest changes to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The effects of chronic MDMA usage on oxytocin still need to be investigated. It is concluded that the neurohormones oxytocin and cortisol contribute in various ways to the psychobiological effects of recreational ecstasy/MDMA.

  16. Personal Profiles: Enhancing Social Interaction in Learning Networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berlanga, Adriana; Bitter-Rijpkema, Marlies; Brouns, Francis; Sloep, Peter; Fetter, Sibren

    2009-01-01

    Berlanga, A. J., Bitter-Rijpkema, M., Brouns, F., Sloep, P. B., & Fetter, S. (2011). Personal Profiles: Enhancing Social Interaction in Learning Networks. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 7(1), 66-82.

  17. Food sharing is linked to urinary oxytocin levels and bonding in related and unrelated wild chimpanzees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittig, Roman M.; Crockford, Catherine; Deschner, Tobias; Langergraber, Kevin E.; Ziegler, Toni E.; Zuberbühler, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Humans excel in cooperative exchanges between unrelated individuals. Although this trait is fundamental to the success of our species, its evolution and mechanisms are poorly understood. Other social mammals also build long-term cooperative relationships between non-kin, and recent evidence shows that oxytocin, a hormone involved in parent–offspring bonding, is likely to facilitate non-kin as well as kin bonds. In a population of wild chimpanzees, we measured urinary oxytocin levels following a rare cooperative event—food sharing. Subjects showed higher urinary oxytocin levels after single food-sharing events compared with other types of social feeding, irrespective of previous social bond levels. Also, urinary oxytocin levels following food sharing were higher than following grooming, another cooperative behaviour. Therefore, food sharing in chimpanzees may play a key role in social bonding under the influence of oxytocin. We propose that food-sharing events co-opt neurobiological mechanisms evolved to support mother–infant bonding during lactation bouts, and may act as facilitators of bonding and cooperation between unrelated individuals via the oxytocinergic system across social mammals. PMID:24430853

  18. Oxytocin Receptor (OXTR Polymorphisms and Attachment in Human Infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frances S Chen

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Ordinary variations in human infants’ attachment behaviors—their proclivity to seek and accept comfort from caregivers—are associated with a wide range of individual differences in psychological functioning in adults. The current investigation examined variation in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene as one possible source of these variations in infant attachment. One hundred and seventy-six infants (77 Caucasian, 99 non-Caucasian were classified as securely or insecurely attached based on their behavior in the Strange Situation (Ainsworth et al., 1976. The A allele at OXTR rs2254298 was associated with attachment security in the non-Caucasian infants (p < .005. These findings underscore the importance of oxytocin in the development of human social behavior and support its role in social stress-regulation and the development of trust.

  19. Emergent synchronous bursting of oxytocin neuronal network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico Rossoni

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available When young suckle, they are rewarded intermittently with a let-down of milk that results from reflex secretion of the hormone oxytocin; without oxytocin, newly born young will die unless they are fostered. Oxytocin is made by magnocellular hypothalamic neurons, and is secreted from their nerve endings in the pituitary in response to action potentials (spikes that are generated in the cell bodies and which are propagated down their axons to the nerve endings. Normally, oxytocin cells discharge asynchronously at 1-3 spikes/s, but during suckling, every 5 min or so, each discharges a brief, intense burst of spikes that release a pulse of oxytocin into the circulation. This reflex was the first, and is perhaps the best, example of a physiological role for peptide-mediated communication within the brain: it is coordinated by the release of oxytocin from the dendrites of oxytocin cells; it can be facilitated by injection of tiny amounts of oxytocin into the hypothalamus, and it can be blocked by injection of tiny amounts of oxytocin antagonist. Here we show how synchronized bursting can arise in a neuronal network model that incorporates basic observations of the physiology of oxytocin cells. In our model, bursting is an emergent behaviour of a complex system, involving both positive and negative feedbacks, between many sparsely connected cells. The oxytocin cells are regulated by independent afferent inputs, but they interact by local release of oxytocin and endocannabinoids. Oxytocin released from the dendrites of these cells has a positive-feedback effect, while endocannabinoids have an inhibitory effect by suppressing the afferent input to the cells.

  20. Oxytocin blocks pet dog (Canis familiaris object choice task performance being predicted by owner-perceived intelligence and owner attachment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Lee Oliva

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A positive association has been found between owner-rated dog cognition and owner-perceived closeness to their dog, using the Perceptions of Dog Intelligence and Cognitive Skills (PoDIaCS survey and the Monash Dog Owner Relationship Scale (MDORS. Oxytocin has been positively associated with bonding in mammals and with non-verbal intelligence in humans and could therefore explain this relationship between owner-rated questionnaires. The aims of this study were to ascertain: i whether a pet dog’s performance on an object choice task (OCT, which objectively measures dogs’ ability to use human non-verbal, social gestures to find a food reward, could be predicted by their owners’ scores on three different surveys: (a the MDORS, (b the Pet Attachment Questionnaire (PAQ, which measures levels of anxious and avoidant attachment styles, and (c a modified version of the PoDIaCS, and ii if intranasal administration of oxytocin to dogs, known to enhance dogs’ performance on such tasks, would disable the ability of an owner to predict their dogs’ performance. It was hypothesized that higher ratings of owner-reported closeness to their dog, and higher ratings of owner-perceived intelligence of their dog, would positively predict dog OCT performance after saline, but not after oxytocin. Seventy-five pet dogs and their owners were recruited to participate in two OCTs, 5-15 days apart, once after the dog received intranasal oxytocin and once after receiving saline. Owners completed the PoDIaCS and another survey relating to pet ownership before OCT 1, and the MDORS and PAQ before OCT 2. After saline administration, scores on the anxious subscale of the PAQ were a negative predictor of dog OCT performance using pointing cues, while subscale 6 of the PoDIaCS, ‘contagion of human emotions’, positively predicted performance using gazing cues. None of the questionnaire subscales were predictive of performance on the OCT after oxytocin administration

  1. Enhancing Formal E-Learning with Edutainment on Social Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labus, A.; Despotovic-Zrakic, M.; Radenkovic, B.; Bogdanovic, Z.; Radenkovic, M.

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports on the investigation of the possibilities of enhancing the formal e-learning process by harnessing the potential of informal game-based learning on social networks. The goal of the research is to improve the outcomes of the formal learning process through the design and implementation of an educational game on a social network…

  2. Effects of paternal deprivation on cocaine-induced behavioral response and hypothalamic oxytocin immunoreactivity and serum oxytocin level in female mandarin voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianli; Fang, Qianqian; Yang, Chenxi

    2017-09-15

    Early paternal behavior plays a critical role in behavioral development in monogamous species. The vast majority of laboratory studies investigating the influence of parental behavior on cocaine vulnerability focus on the effects of early maternal separation. However, comparable studies on whether early paternal deprivation influences cocaine-induced behavioral response are substantially lacking. Mandarin vole (Microtus mandarinus) is a monogamous rodent with high levels of paternal care. After mandarin vole pups were subjected to early paternal deprivation, acute cocaine- induced locomotion, anxiety- like behavior and social behavior were examined in 45day old female pups, while hypothalamic oxytocin immunoreactivity and serum oxytocin level were also assessed. We found that cocaine increased locomotion and decreased social investigation, contact behavior and serum oxytocin level regardless of paternal care. Cocaine increased anxiety levels and decreased oxytocin immunoreactive neurons of the paraventricular nuclei and supraoptic nuclei in the bi-parental care group, whilst there were no specific effects in the paternal deprivation group. These results indicate that paternal deprivation results in different behavioral response to acute cocaine exposure in adolescents, which may be in part associated with the alterations in oxytocin immunoreactivity and peripheral OT level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Centrally-administered oxytocin promotes preference for familiar objects at a short delay in ovariectomized female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madularu, Dan; Athanassiou, Maria; Yee, Jason R; Mumby, Dave G

    2014-11-01

    Oxytocin has been previously associated with social attachment behaviors in various species, however, most studies focused on partner preference in the socially-monogamous prairie vole. In these, oxytocin treatment was shown to promote partner preference, such that females receiving either central or pulsatile peripheral administration would spend more time with a familiar male. This behavioral outcome was blocked by oxytocin receptor antagonist treatment. The aim of the current study was to further explore the preference-inducing properties of oxytocin by examining its effects on object preference on ovariectomized female rats. In other words, we assessed whether these effects would apply to objects and if they would be persistent across species. Eight rats were infused with oxytocin into the left ventricle and object preference was assessed at two delays: 30min and 4h. At the 30min delay, oxytocin-treated animals showed preference for the familiar object, whereas saline-treated controls exhibited preference for the novel object. At the 4h delay, both groups showed novel-object preference. Our findings show that oxytocin modulates object preference in the female rat at a shorter delay, similar to the findings from partner-preference studies in the prairie vole, suggesting that the mechanisms driving object preference might be in part similar to those responsible for partner preference. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Something to talk about: Gossip increases oxytocin levels in a near real-life situation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brondino, Natascia; Fusar-Poli, Laura; Politi, Pierluigi

    2017-03-01

    Gossip is a pervasive social behavior. Its evolutionary survival seems related to its social functions, such as establishing group rules, punishing trespassers, exercising social influence through reputational systems, and developing and strengthening social bonds. We aimed at evaluating the effect of gossip on hormones (oxytocin and cortisol) and at identifying potential mediators of hormonal response to gossip. Twenty-two female students were randomly assigned to a gossip conversation or to an emotional non-gossip conversation. Additionally, all participants underwent a neutral conversation on the second day of the study. Salivary oxytocin and cortisol levels were measured. Oxytocin increased significantly in the gossip compared to the emotional non-gossip conversation. A decrease in cortisol levels was observed in all three conditions (gossip, emotional non-gossip, neutral). Change in cortisol levels was similar across conditions. Psychological characteristics (e.g. empathy, autistic traits, perceived stress, envy) did not affect oxytocin rise in the gossip condition. Our findings suggest that oxytocin may represent a potential hormonal correlate of gossip behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Endogenous oxytocin levels are associated with the perception of emotion in dynamic body expressions in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Gregory P; Keller, William R; Koenig, James I; Sullivan, Sara K; Gold, James M; Buchanan, Robert W

    2015-03-01

    Lower endogenous oxytocin levels have been associated with impaired social cognition in schizophrenia, particularly facial affect identification. Little is known about the relationship between oxytocin and other forms of emotion perception. In the current study, 41 individuals with schizophrenia (SZ) and 22 demographically matched healthy controls (CN) completed a forced-choice affective body expression classification task. Stimuli included dynamic videos of male and female actors portraying 4 discrete emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, and neutral. Plasma oxytocin levels were determined via radioimmunoassay. Results indicated that SZ had significantly higher plasma oxytocin concentrations than CN. SZ were also less accurate at identifying expressions of happiness and sadness; however, there were no group differences for anger or neutral stimuli. A group×sex interaction was also present, such that female CN were more accurate than male CN, whereas male SZ were more accurate than female SZ. Higher endogenous oxytocin levels were associated with better total recognition in both SZ and CN; this association was specific to females in SZ. Findings indicate that sex plays an important role in identifying emotional expressions in body gestures in SZ, and that individual differences in endogenous oxytocin predict emotion perception accuracy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Oxytocin course over pregnancy and postpartum period and the association with postpartum depressive symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobst, Andrea; Krause, Daniela; Maiwald, Carina; Härtl, Kristin; Myint, Aye-Mu; Kästner, Ralph; Obermeier, Michael; Padberg, Frank; Brücklmeier, Benedikt; Weidinger, Elif; Kieper, Susann; Schwarz, Markus; Zill, Peter; Müller, Norbert

    2016-08-01

    During the postpartum period, women are at higher risk of developing a mental disorder such as postpartum depression (PPD), a disorder that associates with mother-infant bonding and child development. Oxytocin is considered to play a key role in mother-infant bonding and social interactions and altered oxytocin plasma concentrations were found to be associated with PPD. In the present study, we evaluated oxytocin plasma levels and depressive symptoms during pregnancy and the postpartum period in healthy women. We evaluated 100 women twice during pregnancy (weeks 35 and 38) and three times in the postpartum period (within 2 days and 7 weeks and 6 months after delivery) by measuring oxytocin plasma levels with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and assessing depressive symptoms with the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale. Oxytocin plasma levels significantly increased from the 35th week of gestation to 6 months postpartum in all women. However, levels decreased from the 38th week of gestation to 2 days after delivery in participants with postpartum depressive symptoms, whereas they continuously increased in the group without postpartum depressive symptoms; the difference between the course of oxytocin levels in the two groups was significant (Δt2-t3: t = 2.14; p = 0.036*). Previous depressive episodes and breastfeeding problems predicted postpartum depressive symptoms. Our results indicate that alterations in the oxytocin system during pregnancy might be specific for women who develop postpartum depressive symptoms. Future studies should investigate whether oxytocin plasma levels might have predictive value in women at high risk for PPD.

  7. Hypopituitarism is associated with lower oxytocin concentrations and reduced empathic ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daughters, Katie; Manstead, Antony S R; Rees, D Aled

    2017-07-01

    Central diabetes insipidus is characterised by arginine vasopressin deficiency. Oxytocin is structurally related to vasopressin and is synthesised in the same hypothalamic nuclei, thus we hypothesised that patients with acquired central diabetes insipidus and anterior hypopituitarism would display an oxytocin deficiency. Moreover, psychological research has demonstrated that oxytocin influences social and emotional behaviours, particularly empathic behaviour. We therefore further hypothesised that central diabetes insipidus patients would perform worse on empathy-related tasks, compared to age-matched and gender-matched clinical control (clinical control-isolated anterior hypopituitarism) and healthy control groups. Fifty-six participants (age 46.54 ± 16.30 yrs; central diabetes insipidus: n = 20, 8 males; clinical control: n = 15, 6 males; healthy control: n = 20, 7 males) provided two saliva samples which were analysed for oxytocin and completed two empathy tasks. Hypopituitary patients (both central diabetes insipidus and clinical control groups) had significantly lower oxytocin concentrations compared to healthy control participants. Hypopituitary patients also performed significantly worse on both the reading the mind in the eyes task and the facial expression recognition task compared to healthy control participants. Regression analyses further revealed that central diabetes insipidus patients' oxytocin concentrations significantly predicted their performance on easy items of the reading the mind in the eyes task. Hypopituitarism may therefore be associated with reduced oxytocin concentrations and impaired empathic ability. While further studies are needed to replicate these findings, our data suggest that oxytocin replacement may offer a therapeutic approach to improve psychological well-being in patients with hypopituitarism.

  8. Variation in the oxytocin receptor gene is associated with increased risk for anxiety, stress and depression in individuals with a history of exposure to early life stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Amanda J; Williams, Leanne; Gatt, Justine M; McAuley-Clark, Erica Z; Dobson-Stone, Carol; Schofield, Peter R; Nemeroff, Charles B

    2014-12-01

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that is involved in the regulation of mood, anxiety and social biology. Genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) has been implicated in anxiety, depression and related stress phenotypes. It is not yet known whether OXTR interacts with other risk factors such as early life trauma to heighten the severity of experienced anxiety and depression. In this study, we examined genotypes in 653 individuals and tested whether SNP variation in OXTR correlates with severity of features of self-reported experience on the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS), and whether this correlation is enhanced when early life trauma is taken into account. We also assessed the effects of OXTR SNPs on RNA expression levels in two separate brain tissue cohorts totaling 365 samples. A significant effect of OXTR genotype on DASS anxiety, stress and depression scores was found and ELS events, in combination with several different OXTR SNPs, were significantly associated with differences in DASS scores with one SNP (rs139832701) showing significant association or a trend towards association for all three measures. Several OXTR SNPs were correlated with alterations in OXTR RNA expression and rs3831817 replicated across both sets of tissues. These results support the hypothesis that the oxytocin system plays a role in the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Oxytocin Modulates Meta-Mood as a Function of Age and Sex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie eEbner

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Attending to and understanding one’s own feelings are components of meta-mood and constitute important socio-affective skills across the entire lifespan. Growing evidence suggests a neuromodulatory role of the neuropeptide oxytocin on various socio-affective processes. Going beyond previous work that almost exclusively examined young men and perceptions of emotions in others, the current study investigated effects of intranasal oxytocin on meta-mood in young and older men and women. In a double-blind between-group design, participants were randomly assigned to self-administer either intranasal oxytocin or a placebo before responding to items from the Trait Meta-Mood Scale about attention to feelings and clarity of feelings. In contrast to older women, oxytocin relative to placebo increased attention to feelings in older men. Oxytocin relative to placebo enhanced meta-mood in young female participants but reduced it in older female participants. This pattern of findings supports an age- and sex-differential modulatory function of the neuropeptide oxytocin on meta-mood, possibly associated with neurobiological differences with age and sex.

  10. Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin on the Interpretation and Expression of Emotions in Anorexia Nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leppanen, J; Cardi, V; Ng, K W; Paloyelis, Y; Stein, D; Tchanturia, K; Treasure, J

    2017-03-01

    Altered social-emotional functioning is considered to play an important role in the development and maintenance of anorexia nervosa (AN). Recently, there has been increasing interest in investigating the role of intranasal oxytocin in social-emotional processing. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of intranasal oxytocin on the interpretation and expression of emotions among people with AN. Thirty women with AN and 29 age-matched healthy women took part in the present study, which used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. The participants received a single dose of 40 IU of intranasal oxytocin in one session and a placebo spray in the other. Fifteen minutes after administration, the participants completed the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test to assess the interpretation of complex emotions and mental states followed by a video task, which assessed expressions of facial affect when they were viewing humorous and sad film clips. The intranasal oxytocin did not significantly influence the expression or interpretation of emotions in the AN or healthy comparison groups. The AN group expressed significantly less positive emotion, spent more time looking away and reported experiencing a significantly more negative affect in response to the film clips. The finding that intranasal oxytocin had little to no effect on the interpretation or expression of emotions in either group supports the notion that the effects of oxytocin on social-emotional processing are not straightforward and may depend on individual and environmental differences, as well as the emotion being processed. Replication of these findings is necessary to explore the effect of timing on the effects of oxytocin before firm conclusions can be drawn. Nonetheless, these findings add to the steady accumulation of evidence that people with AN have reduced emotional expression and avoidance of emotionally provoking stimuli. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology

  11. Oxytocin and potential benefits for obesity treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olszewski, Pawel K; Klockars, Anica; Levine, Allen S

    2017-10-01

    Laboratory animal experiments have consistently shown that oxytocin causes early termination of food intake, thereby promoting a decrease in body weight in a long term. Recent studies have also assessed some of oxytocin's effects on appetite and energy balance in humans. The present study examines the findings of the key basic research and of the few clinical studies published thus far in the context of potential benefits and challenges stemming from the use of oxytocin in obese patients. Basic research indicates the involvement of oxytocin in satiety, processing, in reducing a drive to eat for pleasure and because of psychosocial factors. Although the results of clinical studies are very scarce, they suggest that oxytocin administered intranasally in humans decreases energy-induced and reward-induced eating, supports cognitive control of food choices, and improves glucose homeostasis, and its effectiveness may be BMI dependent. Despite the wealth of basic research showing broad anorexigenic effects of oxytocin, clinical studies on oxytocin's therapeutic potential in obesity, are still in their infancy. Future implementation of oxytocin-based pharmacological strategies in controlling energy balance will likely depend on our ability to integrate diverse behavioral and metabolic effects of oxytocin in obesity treatment regimens.

  12. Clinical and neural effects of six-week administration of oxytocin on core symptoms of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Kuroda, Miho; Kuwabara, Hitoshi; Aoki, Yuta; Iwashiro, Norichika; Tatsunobu, Natsubori; Takao, Hidemasa; Nippashi, Yasumasa; Kawakubo, Yuki; Kunimatsu, Akira; Kasai, Kiyoto; Yamasue, Hidenori

    2015-11-01

    Autism spectrum disorder is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder with no established pharmacological treatment for its core symptoms. Although previous literature has shown that single-dose administration of oxytocin temporally mitigates autistic social behaviours in experimental settings, it remains in dispute whether such potentially beneficial responses in laboratories can result in clinically positive effects in daily life situations, which are measurable only in long-term observations of individuals with the developmental disorder undergoing continual oxytocin administration. Here, to address this issue, we performed an exploratory, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial including 20 high-functional adult males with autism spectrum disorder. Data obtained from 18 participants who completed the trial showed that 6-week intranasal administration of oxytocin significantly reduced autism core symptoms specific to social reciprocity, which was clinically evaluated by Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (P = 0.034, PFDR intervention were not larger than those seen in our previous single-dose intervention. These findings not only provide the evidence for clinically beneficial effects of continual oxytocin administration on the core social symptoms of autism spectrum disorder with suggesting its underlying biological mechanisms, but also highlight the necessity to seek optimal regimens of continual oxytocin treatment in future studies. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Fluorescent visualization of oxytocin in the hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirofumi eHashimoto

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin (OXT is well known for its ability to the milk ejection reflex and uterine contraction. It is also involved in several other behaviors, such as anti-nociception, anxiety, feeding, social recognition and stress responses. OXT is synthesized in the magnocellular neurosecretory cells (MNCs in the hypothalamic paraventricular (PVN and the supraoptic nuclei (SON that terminate their axons in the posterior pituitary (PP. We generated transgenic rats that express the OXT and fluorescent protein fusion gene in order to visualize oxytocin in the hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system. In these transgenic rats, fluorescent proteins were observed in the MNCs and axon terminals in the PP. This transgenic rat is a new tool to study the physiological role of OXT in the hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system.

  14. The orgasmic history of oxytocin: Love, lust, and labor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navneet Magon

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin has been best known for its roles in female reproduction. It is released in large amounts during labor, and after stimulation of the nipples. It is a facilitator for childbirth and breastfeeding. However, recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin′s role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, bonding, and maternal behaviors. This small nine amino acid peptide is now believed to be involved in a wide variety of physiological and pathological functions such as sexual activity, penile erection, ejaculation, pregnancy, uterine contraction, milk ejection, maternal behavior, social bonding, stress and probably many more, which makes oxytocin and its receptor potential candidates as targets for drug therapy. From an innocuous agent as an aid in labor and delivery, oxytocin has come a long way in being touted as the latest party drug. The hormone of labor during the course of the last 100 years has had multiple orgasms to be the hormone of love. Many more shall be seen in the times to come!

  15. Oxytocin administration selectively improves olfactory detection thresholds for lyral in patients with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, J D; Lam, O; Chuang, B; Ford, J M; Mathalon, D H; Vinogradov, S

    2015-03-01

    Olfaction plays an important role in mammalian social behavior. Olfactory deficits are common in schizophrenia and correlate with negative symptoms and low social drive. Despite their prominence and possible clinical relevance, little is understood about the pathological mechanisms underlying olfactory deficits in schizophrenia and there are currently no effective treatments for these deficits. The prosocial neuropeptide oxytocin may affect the olfactory system when administered intranasally to humans and there is growing interest in its therapeutic potential in schizophrenia. To examine this model, we administered 40IU of oxytocin and placebo intranasally to 31 patients with a schizophrenia spectrum illness and 34 age-matched healthy control participants in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. On each test day, participants completed an olfactory detection threshold test for two different odors: (1) lyral, a synthetic fragrance compound for which patients with schizophrenia have specific olfactory detection threshold deficits, possibly related to decreased cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) signaling; and (2) anise, a compound for which olfactory detection thresholds change with menstrual cycle phase in women. On the placebo test day, patients with schizophrenia did not significantly differ from healthy controls in detection of either odor. We found that oxytocin administration significantly and selectively improved olfactory detection thresholds for lyral but not for anise in patients with schizophrenia. In contrast, oxytocin had no effect on detection of either odor in healthy controls. Our data indicate that oxytocin administration may ameliorate olfactory deficits in schizophrenia and suggest the effects of intranasal oxytocin may extend to influencing the olfactory system. Given that oxytocin has been found to increase cAMP signaling in vitro a possible mechanism for these effects is discussed. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Oxytocin determination by radioimmunoassay in cattle. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schams, D.; Schmidt-Polex, B.; Kruse, V.

    1979-01-01

    A radioimmunoassay for oxytocin in cow plasma is described. Antisera were raised in rabbits against synthetic oxytocin coupled to bovine thyroglobulin. Iodinated oxytocin free of unlabelled oxytocin and most likely also free of diiodo-oxytocin was used as radioactive tracer. The tracer showed a high degree of purity, and was stable on storage. It could be used in the assay for 2-3 months. The assay showed very little cross-reactivity with vasopressin. Acetone was used for the extraction of oxytocin from plasma as well as from standards made of synthetic exytocin in pooled cow plasma. Inhibition curves obtained with plasma collected from cows at parturition were parallel to those obtained with the oxytocin standard preparation. The mean recovery of oxytocin added to cow plasma was 106% (SD=14). The within-assay coefficient of variation (CV) varied from 5.2 to 10.9%, and the between-assay CV was in the order of 13%. The assay sensitivity was 1 pg (0.5 μU) per tube, corresponding to 3 pg/ml plasma. Around the time of milking the plasma oxytocin profile showed a strong response to the preparation for milking, and a further effect related to the attachment of the teat cups of the milking machine. Peak concentrations were in the range of 15-50 pg/ml. During parturition there was a peak of oxytocin (65 pg/ml) coinciding with the expulsion phase. After this peak levels decreased by remained measurably elevated until the expulsion of the placenta. The plasma disappearance curve for immunoreactive oxutocin after the infusion of 100 IU oxytocin over a period of 1 h showed two components with apparent half-lives of 7-9 and 25 min, respectively. (author)

  17. Melanocortin Receptor Agonists Facilitate Oxytocin-Dependent Partner Preference Formation in the Prairie Vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modi, Meera E; Inoue, Kiyoshi; Barrett, Catherine E; Kittelberger, Kara A; Smith, Daniel G; Landgraf, Rainer; Young, Larry J

    2015-07-01

    The central melanocortin (MC) system has been widely studied for its effects on food intake and sexual behavior. However, the MC system, and more specifically the MC4 receptor (MC4R), also interacts with neurochemical systems that regulate socioemotional behaviors, including oxytocin (OT) and dopamine. In monogamous prairie voles, OT and dopamine interact to promote partner preference formation, a laboratory measure of an enduring social bond between mates. Here we investigated the effects of MC receptor activation on partner preference formation in prairie voles, as well as the interaction between the MC and OT systems during this process. Peripheral administration of the brain penetrant MC3/4R receptor peptide agonist, Melanotan II (MTII), and the highly selective, small-molecule MC4R agonist, Pf-446687, enhanced partner preference formation in the prairie vole, but not in the non-monogamous meadow vole. MTII-induced partner preferences were enduring, as they were present 1 week after drug manipulation. The prosocial effects of MCR agonists may be mediated, in part, through modulation of OT, as coadministration of an OT receptor antagonist prevented MTII-induced partner preferences. MTII also selectively activated hypothalamic OT neurons and potentiated central OT release. As OT has been shown to enhance some aspects of social cognition in humans, our data suggest that the MC4R may be a viable therapeutic target for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, potentially through activation of the OT system.

  18. ANALYSIS OF POSSIBLE POSITIVE EFFECTS OF OXYTOCIN ADMINISTERED DURING BIRTH ON THE NEUROMOTOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE 0 - 5 YEAR-OLD-CHILDREN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iulia Elena DIACONU

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Neuropeptide oxytocin (OT receives increasing attention since, it plays a role in various behaviors including anxiety, drug addiction, learning, social recognition, empathy, pair bonding and decreased aggression. The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA, part of the limbic system, plays an important role in learning, memory, anxiety and reinforcing mechanisms. Oxytocin receptors are found in the tissues of the cardiovascular system, reproductive system, brain, and are activated by exposure to specific stimuli. The bestknown stimuli related to reproduction are sucking, birth, cervical stimulation during sexual intercourse. Changes in the oxytocinergic system play a fundamental role in the development of autism, mental disorders, including eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, with direct impact on the patient’s cognition and social behavior. Some researchers have observed that intranasal Oxytocin (OT is a potential treatment for multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. As oxytocin is a peptide, delivery by the intranasal (IN route is the preferred method in clinical studies. Although studies have shown increased cerebrospinal fluid oxytocin levels following intranasal administration, this does not unequivocably demonstrate that the peripherally administered oxytocin is entering the cerebrospinal fluid. For example, it has been suggested that peripheral delivery of oxytocin could lead to central release of endogenous oxytocin. It is also unknown whether the intranasal route provides for more efficient entry of the peptide into the CSF compared to the intravenous (IV route, which requires blood–brain barrier penetration.

  19. Inverse Effects of Oxytocin on Attributing Mental Activity to Others in Depressed and Healthy Subjects: A Double-Blind Placebo Controlled fMRI Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Pincus

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Oxytocin is a stress-attenuating and pro-social neuropeptide. To date, no study has looked at the effects of oxytocin in modulating brain activity in depressed individuals nor attempted to correlate this activity with attribution of mental activity in others. Method: We enrolled 10 unmedicated depressed adults and 10 matched healthy controls in a crossover, double blind placebo controlled fmri 40 i.u. intra-nasal oxytocin study (20 i.u. per nostril. Each subject performed Reading the Mind in the Eyes task (RMET before and after inhalation of oxytocin or placebo control for a total of 80 scans. Results: Before oxytocin administration, RMET engaged medial and lateral prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula and associative areas. Depressed subjects showed increased anterior ventral activation for the RMET minus gender identification contrast whereas matched controls showed increased dorsal and frontal activity. Compared to placebo, oxytocin in depressed subjects showed increased activity in the superior middle frontal gyrus and insula, while controls exhibited more activity in ventral regions. Oxytocin also led to inverse effects in reaction times on attribution task between groups, with controls getting faster and depressed individuals slower to respond. Conclusion: Depression is associated with increased paralimbic activity during emotional mental attribution of others, appearing to be distinctly modulated by oxytocin when compared to healthy controls. Further studies are needed to explore long-term exposure to pro-social neuropeptides on mood in depressed populations and assess their clinical relevance.

  20. Oxytocin biotransformation in the rat limbic brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burbach, J.P.H.; Schotman, P.; Kloet, E.R. de

    2006-01-01

    Two peptide fragments of oxytocin were isolated by high-pressure liquid chromatography from digests of oxytocin obtained after exposure to a SPM preparation of the rat limbic brain. The structures of these peptides, being Gln-Asn-Cys(O)x-Pro-Leu-GlyNH2 and Gln-Asn-Cys(-S-S-Cys)-Pro-Leu-GlyNH2, were

  1. Meta-analysis of the effects of intranasal oxytocin on interpretation and expression of emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leppanen, Jenni; Ng, Kah Wee; Tchanturia, Kate; Treasure, Janet

    2017-07-01

    Accurate interpretation and appropriate expression of emotions are key aspects of social-cognition. Several mental disorders are characterised by transdiagnostic difficulties in these areas and, recently, there has been increasing interest in exploring the effects of oxytocin on social-emotional functioning. This review consists of 33 studies. Fifteen of the studies included people with autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, frontotemporal dementia, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and opioid and alcohol dependence. We conducted ten meta-analyses examining the effects of intranasal oxytocin on expression of emotions, emotional theory of mind, sensitivity to recognise basic emotions, and recognition of basic emotions. A single dose of intranasal oxytocin significantly improved the recognition of basic emotions, particularly fear, and increased the expression of positive emotions among the healthy individuals. Oxytocin did not significantly influence theory of mind or the expression of negative emotions among the healthy individuals. Finally, intranasal oxytocin did not significantly influence interpretation or expression of emotions among the clinical populations. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Acute oxytocin improves memory and gaze following in male but not female nursery-reared infant macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Elizabeth A; Paukner, Annika; Sclafani, Valentina; Kaburu, Stefano S K; Suomi, Stephen J; Ferrari, Pier F

    2017-02-01

    Exogenous oxytocin administration is widely reported to improve social cognition in human and nonhuman primate adults. Risk factors of impaired social cognition, however, emerge in infancy. Early interventions-when plasticity is greatest-are critical to reverse negative outcomes. We tested the hypothesis that oxytocin may exert similar positive effects on infant social cognition, as in adults. To test this idea, we assessed the effectiveness of acute, aerosolized oxytocin on two foundational social cognitive skills: working memory (i.e., ability to briefly hold and process information) and social gaze (i.e., tracking the direction of others' gaze) in 1-month-old nursery-reared macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta). We did not predict sex differences, but we included sex as a factor in our analyses to test whether our effects would be generalizable across both males and females. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled design, we found that females were more socially skilled at baseline compared to males, and that oxytocin improved working memory and gaze following, but only in males. These sex differences, while unexpected, may be due to interactions with gonadal steroids and may be relevant to sexually dimorphic disorders of social cognition, such as male-biased autism spectrum disorder, for which oxytocin has been proposed as a potential treatment. In sum, we report the first evidence that oxytocin may influence primate infant cognitive abilities. Moreover, these behavioral effects appear sexually dimorphic, highlighting the importance of considering sex differences. Oxytocin effects observed in one sex may not be generalizable to the other sex.

  3. Socially in sync

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Niels Chr.; Gebauer, Line; Witek, Maria

    In this talk I will present novel data from a recent experiment where we found that nasally administered oxytocin enhances synchrony in a dyadic tapping task. Specifically, in comparison with placebo, oxytocin led to reduced tapping variability in followers when tapping with an unresponsive partner...

  4. African Americans and Network Disadvantage: Enhancing Social Capital through Participation on Social Networking Sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Taana Smith

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the participation of African Americans on social networking sites (SNS, and evaluates the degree to which African Americans engage in activities in the online environment to mitigate social capital deficits. Prior literature suggests that compared with whites, African Americans have less social capital that can enhance their socio-economic mobility. As such, my research question is: do African Americans enhance their social capital through their participation on SNS? I use nationally representative data collected from the Pew Internet and American Life Project to explore the research question. The results suggest that the online environment is potentially a space in which African Americans can lessen social capital deficits.

  5. Inhaled oxytocin amplifies both vicarious reinforcement and self reinforcement in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Steve W C; Barter, Joseph W; Ebitz, R Becket; Watson, Karli K; Platt, Michael L

    2012-01-17

    People attend not only to their own experiences, but also to the experiences of those around them. Such social awareness profoundly influences human behavior by enabling observational learning, as well as by motivating cooperation, charity, empathy, and spite. Oxytocin (OT), a neurosecretory hormone synthesized by hypothalamic neurons in the mammalian brain, can enhance affiliation or boost exclusion in different species in distinct contexts, belying any simple mechanistic neural model. Here we show that inhaled OT penetrates the CNS and subsequently enhances the sensitivity of rhesus macaques to rewards occurring to others as well as themselves. Roughly 2 h after inhaling OT, monkeys increased the frequency of prosocial choices associated with reward to another monkey when the alternative was to reward no one. OT also increased attention to the recipient monkey as well as the time it took to render such a decision. In contrast, within the first 2 h following inhalation, OT increased selfish choices associated with delivery of reward to self over a reward to the other monkey, without affecting attention or decision latency. Despite the differences in species typical social behavior, exogenous, inhaled OT causally promotes social donation behavior in rhesus monkeys, as it does in more egalitarian and monogamous ones, like prairie voles and humans, when there is no perceived cost to self. These findings potentially implicate shared neural mechanisms.

  6. Oxytocin and Socioemotional Aging─Current Knowledge and Future Trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie C. Ebner

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The oxytocin (OT system is involved in various aspects of social cognition and prosocial behavior. Specifically, OT has been examined in the context of social memory, emotion recognition, cooperation, trust, empathy, and bonding, and─though evidence is somewhat mixed─intranasal OT appears to benefit aspects of socioemotional functioning. However, most of the extant data on aging and OT is from animal research and human OT research has focused largely on young adults. As such, though we know that various socioemotional capacities change with age, we know little about whether age-related changes in the OT system may underlie age-related differences in socioemotional functioning. In this review, we take a genetic-neuro-behavioral approach and evaluate current evidence on age-related changes in the OT system as well as the putative effects of these alterations on age-related socioemotional functioning. Looking forward, we identify informational gaps and propose an Age-Related Genetic, Neurobiological, Sociobehavioral Model of Oxytocin (AGeNeS-OT model which may structure and inform investigations into aging-related genetic, neural, and sociocognitive processes related to OT. As an exemplar of the use of the model, we report exploratory data suggesting differences in socioemotional processing associated with genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR in samples of young and older adults. Information gained from this arena has translational potential in depression, social stress, and anxiety─all of which have high relevance in aging─and may contribute to reducing social isolation and improving well-being of individuals across the lifespan.

  7. Oxytocin determination by radioimmunoassay in cattle. 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schams, D.; Baumann, G.; Leidl, W.

    1982-01-01

    Oxytocin concentration in jugular vein blood was measured radioimmunologically with a detection limit of 3 pg/ml plasma in male and female cattle. Five bulls were tested; during mating a cow in oestrus with intromission and ejaculation, during mounting a dummy or another bull with ejaculation into an artificial vagina or during false mounts. No increase in oxytocin concentrations could be observed, but stimulation with an electro-ejaculator caused an increase ranging from 5-84 pg/ml after a latent period of 3-5 min. A similar response was observed in two cows following the same procedure. The contact with a bull, false mount or mating with intromission and ejaculation was not followed by a measurable oxytocin release in 5 test cows. The following stimulation techniques, massage of vulva and clitoris, massage of cervix and uterus per rectum, artificial insemination, introduction of a speculum into the vagina or insufflation of air into the vagina were performed with 5 cows and 5 heifers. Insufflation of air into the vagina was the most effective stimulus, eleciting an oxytocin release up to 588 pg/ml. All 5 heiers responded positively, as well as 4 cows in oestrus. The other manipulations cuased an oxytocin response mainly in heifers (whether in oestrus or dioestrus), whereas only one cow in oestrus responded with an oxytocin release. In general, oxytocin concentrations increase about 30-90 s after the start of the stimulus. (author)

  8. The role of trauma in the hormonal interplay of cortisol, testosterone, and oxytocin in adolescent aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fragkaki, Iro; Cima, Maaike; Granic, Isabela

    2018-02-01

    Although numerous studies have examined the neuroendocrinology of aggression, the findings are mixed and focused on cortisol and testosterone. We argue that past findings remain inconclusive partly because the key roles of oxytocin and trauma have not been systematically integrated yet. Oxytocin is associated with social behavior and interacts with cortisol and testosterone, whereas trauma is a crucial risk factor of aggression that strongly affects hormonal activity. In this review, we investigate the role of trauma in the hormonal interplay of cortisol, testosterone, and oxytocin in aggression during adolescence. We first discuss how these hormones interact with each other and how trauma influences these interactions and then we propose a model that highlights the role of trauma in the hormonal interplay in aggression. We suggest that the timing of trauma has a distinct effect on hormonal activity and it should be integrated into any comprehensive model. Current trauma is linked to different levels of oxytocin, cortisol, testosterone, and testosterone/cortisol ratio than childhood trauma, but this distinction is also influenced by gender and type of aggression. We conclude that in order to better understand the neuroendocrinology of aggression, it is crucial to incorporate the investigation of oxytocin and trauma in future research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Oxytocin modulates third-party sanctioning of selfish and generous behavior within and between groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daughters, Katie; Manstead, Antony S R; Ten Velden, Femke S; De Dreu, Carsten K W

    2017-03-01

    Human groups function because members trust each other and reciprocate cooperative contributions, and reward others' cooperation and punish their non-cooperation. Here we examined the possibility that such third-party punishment and reward of others' trust and reciprocation is modulated by oxytocin, a neuropeptide generally involved in social bonding and in-group (but not out-group) serving behavior. Healthy males and females (N=100) self-administered a placebo or 24 IU of oxytocin in a randomized, double-blind, between-subjects design. Participants were asked to indicate (incentivized, costly) their level of reward or punishment for in-group (outgroup) investors donating generously or fairly to in-group (outgroup) trustees, who back-transferred generously, fairly or selfishly. Punishment (reward) was higher for selfish (generous) investments and back-transfers when (i) investors were in-group rather than outgroup, and (ii) trustees were in-group rather than outgroup, especially when (iii) participants received oxytocin rather than placebo. It follows, first, that oxytocin leads individuals to ignore out-groups as long as out-group behavior is not relevant to the in-group and, second, that oxytocin contributes to creating and enforcing in-group norms of cooperation and trust. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Oxytocin decreases colonic motility of cold water stressed rats via oxytocin receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiao; Xi, Tao-Fang; Li, Yu-Xian; Wang, Hai-Hong; Qin, Ying; Zhang, Jie-Ping; Cai, Wen-Ting; Huang, Meng-Ting; Shen, Ji-Qiao; Fan, Xi-Min; Shi, Xuan-Zheng; Xie, Dong-Ping

    2014-08-21

    To investigate whether cold water intake into the stomach affects colonic motility and the involvement of the oxytocin-oxytocin receptor pathway in rats. Female Sprague Dawley rats were used and some of them were ovariectomized. The rats were subjected to gastric instillation with cold (0-4 °C, cold group) or room temperature (20-25 °C, control group) saline for 14 consecutive days. Colon transit was determined with a bead inserted into the colon. Colonic longitudinal muscle strips were prepared to investigate the response to oxytocin in vitro. Plasma concentration of oxytocin was detected by ELISA. Oxytocin receptor expression was investigated by Western blot analysis. Immunohistochemistry was used to locate oxytocin receptors. Colon transit was slower in the cold group than in the control group (P cold water intake (0.69 ± 0.08 vs 0.88 ± 0.16, P receptors were located in the myenteric plexus, and their expression was up-regulated in the cold group (P Cold water intake increased blood concentration of oxytocin, but this effect was attenuated in ovariectomized rats (286.99 ± 83.72 pg/mL vs 100.56 ± 92.71 pg/mL, P Cold water intake inhibits colonic motility partially through oxytocin-oxytocin receptor signaling in the myenteric nervous system pathway, which is estrogen dependent.

  11. Salivary Oxytocin and Vasopressin Levels in Police Officers With and Without Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frijling, J. L.; van Zuiden, M.; Nawijn, L.; Koch, S. B. J.; Neumann, I. D.; Veltman, D. J.; Olff, M.

    2015-01-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterised by symptoms associated with maladaptive fear and stress responses, as well as with social detachment. The neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) have been associated with both regulating fear and neuroendocrine stress

  12. Enhancing promotional strategies within social marketing programs: use of Web 2.0 social media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thackeray, Rosemary; Neiger, Brad L; Hanson, Carl L; McKenzie, James F

    2008-10-01

    The second generation of Internet-based applications (i.e., Web 2.0), in which users control communication, holds promise to significantly enhance promotional efforts within social marketing campaigns. Web 2.0 applications can directly engage consumers in the creative process by both producing and distributing information through collaborative writing, content sharing, social networking, social bookmarking, and syndication. Web 2.0 can also enhance the power of viral marketing by increasing the speed at which consumers share experiences and opinions with progressively larger audiences. Because of the novelty and potential effectiveness of Web 2.0, social marketers may be enticed to prematurely incorporate related applications into promotional plans. However, as strategic issues such as priority audience preferences, selection of appropriate applications, tracking and evaluation, and related costs are carefully considered, Web 2.0 will expand to allow health promotion practitioners more direct access to consumers with less dependency on traditional communication channels.

  13. Students’ Motivations for Social Media Enhanced Studying and Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsi Silius

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Solutions of social media enhanced learning are widely studied in Hypermedia Laboratory at Tampere University of Technology (TUT. In recent years Web 2.0 based social media services (e.g., Facebook®, LinkedIn®, Last.fm®, etc. have become popular, especially among young people. Based on this phenomenon TUT Hypermedia researchers have developed a social networking site for TUT freshmen aiming to provide convenient tools for interaction and study support. The first idea was to offer a free-of-charge social web site in the context of learning Basic Engineering Mathematics at TUT. This was thought to be an efficient tool to get new students studies off to a good start as mathematics courses play a significant role. However, the prediction failed, which caused us to study students‟ motivations for social network site usage in the study context. This paper describes research conducted in 2009. Moreover, a description of subsequent measures accomplished (e.g., web site development and social network analysis at TUT is included.

  14. Social relevance enhances memory for impressions in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, Brittany S; Gutchess, Angela H

    2012-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that older adults have difficulty retrieving contextual material over items alone. Recent research suggests this deficit can be reduced by adding emotional context, allowing for the possibility that memory for social impressions may show less age-related decline than memory for other types of contextual information. Two studies investigated how orienting to social or self-relevant aspects of information contributed to the learning and retrieval of impressions in young and older adults. Participants encoded impressions of others in conditions varying in the use of self-reference (Experiment 1) and interpersonal meaningfulness (Experiment 2), and completed memory tasks requiring the retrieval of specific traits. For both experiments, age groups remembered similar numbers of impressions. In Experiment 1 using more self-relevant encoding contexts increased memory for impressions over orienting to stimuli in a non-social way, regardless of age. In Experiment 2 older adults had enhanced memory for impressions presented in an interpersonally meaningful relative to a personally irrelevant way, whereas young adults were unaffected by this manipulation. The results provide evidence that increasing social relevance ameliorates age differences in memory for impressions, and enhances older adults' ability to successfully retrieve contextual information.

  15. Corticosterone release in oxytocin gene deletion mice following exposure to psychogenic versus non-psychogenic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amico, Janet A; Cai, Hou-ming; Vollmer, Regis R

    2008-09-19

    Both anxiety-related behavior [J.A. Amico, R.C. Mantella, R.R. Vollmer, X. Li, Anxiety and stress responses in female oxytocin deficient mice, J. Neuroendocrinol. 16 (2004) 1-6; R.C. Mantella, R.R. Vollmer, X. Li, J.A. Amico, Female oxytocin-deficient mice display enhanced anxiety-related behavior, Endocrinology 144 (2003) 2291-2296] and the release of corticosterone following a psychogenic stress such as exposure to platform shaker was greater in female [J.A. Amico, R.C. Mantella, R.R. Vollmer, X. Li, Anxiety and stress responses in female oxytocin deficient mice, J. Neuroendocrinol. 16 (2004) 1-6; R.C. Mantella, R.R. Vollmer, L. Rinaman, X. Li, J.A. Amico, Enhanced corticosterone concentrations and attenuated Fos expression in the medial amygdala of female oxytocin knockout mice exposed to psychogenic stress, Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 287 (2004) R1494-R1504], but not male [R.C. Mantella, R.R. Vollmer, J.A. Amico, Corticosterone release is heightened in food or water deprived oxytocin deficient male mice, Brain Res. 1058 (2005) 56-61], oxytocin gene deletion (OTKO) mice compared to wild type (WT) cohorts. In the present study we exposed OTKO and WT female mice to another psychogenic stress, inserting a rectal probe to record body temperature followed by brief confinement in a metabolic cage, and measured plasma corticosterone following the stress. OTKO mice released more corticosterone than WT mice (Pstress. In contrast, if OTKO and WT female and male mice were administered insulin-induced hypoglycemia, an acute physical stress, corticosterone release was not different between genotypes. The absence of central OT signaling pathways in female mice heightens the neuroendocrine (e.g., corticosterone) response to psychogenic stress, but not to the physical stress of insulin-induced hypoglycemia.

  16. SOCIAL PERFORMANCE ENHANCES FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE. BENEFITS FROM CSR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    gazzola patrizia

    2012-07-01

    professionalism and business creativity for the purpose of business growth that also takes into account the social groups. Our research considers the conditions for the effectiveness of CSR actions in creating a positive feedback that can produce ever greater economic and social-environmental results. Thus a firm must set a system of objectives for itself which is centered on its sustainable growth, and must therefore tend toward a multi-dimensional growth that encompasses the economic, social and environmental dimensions. In the last part we explain how socially responsible business practices can enhance a company's value.

  17. The impact of oxytocin administration on charitable donating is moderated by experiences of parental love-withdrawal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marinus H. Van Ijzendoorn

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin has been implicated in a variety of prosocial processes but most of this work has used laboratory tasks (such as the ultimatum game or the dictator game to evaluate oxytocin’s prosocial effects. In a double blind randomized trial we examined the influence of intranasal administration of oxytocin on real, high-cost donating money to a charity without any expectation for reciprocation. Participants in the current study were 57 female undergraduate students, aged 18-30 years, who received a nasal spray containing either 24 IU of oxytocin or a placebo, and were then given the opportunity to make a charitable donation. The participants reported how often their parents used love-withdrawal as a disciplinary strategy involving withholding love and affection after a failure or misbehavior. Oxytocin appeared to increase the participants’ willingness to donate money to a charity but only in participants who experienced low levels of parental love-withdrawal. In contrast, oxytocin administration was ineffective in enhancing donating behavior in individuals who experienced high levels of parental love-withdrawal. We conclude that the positive effect of oxytocin administration on prosocial behavior may be limited to individuals with supportive backgrounds.

  18. Oxytocin promotes group-serving dishonesty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalvi, Shaul; De Dreu, Carsten K W

    2014-04-15

    To protect and promote the well-being of others, humans may bend the truth and behave unethically. Here we link such tendencies to oxytocin, a neuropeptide known to promote affiliation and cooperation with others. Using a simple coin-toss prediction task in which participants could dishonestly report their performance levels to benefit their group's outcome, we tested the prediction that oxytocin increases group-serving dishonesty. A double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment allowing individuals to lie privately and anonymously to benefit themselves and fellow group members showed that healthy males (n = 60) receiving intranasal oxytocin, rather than placebo, lied more to benefit their group, and did so faster, yet did not necessarily do so because they expected reciprocal dishonesty from fellow group members. Treatment effects emerged when lying had financial consequences and money could be gained; when losses were at stake, individuals in placebo and oxytocin conditions lied to similar degrees. In a control condition (n = 60) in which dishonesty only benefited participants themselves, but not fellow group members, oxytocin did not influence lying. Together, these findings fit a functional perspective on morality revealing dishonesty to be plastic and rooted in evolved neurobiological circuitries, and align with work showing that oxytocin shifts the decision-maker's focus from self to group interests. These findings highlight the role of bonding and cooperation in shaping dishonesty, providing insight into when and why collaboration turns into corruption.

  19. Levels of central oxytocin and glucocorticoid receptor and serum adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone in mandarin voles with different levels of sociability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Xufeng; Yan, Yating; Tai, Fadao; Wu, Ruiyong; Hao, Ping; Fang, Qianqian; Zhang, Shuwei

    2014-11-01

    Sociability is the prerequisite to social living. Oxytocin and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis mediate various social behaviors across different social contexts in different rodents. We hypothesized that they also mediate levels of non-reproductive social behavior. Here we explored naturally occurring variation in sociability through a social preference test and compared central oxytocin, glucocorticoid receptors, serum adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone in mandarin voles with different levels of sociability. We found that low-social voles showed higher levels of anxiety-like behavior in open field tests, and had more serum adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone than high-social voles. High-social individuals had more glucocorticoid receptor positive neurons in the hippocampus and more oxytocin positive neurons in the paraventricular nuclei and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus than low-social individuals. Within the same level of sociability, females had more oxytocin positive neurons in the paraventricular nuclei and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus than males. These results indicate that naturally occurring social preferences are associated with higher levels of central oxytocin and hippocampus glucocorticoid receptor and lower levels of anxiety and serum adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Coarse cluster enhancing collaborative recommendation for social network systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yao-Dong; Cai, Shi-Min; Tang, Ming; Shang, Min-Sheng

    2017-10-01

    Traditional collaborative filtering based recommender systems for social network systems bring very high demands on time complexity due to computing similarities of all pairs of users via resource usages and annotation actions, which thus strongly suppresses recommending speed. In this paper, to overcome this drawback, we propose a novel approach, namely coarse cluster that partitions similar users and associated items at a high speed to enhance user-based collaborative filtering, and then develop a fast collaborative user model for the social tagging systems. The experimental results based on Delicious dataset show that the proposed model is able to dramatically reduce the processing time cost greater than 90 % and relatively improve the accuracy in comparison with the ordinary user-based collaborative filtering, and is robust for the initial parameter. Most importantly, the proposed model can be conveniently extended by introducing more users' information (e.g., profiles) and practically applied for the large-scale social network systems to enhance the recommending speed without accuracy loss.

  1. The Way Dogs (Canis familiaris Look at Human Emotional Faces Is Modulated by Oxytocin. An Eye-Tracking Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Kis

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Dogs have been shown to excel in reading human social cues, including facial cues. In the present study we used eye-tracking technology to further study dogs’ face processing abilities. It was found that dogs discriminated between human facial regions in their spontaneous viewing pattern and looked most to the eye region independently of facial expression. Furthermore dogs played most attention to the first two images presented, afterwards their attention dramatically decreases; a finding that has methodological implications. Increasing evidence indicates that the oxytocin system is involved in dogs’ human-directed social competence, thus as a next step we investigated the effects of oxytocin on processing of human facial emotions. It was found that oxytocin decreases dogs’ looking to the human faces expressing angry emotional expression. More interestingly, however, after oxytocin pre-treatment dogs’ preferential gaze toward the eye region when processing happy human facial expressions disappears. These results provide the first evidence that oxytocin is involved in the regulation of human face processing in dogs. The present study is one of the few empirical investigations that explore eye gaze patterns in naïve and untrained pet dogs using a non-invasive eye-tracking technique and thus offers unique but largely untapped method for studying social cognition in dogs.

  2. Next Generations of Road Pricing: Social Welfare Enhancing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omid M. Rouhani

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper offers a broad overview of road pricing from a social welfare perspective. I first examine two common objectives of road pricing: congestion management and profit making. My goal is to provide a guideline explaining how to promote a social-welfare-enhancing road pricing scheme. To this end, we should: (i consider and improve public transportation systems by providing more environment-friendly transport options; (ii include tolling profits in our welfare analysis (as opposed to what economists suggest since residents are the real owners of roads not users, and since some users are from outside the region and so might not be excluded from analysis; and (iii search for a holistic approach that takes into account system-wide impacts, disutility to users who change their travel behavior (i.e., switch to public transportation, shift their travel, or do not travel at all, and the impacts on land use, employment, and residents.

  3. Peer Learning in Social Media Enhanced Learning Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Maritta Tervakari

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available TUT Circle, a dedicated social media service for students at Tampere University of Technology (TUT, was used as a learning environment for the purpose of enhancing students‘ collaboration, communication and networking skills required in business and working life and for promoting peer learning in small groups. Unfortunately, active conversation was limited. The students intensively read content created by other students, but they did not actively present their opinions, arguments or comments. Another reason for the lack of real conversation was procrastination. The students seemed to need more encouragement to comment on or question the ideas of others, more support to promote intergroup interaction and more assistance with time management.

  4. Epigenetic Regulation of the Oxytocin Receptor Gene: Implications for Behavioral Neuroscience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert eKumsta

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Genetic approaches have improved our understanding of the neurobiological basis of social behavior and cognition. For instance, common polymorphisms of genes involved in oxytocin signaling have been associated with sociobehavioral phenotypes in healthy samples as well as in subjects with mental disorders. More recently, attention has been drawn to epigenetic mechanisms, which regulate genetic function and expression without changes to the underlying DNA sequence. We provide an overview of the functional importance of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR promoter methylation and summarize studies that have investigated the role of OXTR methylation in behavioral phenotypes. There is first evidence that OXTR methylation is associated with autism, high callous-unemotional traits, and differential activation of brain regions involved in social perception. Furthermore, psychosocial stress exposure might dynamically regulate OXTR. Given evidence that epigenetic states of genes can be modified by experiences, especially those occurring in sensitive periods early in development, we conclude with a discussion on the effects of traumatic experience on the developing oxytocin system. Epigenetic modification of genes involved in oxytocin signaling might be involved in the mechanisms mediating the long-term influence of early adverse experiences on socio-behavioral outcomes.

  5. Oxytocin in the Treatment of Dystocia in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narver, Heather L

    2012-01-01

    Physicians and veterinarians often prescribe oxytocin to treat dystocia. However, oxytocin administration to pregnant women or animals is not without risk. In the venue of laboratory animal medicine, the use of oxytocin may present confounding variables to research. Although oxytocin has been studied extensively, many of its physiologic effects and interactions with other hormones remain unclear. Investigator concerns about adverse and confounding effects of oxytocin in their research mice prompted the current review of oxytocin and its use to treat murine dystocia. Well-controlled studies of oxytocin in dystocic mice have not been conducted. However, in humans and other animals, inconsistent and adverse effects are well-documented. Limited knowledge of the complex physiologic and molecular mechanisms of action of oxytocin and scant support for the efficacy of oxytocin in dystocic mice fail to meet the standards of evidence-based veterinary medical practice. The administration of oxytocin is contraindicated in many cases of dystocia in research mice, and its use in dystocic mice may be unfounded. A brief review of oxytocin and the physiologic mechanisms of parturition are provided to support this conclusion. Alternative treatments for murine dystocia are discussed, and a holistic approach is advocated to better serve animal welfare and to safeguard the integrity of valuable research. Laboratory animal veterinarians overseeing the development of guidelines or standard operating procedures for technician or investigator treatment of dystocic mice should understand the effects of oxytocin administration in light of relevant research. PMID:22330862

  6. Determination of plasma oxytocin by radioimmunoassay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogawa, Satsuki; Fukuchi, Soitsu; Miura, Tadashi

    1978-01-01

    A simple radioimmunoassay was applied to the measurement of oxytocin in human plasma. A high specificity of immunoassay was demonstrated by the fact that large excess of angiotensin I and II, and ACTH did not displace labelled oxytocin from the antibody. Lysine-8-vasopressin and arginine-8-vasopressin showed very little cross-reaction in the assay, possessing only 0.002% of the immunological potency of oxytocin. The specific activity of 125 I-oxytocin was 166 μCi/μg. Adsorption and extraction capacities of Florisil were 96.6 +- 2.1% and 85.7 +- 2.5%, respectively. Intra- and inter-assay variability were 7.2 +- 4.9% and 4.3 +- 2.2%, respectively. The sensitivity of the assay was below 1 pg/tube. Normal levels of plasma oxytocin were 0 - 2.2 pg/ml (n=13) in males and 0 - 10.4 pg/ml (n=10) in females. Plasma oxytocin levels in the 39th and 40th weeks of pregnancy were 27.9 +- 4.14 pg/ml (n=4) and 29.8 +- 17.1 pg/ml (n=13), respectively. The levels increased to 33.1 +- 12.1 pg/ml (n=7) and 37.1 +- 17.5 pg/ml (n=7) in the first and third stages of labor, and decreased to 13.6 +- 5.25 pg/ml (n=6) on the 2nd to 8th day after labor. The radioimmunoassay for oxytocin in plasma is considered to be sufficiently applicable for clinical use. (auth.)

  7. Oxytocin administration selectively improves olfactory detection thresholds for lyral in patients with schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Woolley, JD; Lam, O; Chuang, B; Ford, JM; Mathalon, DH; Vinogradov, S

    2015-01-01

    © 2015. Background: Olfaction plays an important role in mammalian social behavior. Olfactory deficits are common in schizophrenia and correlate with negative symptoms and low social drive. Despite their prominence and possible clinical relevance, little is understood about the pathological mechanisms underlying olfactory deficits in schizophrenia and there are currently no effective treatments for these deficits. The prosocial neuropeptide oxytocin may affect the olfactory system when admini...

  8. Culture, distress, and oxytocin receptor polymorphism (OXTR) interact to influence emotional support seeking

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Heejung S.; Sherman, David K.; Sasaki, Joni Y.; Xu, Jun; Chu, Thai Q.; Ryu, Chorong; Suh, Eunkook M.; Graham, Kelsey; Taylor, Shelley E.

    2010-01-01

    Research has demonstrated that certain genotypes are expressed in different forms, depending on input from the social environment. To examine sensitivity to cultural norms regarding emotional support seeking as a type of social environment, we explored the behavioral expression of oxytocin receptor polymorphism (OXTR) rs53576, a gene previously related to socio-emotional sensitivity. Seeking emotional support in times of distress is normative in American culture but not in Korean culture. Con...

  9. Sex-Specific Effects of Stress on Oxytocin Neurons Correspond With Responses to Intranasal Oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinman, Michael Q; Duque-Wilckens, Natalia; Greenberg, Gian D; Hao, Rebecca; Campi, Katharine L; Laredo, Sarah A; Laman-Maharg, Abigail; Manning, Claire E; Doig, Ian E; Lopez, Eduardo M; Walch, Keenan; Bales, Karen L; Trainor, Brian C

    2016-09-01

    Oxytocin (OT) is considered to be a stress-buffering hormone, dampening the physiologic effects of stress. However, OT can also be anxiogenic. We examined acute and long-lasting effects of social defeat on OT neurons in male and female California mice. We used immunohistochemistry for OT and c-fos cells to examine OT neuron activity immediately after defeat (n = 6-9) and 2 weeks (n = 6-9) and 10 weeks (n = 4-5) later. We quantified Oxt messenger RNA with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (n = 5-9). Intranasal OT was administered to naïve and stressed mice tested in social interaction and resident-intruder tests (n = 8-14). Acute exposure to a third episode of defeat increased OT/c-fos colocalizations in the paraventricular nucleus of both sexes. In the medioventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, defeat increased Oxt messenger RNA, total OT neurons, and OT/c-fos colocalizations in female mice but not male mice. Intranasal OT failed to reverse stress-induced social withdrawal in female mice and reduced social interaction behavior in female mice naïve to defeat. In contrast, intranasal OT increased social interaction in stressed male mice and reduced freezing in the resident-intruder test. Social defeat induces long-lasting increases in OT production and OT/c-fos cells in the medioventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of female mice but not male mice. Intranasal OT largely reversed the effects of stress on behavior in male mice, but effects were mixed in female mice. These results suggest that changes in OT-sensitive networks contribute to sex differences in behavioral responses to stress. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Intranasal Oxytocin Treatment Increases Eye-Gaze Behavior toward the Owner in Ancient Japanese Dog Breeds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miho Nagasawa

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Dogs acquired unique cognitive abilities during domestication, which is thought to have contributed to the formation of the human-dog bond. In European breeds, but not in wolves, a dog’s gazing behavior plays an important role in affiliative interactions with humans and stimulates oxytocin secretion in both humans and dogs, which suggests that this interspecies oxytocin and gaze-mediated bonding was also acquired during domestication. In this study, we investigated whether Japanese breeds, which are classified as ancient breeds and are relatively close to wolves genetically, establish a bond with their owners through gazing behavior. The subject dogs were treated with either oxytocin or saline before the starting of the behavioral testing. We also evaluated physiological changes in the owners during mutual gazing by analyzing their heart rate variability (HRV and subsequent urinary oxytocin levels in both dogs and their owners. We found that oxytocin treatment enhanced the gazing behavior of Japanese dogs and increased their owners’ urinary oxytocin levels, as was seen with European breeds; however, the measured durations of skin contact and proximity to their owners were relatively low. In the owners’ HRV readings, inter-beat (R-R intervals (RRI, the standard deviation of normal to normal inter-beat (R-R intervals (SDNN, and the root mean square of successive heartbeat interval differences (RMSSD were lower when the dogs were treated with oxytocin compared with saline. Furthermore, the owners of female dogs showed lower SDNN than the owners of male dogs. These results suggest that the owners of female Japanese dogs exhibit more tension during interactions, and apart from gazing behavior, the dogs may show sex differences in their interactions with humans as well. They also suggest that Japanese dogs use eye-gazing as an attachment behavior toward humans similar to European breeds; however, there is a disparity between the dog sexes when

  11. Revisiting the wandering womb: Oxytocin in endometriosis and bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinsdale, Natalie L; Crespi, Bernard J

    2017-11-01

    Hippocrates attributed women's high emotionality - hysteria - to a 'wandering womb'. Although hysteria diagnoses were abandoned along with the notion that displaced wombs cause emotional disturbance, recent research suggests that elevated levels of oxytocin occur in both bipolar disorder and endometriosis, a gynecological condition involving migration of endometrial tissue beyond the uterus. We propose and evaluate the hypothesis that elevated oxytocinergic system activity jointly contributes to bipolar disorder and endometriosis. First, we provide relevant background on endometriosis and bipolar disorder, and then we examine evidence for comorbidity between these conditions. We next: (1) review oxytocin's associations with personality traits, especially extraversion and openness, and how they overlap with bipolar spectrum traits; (2) describe evidence for higher oxytocinergic activity in both endometriosis and bipolar disorder; (3) examine altered hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis functioning in both conditions; (4) describe data showing that medications that treat one condition can improve symptoms of the other; (5) discuss fitness-related impacts of endometriosis and bipolar disorder; and (6) review a pair of conditions, polycystic ovary syndrome and autism, that show evidence of involving reduced oxytocinergic activity, in direct contrast to endometriosis and bipolar disorder. Considered together, the bipolar spectrum and endometriosis appear to involve dysregulated high extremes of normally adaptive pleiotropy in the female oxytocin system, whereby elevated levels of oxytocinergic activity coordinate outgoing sociality with heightened fertility, apparently characterizing, overall, a faster life history. These findings should prompt a re-examination of how mind-body interactions, and the pleiotropic endocrine systems that underlie them, contribute to health and disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. A randomised controlled trial comparing oxytocin and oxytocin + ergometrine for prevention of postpartum haemorrhage at caesarean section.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koen, Sandy; Snyman, Leon Cornelius; Pattinson, Robert C; Makin, Jennifer A

    2016-03-07

    Globally 166 000 women die annually as a result of obstetric haemorrhage. More than 50% of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Uterine atony is the commonest cause of severe postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). Bleeding at or after caesarean section (CS) is responsible for >30% of maternal deaths due to obstetric haemorrhage in South Africa (SA). To compare oxytocin alone with oxytocin + ergometrine in terms of primary prophylaxis for PPH at the time of CS. This was a double-blind randomised controlled interventional study comparing oxytocin with oxytocin + ergometrine administered during CS. Patients were randomised to receive oxytocin alone intravenously as a bolus or oxytocin + ergometrine intramuscularly, with the placebo being an injection of sterile water. The study population consisted of women undergoing CS at Kalafong Provincial Tertiary Hospital in Atteridgeville, Gauteng, SA. Five hundred and forty women were randomised and data for 416 women, of whom 214 received oxytocin and 202 oxytocin + ergometrine, were available for analysis. In the oxytocin group 19 women (8.9%) required blood transfusion, compared with seven (3.5%) in the oxytocin + ergometrine group (p=0.01; relative risk = 2.78; 95% confidence interval 1.21 - 6.4). There were no statistically significant differences in the mean estimated visual and mean calculated blood loss. The overall need for blood transfusion was significantly reduced by about two-thirds in women receiving the oxytocin + ergometrine combination. Consideration should be given to using oxytocin + ergometrine for prophylaxis of PPH at CS.

  13. Fto colocalizes with a satiety mediator oxytocin in the brain and upregulates oxytocin gene expression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olszewski, Pawel K., E-mail: olsze005@umn.edu [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden); Minnesota Obesity Center, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Fredriksson, Robert; Eriksson, Jenny D. [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden); Mitra, Anaya [Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Radomska, Katarzyna J. [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden); Gosnell, Blake A. [Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Solvang, Maria N. [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden); Levine, Allen S. [Minnesota Obesity Center, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Schioeth, Helgi B. [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2011-05-13

    Highlights: {yields} The majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto. {yields} The level of colocalization is similar in the male and female brain. {yields} Fto overexpression in hypothalamic neurons increases oxytocin mRNA levels by 50%. {yields} Oxytocin does not affect Fto expression through negative feedback mechanisms. -- Abstract: Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene have been associated with obesity in humans. Alterations in Fto expression in transgenic animals affect body weight, energy expenditure and food intake. Fto, a nuclear protein and proposed transcription co-factor, has been speculated to affect energy balance through a functional relationship with specific genes encoding feeding-related peptides. Herein, we employed double immunohistochemistry and showed that the majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto in the brain of male and female mice. We then overexpressed Fto in a murine hypothalamic cell line and, using qPCR, detected a 50% increase in the level of oxytocin mRNA. Expression levels of several other feeding-related genes, including neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Agouti-related protein (AgRP), were unaffected by the FTO transfection. Addition of 10 and 100 nmol oxytocin to the cell culture medium did not affect Fto expression in hypothalamic cells. We conclude that Fto, a proposed transcription co-factor, influences expression of the gene encoding a satiety mediator, oxytocin.

  14. Fto colocalizes with a satiety mediator oxytocin in the brain and upregulates oxytocin gene expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olszewski, Pawel K.; Fredriksson, Robert; Eriksson, Jenny D.; Mitra, Anaya; Radomska, Katarzyna J.; Gosnell, Blake A.; Solvang, Maria N.; Levine, Allen S.; Schioeth, Helgi B.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → The majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto. → The level of colocalization is similar in the male and female brain. → Fto overexpression in hypothalamic neurons increases oxytocin mRNA levels by 50%. → Oxytocin does not affect Fto expression through negative feedback mechanisms. -- Abstract: Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene have been associated with obesity in humans. Alterations in Fto expression in transgenic animals affect body weight, energy expenditure and food intake. Fto, a nuclear protein and proposed transcription co-factor, has been speculated to affect energy balance through a functional relationship with specific genes encoding feeding-related peptides. Herein, we employed double immunohistochemistry and showed that the majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto in the brain of male and female mice. We then overexpressed Fto in a murine hypothalamic cell line and, using qPCR, detected a 50% increase in the level of oxytocin mRNA. Expression levels of several other feeding-related genes, including neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Agouti-related protein (AgRP), were unaffected by the FTO transfection. Addition of 10 and 100 nmol oxytocin to the cell culture medium did not affect Fto expression in hypothalamic cells. We conclude that Fto, a proposed transcription co-factor, influences expression of the gene encoding a satiety mediator, oxytocin.

  15. Influence of oxytocin on emotion recognition from body language: A randomized placebo-controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernaerts, Sylvie; Berra, Emmely; Wenderoth, Nicole; Alaerts, Kaat

    2016-10-01

    The neuropeptide 'oxytocin' (OT) is known to play a pivotal role in a variety of complex social behaviors by promoting a prosocial attitude and interpersonal bonding. One mechanism by which OT is hypothesized to promote prosocial behavior is by enhancing the processing of socially relevant information from the environment. With the present study, we explored to what extent OT can alter the 'reading' of emotional body language as presented by impoverished biological motion point light displays (PLDs). To do so, a double-blind between-subjects randomized placebo-controlled trial was conducted, assessing performance on a bodily emotion recognition task in healthy adult males before and after a single-dose of intranasal OT (24 IU). Overall, a single-dose of OT administration had a significant effect of medium size on emotion recognition from body language. OT-induced improvements in emotion recognition were not differentially modulated by the emotional valence of the presented stimuli (positive versus negative) and also, the overall tendency to label an observed emotional state as 'happy' (positive) or 'angry' (negative) was not modified by the administration of OT. Albeit moderate, the present findings of OT-induced improvements in bodily emotion recognition from whole-body PLD provide further support for a link between OT and the processing of socio-communicative cues originating from the body of others. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Urinary and plasma oxytocin changes in response to MDMA or intranasal oxytocin administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Sunday M; Kirkpatrick, Matthew G; de Wit, Harriet; Jacob, Suma

    2016-12-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has received increased experimental attention for its putative role in both normal social functioning and several psychiatric disorders that are partially characterized by social dysfunction (e.g., autism spectrum disorders: ASD). Many human experimental studies measure circulating plasma levels of OT in order to examine the relationship between the hormone and behavior. Urinary OT (uOT) assays offer a simple, easy, and non-invasive method to measure peripheral hormone levels, but the correspondence between uOT and plasma OT (pOT) levels is unclear. Here, we conducted two within-subjects, double-blind studies exploring changes in uOT and pOT levels following administration of two drugs: MDMA, an oxytocin-releasing drug (Study 1), and intranasal oxytocin (INOT: Study 1 and 2). In Study 1, 14 adult participants (2 females) were each administered either oral 1.5mg/kg MDMA or 40IU INOT across two different study sessions. In Study 2, 10 male participants (adolescents and young adults) diagnosed with ASD received either 40IU INOT or placebo across two different sessions. In both studies, blood and urine samples were collected before and after drug administration at each study session. For Study 1, 10 participants provided valid plasma and urine samples for the MDMA session, and 8 provided valid samples for the INOT session. For Study 2, all 10 participants provided valid samples for both INOT and placebo sessions. Pre- and post-administration levels of pOT and uOT were compared. Additionally, correlations between percent change from baseline uOT and pOT levels were examined. Study 1: Plasma OT and uOT levels significantly increased after administration of MDMA and INOT. Furthermore, uOT levels were positively correlated with pOT levels following administration of MDMA (r=0.57, p=0.042) but not INOT (r=0.51, p=0.097). Study 2: There was a significant increase in uOT levels after administration of INOT, but not after administration of

  17. Neurofunctional maps of the 'maternal brain' and the effects of oxytocin: a multimodal voxel-based meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocchetti, Matteo; Radua, Joaquim; Paloyelis, Yannis; Xenaki, Lida-Alkisti; Frascarelli, Marianna; Caverzasi, Edgardo; Politi, Pierluigi; Fusar-Poli, Paolo

    2014-10-01

    Several studies have tried to understand the possible neurobiological basis of mothering. The putative involvement of oxytocin, in this regard, has been deeply investigated. Performing a voxel-based meta-analysis, we aimed at testing the hypothesis of overlapping brain activation in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies investigating the mother-infant interaction and the oxytocin modulation of emotional stimuli in humans. We performed two systematic literature searches: fMRI studies investigating the neurofunctional correlates of the 'maternal brain' by employing mother-infant paradigms; and fMRI studies employing oxytocin during emotional tasks. A unimodal voxel-based meta-analysis was performed on each database, whereas a multimodal voxel-based meta-analytical tool was adopted to assess the hypothesis that the neurofunctional effects of oxytocin are detected in brain areas implicated in the 'maternal brain.' We found greater activation in the bilateral insula extending to the inferior frontal gyrus, basal ganglia and thalamus during mother-infant interaction and greater left insular activation associated with oxytocin administration versus placebo. Left insula extending to basal ganglia and frontotemporal gyri as well as bilateral thalamus and amygdala showed consistent activation across the two paradigms. Right insula also showed activation across the two paradigms, and dorsomedial frontal cortex activation in mothers but deactivation with oxytocin. Significant activation in areas involved in empathy, emotion regulation, motivation, social cognition and theory of mind emerged from our multimodal meta-analysis, supporting the need for further studies directly investigating the neurobiology of oxytocin in the mother-infant relationship. © 2014 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2014 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.

  18. Severity of eating disorder symptoms related to oxytocin receptor polymorphisms in anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo, Summer F; Valencia, Celeste; Lutter, Michael; McAdams, Carrie J

    2015-08-30

    Oxytocin is a peptide hormone important for social behavior and differences in psychological traits have been associated with variants of the oxytocin receptor gene in healthy people. We examined whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) correlated with clinical symptoms in women with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and healthy comparison (HC) women. Subjects completed clinical assessments and provided DNA for analysis. Subjects were divided into four groups: HC, subjects currently with anorexia nervosa (AN-C), subjects with a history of anorexia nervosa but in long-term weight recovery (AN-WR), and subjects with bulimia nervosa (BN). Five SNPs of the oxytocin receptor were examined. Minor allele carriers showed greater severity in most of the psychiatric symptoms. Importantly, the combination of having had anorexia and carrying either of the A alleles for two SNPS in the OXTR gene (rs53576, rs2254298) was associated with increased severity specifically for ED symptoms including cognitions and behaviors associated both with eating and appearance. A review of psychosocial data related to the OXTR polymorphisms examined is included in the discussion. OXTR polymorphisms may be a useful intermediate endophenotype to consider in the treatment of patients with anorexia nervosa. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The role of oxytocin in mothers' theory of mind and interactive behavior during the perinatal period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKinnon, Anna L; Gold, Ian; Feeley, Nancy; Hayton, Barbara; Carter, C Sue; Zelkowitz, Phyllis

    2014-10-01

    The present longitudinal study examined the relations between plasma oxytocin, theory of mind, and maternal interactive behavior during the perinatal period. A community sample of women was assessed at 12-14 weeks gestation, 32-34 weeks gestation, and 7-9 weeks postpartum. Oxytocin during late pregnancy was significantly positively correlated with a measure of theory of mind, and predicted theory of mind ability after controlling for parity, maternal education, prenatal psychosocial risk, and general anxiety, measured during the first trimester. Theory of mind was associated with less remote and less depressive maternal interactive behavior. Oxytocin, across all time points, was not directly related to maternal interactive behavior. However, there was a significant indirect effect of oxytocin during late pregnancy on depressive maternal behavior via theory of mind ability. These preliminary findings suggest that changes in the oxytocinergic system during the perinatal period may contribute to the awareness of social cues, which in turn plays a role in maternal interactive behavior. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Motivated social categorization: fundamental motives enhance people's sensitivity to basic social categories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maner, Jon K; Miller, Saul L; Moss, Justin H; Leo, Jennifer L; Plant, E Ashby

    2012-07-01

    This article presents an evolutionary framework for identifying the characteristics people use to categorize members of their social world. Findings suggest that fundamental social motives lead people to implicitly categorize social targets based on whether those targets display goal-relevant phenotypic traits. A mate-search prime caused participants to categorize opposite-sex targets (but not same-sex targets) based on their level of physical attractiveness (Experiment 1). A mate-guarding prime interacted with relationship investment, causing participants to categorize same-sex targets (but not opposite-sex targets) based on their physical attractiveness (Experiment 2). A self-protection prime interacted with chronic beliefs about danger, increasing participants' tendency to categorize targets based on their racial group membership (Black or White; Experiment 3). This work demonstrates that people categorize others based on whether they display goal-relevant characteristics reflecting high levels of perceived desirability or threat. Social categorization is guided by fundamental evolved motives designed to enhance adaptive social outcomes. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved

  1. Transforming governance to enhance social and educational innovation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob Torfing

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The recent proliferation of governance networks at all levels and in different policy areas has led to a growing number of studies focusing on interactive forms of governance. This paper aims to contribute to the development of governance research by looking at how collaboration in governance networks can help to spur social and educational innovation. The paper begins by defining the concept of governance networks and then provides a systematic overview of different theories that explain the current rise of governance networks. Next, it defines the concept of innovation and discusses how collaboration in networks can enhance innovation. Finally, it discusses how collaborative innovation can be initiated, facilitated and catalysed through new forms of leadership and management.

  2. Do marmosets care to share? Oxytocin treatment reduces prosocial behavior toward strangers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustoe, Aaryn C; Cavanaugh, Jon; Harnisch, April M; Thompson, Breanna E; French, Jeffrey A

    2015-05-01

    Cooperatively-breeding and socially-monogamous primates, like marmosets and humans, exhibit high levels of social tolerance and prosociality toward others. Oxytocin (OXT) generally facilitates prosocial behavior, but there is growing recognition that OXT modulation of prosocial behavior is shaped by the context of social interactions and by other motivational states such as arousal or anxiety. To determine whether prosociality varies based on social context, we evaluated whether marmoset donors (Callithrix penicillata) preferentially rewarded pairmates versus opposite-sex strangers in a prosocial food-sharing task. To examine potential links among OXT, stress systems, and prosociality, we evaluated whether pretrial cortisol levels in marmosets altered the impact of OXT on prosocial responses. Marmosets exhibited spontaneous prosociality toward others, but they did so preferentially toward strangers compared to their pairmates. When donor marmosets were treated with marmoset-specific Pro(8)-OXT, they exhibited reduced prosociality toward strangers compared to marmosets treated with saline or consensus-mammalian Leu(8)-OXT. When pretrial cortisol levels were lower, marmosets exhibited higher prosociality toward strangers. These findings demonstrate that while marmosets show spontaneous prosocial responses toward others, they do so preferentially toward opposite-sex strangers. Cooperative breeding may be associated with the expression of prosociality, but the existence of a pair-bond between marmoset partners appears to be neither necessary nor sufficient for the expression of spontaneous prosocial responses. Furthermore, high prosociality toward strangers is significantly reduced in marmosets treated with Pro(8)-OXT, suggesting that OXT does not universally enhance prosociality, but, rather OXT modulation of prosocial behavior varies depending on social context. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A sexually dimorphic hypothalamic circuit controls maternal care and oxytocin secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Niv; Prigge, Matthias; Yizhar, Ofer; Kimchi, Tali

    2015-09-24

    It is commonly assumed, but has rarely been demonstrated, that sex differences in behaviour arise from sexual dimorphism in the underlying neural circuits. Parental care is a complex stereotypic behaviour towards offspring that is shared by numerous species. Mice display profound sex differences in offspring-directed behaviours. At their first encounter, virgin females behave maternally towards alien pups while males will usually ignore the pups or attack them. Here we show that tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-expressing neurons in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) of the mouse hypothalamus are more numerous in mothers than in virgin females and males, and govern parental behaviours in a sex-specific manner. In females, ablating the AVPV TH(+) neurons impairs maternal behaviour whereas optogenetic stimulation or increased TH expression in these cells enhance maternal care. In males, however, this same neuronal cluster has no effect on parental care but rather suppresses inter-male aggression. Furthermore, optogenetic activation or increased TH expression in the AVPV TH(+) neurons of female mice increases circulating oxytocin, whereas their ablation reduces oxytocin levels. Finally, we show that AVPV TH(+) neurons relay a monosynaptic input to oxytocin-expressing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus. Our findings uncover a previously unknown role for this neuronal population in the control of maternal care and oxytocin secretion, and provide evidence for a causal relationship between sexual dimorphism in the adult brain and sex differences in parental behaviour.

  4. Oxytocin impedes the effect of the word blindness post-hypnotic suggestion on Stroop task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parris, Benjamin A; Dienes, Zoltan; Bate, Sarah; Gothard, Stace

    2014-07-01

    The ability to enhance sensitivity to relevant (post)hypnotic suggestions has implications for creating clinically informed analogues of psychological and neuropsychological conditions and for the use of hypnotic interventions in psychological and medical conditions. The aim of this study was to test the effect of oxytocin inhalation on a post-hypnotic suggestion that previously has been shown to improve the selectivity of attention in the Stroop task. In a double-blind placebo-controlled between-subjects study, medium hypnotizable individuals performed the Stroop task under normal conditions and when they had been given a post-hypnotic suggestion that they would perceive words as meaningless symbols. In line with previous research, Stroop interference was substantially reduced by the suggestion in the placebo condition. However, contrary to expectations, oxytocin impeded the effect of the word blindness suggestion on performance. The results are explained in terms of the requirement for the re-implementation of the word blindness suggestion on a trial-by-trial basis and the need to sustain activation of the suggestion between trials. The findings contrast with a recent study showing a beneficial effect of oxytocin on sensitivity to (post)hypnotic suggestions but are consistent with findings showing a detrimental effect of oxytocin on memory processes. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Human ovolution and plasma oxytocin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumaresan, Perianna; Kumaresan, Malathi; Hossini, Mahmood; Arellano, Carolina; Vasicka, Alois

    1983-01-01

    Plasma oxytocin (OT) concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) method without extracting plasma in 11 normal menstruating women. Mean plasma OT level began to increase steadily from the 7th day of the menstrual cycle and this level rose up to 20+-5 μU/ml (Mean+-S.E.) on the 10th day of the cycle. OT level declined to 13+-6 μU/ml on the day of the LH peak and continuously declined for another 2 days - then rose. The OT level was higher during the follicular phase than during the luteal phase. In 1 individual OT measured in 2 cycles a year apart showed the highest level of OT coincided with LH and FSH peak and abruptly declined. When there was the highest level of progesterone, the OT level was measurable 1 out of 11 cycles. From this study, we conclude that OT may have a role in human ovulation either synergistically or alone with other ovulatory mechanisms and ovarian estradiol and progesterone control the secretion of OT and also suggests that OT may play some role in the regulation of the luteolysis and the menstrual cycle in women. (author)

  6. Does perinatal exposure to exogenous oxytocin influence child behavioural problems and autistic-like behaviours to 20 years of age?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guastella, A J; Cooper, M N; White, C R H; White, M K; Pennell, C E; Whitehouse, A J O

    2018-04-27

    The neuropeptide and hormone oxytocin is known to have a significant impact on social cognition and behaviour in humans. There is growing concern regarding the influence of exogenous oxytocin (OT) administration in early life on later social and emotional development, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). No study has examined offspring development in relation to the dose of exogenous oxytocin administered during labour. Between 1989 and 1992, 2,900 mothers were recruited prior to the 18th week of pregnancy, delivering 2,868 live offspring. The Child Behaviour Checklist was used to measure offspring behavioural difficulties at ages 5, 8, 10, 14 and 17 years. Autism spectrum disorder was formally diagnosed by consensus of a team of specialists. At 20 years, offspring completed a measure of autistic-like traits, the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). Oxytocin exposure prior to birth was analysed using categorical and continuous approaches (maternal oxytocin dose) with univariate and multivariate statistical techniques. Categorical analyses of oxytocin exposure prior to birth demonstrated no group differences in any measures of child behaviour. A small in magnitude dose-response association was observed for clinically significant total behaviour symptoms (adjusted odds ratio 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01-1.06, p Exogenous oxytocin administration prior to birth was not associated with ASD (OR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.15-2.12, p = .46) or high levels of autistic-like traits (p = .93), as assessed by the AQ. This study is the first to investigate longitudinal mental health outcomes associated with the use of oxytocin-based medications during labour. The results do not provide evidence to support the theory that exogenous OT has a clinically significant negative impact on the long-term mental health of children. © 2018 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  7. Political Minimalism and Social Debates: The Case of Human-Enhancement Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Alcázar, Javier

    2017-09-01

    A faulty understanding of the relationship between morality and politics encumbers many contemporary debates on human enhancement. As a result, some ethical reflections on enhancement undervalue its social dimensions, while some social approaches to the topic lack normative import. In this essay, I use my own conception of the relationship between ethics and politics, which I call "political minimalism," in order to support and strengthen the existing social perspectives on human-enhancement technologies.

  8. Disrupted social development enhances the motivation for cocaine in rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baarendse, P.J.J.; Limpens, J.H.W.; Vanderschuren, L.J.M.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/126514917

    2014-01-01

    for behavioural development. In particular, social play behaviour during post-weaning development is thought to facilitate the attainment of social, emotional and cognitive capacities. Conversely, social insults during development can cause longlasting behavioural impairments and increase the

  9. Ignorance Is No Excuse: Moral Judgments Are Influenced by a Genetic Variation on the Oxytocin Receptor Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Nora T.; Montag, Christian; Markett, Sebastian; Felten, Andrea; Voigt, Gesine; Reuter, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Perspective-taking has become a main focus of studies on moral judgments. Recent fMRI studies have demonstrated that individual differences in brain activation predict moral decision making. In particular, pharmacological studies highlighted the crucial role for the neuropeptide oxytocin in social behavior and emotional perception. In the present…

  10. MDMA enhances "mind reading" of positive emotions and impairs "mind reading" of negative emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysek, Cédric M; Domes, Gregor; Liechti, Matthias E

    2012-07-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) increases sociability. The prosocial effects of MDMA may result from the release of the "social hormone" oxytocin and associated alterations in the processing of socioemotional stimuli. We investigated the effects of MDMA (125 mg) on the ability to infer the mental states of others from social cues of the eye region in the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test. The study included 48 healthy volunteers (24 men, 24 women) and used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects design. A choice reaction time test was used to exclude impairments in psychomotor function. We also measured circulating oxytocin and cortisol levels and subjective drug effects. MDMA differentially affected mind reading depending on the emotional valence of the stimuli. MDMA enhanced the accuracy of mental state decoding for positive stimuli (e.g., friendly), impaired mind reading for negative stimuli (e.g., hostile), and had no effect on mind reading for neutral stimuli (e.g., reflective). MDMA did not affect psychomotor performance, increased circulating oxytocin and cortisol levels, and produced subjective prosocial effects, including feelings of being more open, talkative, and closer to others. The shift in the ability to correctly read socioemotional information toward stimuli associated with positive emotional valence, together with the prosocial feelings elicited by MDMA, may enhance social approach behavior and sociability when MDMA is used recreationally and facilitate therapeutic relationships in MDMA-assisted psychotherapeutic settings.

  11. Sniffing and Oxytocin: Effects on Olfactory Memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoop, Ron

    2016-05-04

    In this issue of Neuron, Oettl et al. (2016) show how oxytocin can boost processing of olfactory information in female rats by a top-downregulation from the anterior olfactory nucleus onto the main olfactory bulb. As a result, interactions with juvenile conspecifics receive more attention and are longer memorized. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Labor Augmentation with Oxytocin Decreases Glutathione Level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi Schneid-Kofman

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To compare oxidative stress following spontaneous vaginal delivery with that induced by Oxytocin augmented delivery. Methods. 98 women recruited prior to labor. 57 delivered spontaneously, while 41 received Oxytocin for augmentation of labor. Complicated deliveries and high-risk pregnancies were excluded. Informed consent was documented. Arterial cord blood gases, levels of Hematocrit, Hemoglobin, and Bilirubin were studied. Glutathione (GSH concentration was measured by a spectroscopic method. Plasma and red blood cell (RBC levels of Malondialdehyde indicated lipid peroxidation. RBC uptake of phenol red denoted cell penetrability. SPSS data analysis was used. Results. Cord blood GSH was significantly lower in the Oxytocin group (2.3±0.55 mM versus 2.55±0.55 mM, =.01. No differences were found in plasma or RBC levels of MDA or in uptake of Phenol red between the groups. Conclusion. Lower GSH levels following Oxytocin augmentation indicate an oxidative stress, though selected measures of oxidative stress demonstrate no cell damage.

  13. Postnatal depression, oxytocin and maternal sensitivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mah, Beth Lynette

    2015-01-01

    Intra nasal oxytocin administered to a population of mothers with a diagnosis of postnatal depression: -lowers their current mood -causes mothers to report that their infants are more difficult but their relationship with them is more positive -increases their protective response towards them in the

  14. Lack of Association between Human Plasma Oxytocin and Interpersonal Trust in a Prisoners Dilemma Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-12-30

    from data using rodent models. Zhang et al. [17] used two- dimensional liquid chromatography -tandem mass spectrometry (2D LC-MS/MS) to demonstrate that...DM, Lin Z, Steenwyk R (2011) Ultra sensitive quantitation of endogenous oxytocin in rat and human plasma using a two-dimensional liquid chromatography ... Handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior, 1, 96–121. 42. Feldman R, Weller A, Zagoory-Sharon O, Levine A (2007) Evidence for

  15. Environmental stress, oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism, and mental health following collective stress

    OpenAIRE

    Lucas-Thompson, RG; Holman, EA

    2013-01-01

    We examined whether the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs53576 genotype buffers the combined impact of negative social environments (e.g., interpersonal conflict/constraint) and economic stress on post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms and impaired daily functioning following collective stress (September 11th terrorist attacks). Saliva was collected by mail and used to genotype 704 respondents. Participants completed Web-based assessments of pre-9/11 mental h...

  16. Associative and sensorimotor learning for parenting involves mirror neurons under the influence of oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, S Shaun; Macdonald, Adam; Swain, James E

    2014-04-01

    Mirror neuron-based associative learning may be understood according to associative learning theories, in addition to sensorimotor learning theories. This is important for a comprehensive understanding of the role of mirror neurons and related hormone modulators, such as oxytocin, in complex social interactions such as among parent-infant dyads and in examples of mirror neuron function that involve abnormal motor systems such as depression.

  17. Associative and sensorimotor learning for parenting involves mirror neurons under the influence of oxytocin

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, S. Shaun; MacDonald, Adam; Swain, James E.

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neuron–based associative learning may be understood according to associative learning theories, in addition to sensorimotor learning theories. This is important for a comprehensive understanding of the role of mirror neurons and related hormone modulators, such as oxytocin, in complex social interactions such as among parent–infant dyads and in examples of mirror neuron function that involve abnormal motor systems such as depression.

  18. Intranasal Oxytocin Administration Dampens Amygdala Reactivity towards Emotional Faces in Male and Female PTSD Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Saskia Bj; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Nawijn, Laura; Frijling, Jessie L; Veltman, Dick J; Olff, Miranda

    2016-05-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disabling psychiatric disorder. As a substantial part of PTSD patients responds poorly to currently available psychotherapies, pharmacological interventions boosting treatment response are needed. Because of its anxiolytic and pro-social properties, the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been proposed as promising strategy for treatment augmentation in PTSD. As a first step to investigate the therapeutic potential of OT in PTSD, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over functional MRI study examining OT administration effects (40 IU) on amygdala reactivity toward emotional faces in unmedicated male and female police officers with (n=37, 21 males) and without (n=40, 20 males) PTSD. Trauma-exposed controls were matched to PTSD patients based on age, sex, years of service and educational level. Under placebo, the expected valence-dependent amygdala reactivity (ie, greater activity toward fearful-angry faces compared with happy-neutral faces) was absent in PTSD patients. OT administration dampened amygdala reactivity toward all emotional faces in male and female PTSD patients, but enhanced amygdala reactivity in healthy male and female trauma-exposed controls, independent of sex and stimulus valence. In PTSD patients, greater anxiety prior to scanning and amygdala reactivity during the placebo session were associated with greater reduction of amygdala reactivity after OT administration. Taken together, our results indicate presumably beneficial neurobiological effects of OT administration in male and female PTSD patients. Future studies should investigate OT administration in clinical settings to fully appreciate its therapeutic potential.

  19. Face or body? Oxytocin improves perception of emotions from facial expressions in incongruent emotional body context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Anat; Aviezer, Hillel; Goldstein, Pavel; Palgi, Sharon; Klein, Ehud; Shamay-Tsoory, Simone G

    2013-11-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been repeatedly reported to play an essential role in the regulation of social cognition in humans in general, and specifically in enhancing the recognition of emotions from facial expressions. The later was assessed in different paradigms that rely primarily on isolated and decontextualized emotional faces. However, recent evidence has indicated that the perception of basic facial expressions is not context invariant and can be categorically altered by context, especially body context, at early perceptual levels. Body context has a strong effect on our perception of emotional expressions, especially when the actual target face and the contextually expected face are perceptually similar. To examine whether and how OT affects emotion recognition, we investigated the role of OT in categorizing facial expressions in incongruent body contexts. Our results show that in the combined process of deciphering emotions from facial expressions and from context, OT gives an advantage to the face. This advantage is most evident when the target face and the contextually expected face are perceptually similar. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The Detrimental Effects of Oxytocin-Induced Conformity on Dishonesty in Competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydogan, Gökhan; Jobst, Andrea; D'Ardenne, Kimberlee; Müller, Norbert; Kocher, Martin G

    2017-06-01

    Justifications may promote unethical behavior because they constitute a convenient loophole through which people can gain from immoral behavior and preserve a positive self-image at the same time. A justification that is widely used is rooted in conformity: Unethical choices become more permissible because one's peers are expected to make the same unethical choices. In the current study, we tested whether an exogenous alteration of conformity led to a lower inclination to adhere to a widely accepted norm (i.e., honesty) under the pressure of competition. We took advantage of the well-known effects of intranasally applied oxytocin on affiliation, in-group conformity, and in-group favoritism in humans. We found that conformity was enhanced by oxytocin, and this enhancement had a detrimental effect on honesty in a competitive environment but not in a noncompetitive environment. Our findings contribute to recent evidence showing that competition may lead to unethical behavior and erode moral values.

  1. Discovering Influential Users in Social Media to Enhance Effective Advertisement

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammad J. Tarokh; Hosniyeh S. Arian; Omid R. B. Speily

    2015-01-01

    Recently, companies have attempted to take advantage of social advertising to deliver their advertisements to appropriate Customer. Social network advertising, also social media targeting is a group of terms that are used to describe forms of online advertising that focus on social networking services. One of the major benefit of this type of advertising is that advertisers can take advantage of the users` demographic information and target their ads appropriately. In social advertising ,iden...

  2. Exogenous Testosterone Enhances the Reactivity to Social Provocation in Males

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Wagels

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Testosterone affects human social behavior in various ways. While testosterone effects are generally associated with muscular strength and aggressiveness, human studies also point towards enhanced status–seeking motives after testosterone administration. The current study tested the causal influence of exogenous testosterone on male behavior during a competitive provocation paradigm. In this double blind, randomized, placebo (PL-controlled study, 103 males were assigned to a PL or testosterone group receiving a colorless PL or testosterone gel. To induce provocation, males played a rigged reaction time game against an ostensible opponent. When participants lost, the opponent subtracted money from the participant who in return could subtract money from the ostensible opponent. Participants subjectively indicated anger and self-estimated treatment affiliation (testosterone or PL administration. A trial-by-trial analysis demonstrated that provocation and success during the repeated games had a stronger influence on participants’ choice to reduce money from the opponent if they had received testosterone. Participants who believed to be in the testosterone group were angrier after the experiment and increased monetary reductions during the task course. In line with theories about mechanisms of testosterone in humans, provocation is shown to be necessary for the agency of exogenous testosterone. Thus, testosterone reinforces the conditional adjustment of aggressive behavior but not aggressive behavior per se. In contrast undirected frustration is not increased by testosterone but probably interferes with cognitive appraisals about biological mechanisms of testosterone.

  3. Exogenous Testosterone Enhances the Reactivity to Social Provocation in Males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagels, Lisa; Votinov, Mikhail; Kellermann, Thilo; Eisert, Albrecht; Beyer, Cordian; Habel, Ute

    2018-01-01

    Testosterone affects human social behavior in various ways. While testosterone effects are generally associated with muscular strength and aggressiveness, human studies also point towards enhanced status-seeking motives after testosterone administration. The current study tested the causal influence of exogenous testosterone on male behavior during a competitive provocation paradigm. In this double blind, randomized, placebo (PL)-controlled study, 103 males were assigned to a PL or testosterone group receiving a colorless PL or testosterone gel. To induce provocation, males played a rigged reaction time game against an ostensible opponent. When participants lost, the opponent subtracted money from the participant who in return could subtract money from the ostensible opponent. Participants subjectively indicated anger and self-estimated treatment affiliation (testosterone or PL administration). A trial-by-trial analysis demonstrated that provocation and success during the repeated games had a stronger influence on participants' choice to reduce money from the opponent if they had received testosterone. Participants who believed to be in the testosterone group were angrier after the experiment and increased monetary reductions during the task course. In line with theories about mechanisms of testosterone in humans, provocation is shown to be necessary for the agency of exogenous testosterone. Thus, testosterone reinforces the conditional adjustment of aggressive behavior but not aggressive behavior per se . In contrast undirected frustration is not increased by testosterone but probably interferes with cognitive appraisals about biological mechanisms of testosterone.

  4. Oxytocin mediated behavior in invertebrates: An evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockard, Meghan A; Ebert, Margaret S; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2017-02-01

    The molecular and functional conservation of oxytocin-related neuropeptides in behavior is striking. In animals separated by at least 600 million years of evolution, from roundworms to humans, oxytocin homologs play critical roles in the modulation of reproductive behavior and other biological functions. Here, we review the roles of oxytocin in invertebrate behavior from an evolutionary perspective. We begin by tracing the evolution of oxytocin through the invertebrate animal lineages, and then describe common themes in invertebrate behaviors that are mediated by oxytocin-related peptides, including reproductive behavior, learning and memory, food arousal, and predator/prey relationships. Finally, we discuss interesting future directions that have recently become experimentally tractable. Studying oxytocin in invertebrates offers precise insights into the activity of neuropeptides on well-defined neural circuits; the principles that emerge may also be represented in the more complex vertebrate brain. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 128-142, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Social networking sites (SNS) as a tool for midwives to enhance social capital for adolescent mothers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Samantha; Hendricks, Joyce; Williamson, Moira; Ferguson, Sally

    2018-07-01

    to explore ways in which midwives can enhance the support provided by social networking sites for adolescent mothers. a narrative approach was employed to guide the research design and processes. Approval was obtained from Edith Cowan University human ethics department. focus groups and interviews were undertaken with adolescent mothers and midwives in Western Australia. the four key themes identified across both groups were validation by midwives, importance of ownership, enhanced community connections and the importance of guideline development. findings suggest both mothers and midwives consider there are a variety of ways in which healthcare professionals could enhance the support afforded to adolescent mothers by their use of SNS. Midwives were more likely to consider the need for guideline development, but the underlying value of accessible, professionally mediated online support and information was consistent across the two groups. Midwives would benefit from acknowledging the role played by SNS in providing support to adolescent mothers and by considering ways in which this technology can be used to lend further support to this group of mothers. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Oxytocin during Development: Possible Organizational Effects on Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Travis V; Caldwell, Heather K

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin (Oxt) is a neurohormone known for its physiological roles associated with lactation and parturition in mammals. Oxt can also profoundly influence mammalian social behaviors such as affiliative, parental, and aggressive behaviors. While the acute effects of Oxt signaling on adult behavior have been heavily researched in many species, including humans, the developmental effects of Oxt on the brain and behavior are just beginning to be explored. There is evidence that Oxt in early postnatal and peripubertal development, and perhaps during prenatal life, affects adult behavior by altering neural structure and function. However, the specific mechanisms by which this occurs remain unknown. Thus, this review will detail what is known about how developmental Oxt impacts behavior as well as explore the specific neurochemicals and neural substrates that are important to these behaviors.

  7. Sex differences in methamphetamine seeking in rats: Impact of oxytocin

    OpenAIRE

    Cox, Brittney M.; Young, Amy B.; See, Ronald E.; Reichel, Carmela M.

    2013-01-01

    Previous evidence in an animal model of drug self-administration and drug seeking showed that acute oxytocin decreased methamphetamine (meth) seeking in male rats, suggesting potential clinical efficacy for the treatment of psychostimulant addiction. However, based on the well-established role of oxytocin in reproduction and pair bond formation, it is important to know how this effect extrapolates to females. Here, we tested whether oxytocin (1 mg/kg, IP) would decrease meth seeking in female...

  8. Oxytocin Modulates Nociception as an Agonist of Pain-Sensing TRPV1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yelena Nersesyan

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a hormone with various actions. Oxytocin-containing parvocellular neurons project to the brainstem and spinal cord. Oxytocin release from these neurons suppresses nociception of inflammatory pain, the molecular mechanism of which remains unclear. Here, we report that the noxious stimulus receptor TRPV1 is an ionotropic oxytocin receptor. Oxytocin elicits TRPV1 activity in native and heterologous expression systems, regardless of the presence of the classical oxytocin receptor. In TRPV1 knockout mice, DRG neurons exhibit reduced oxytocin sensitivity relative to controls, and oxytocin injections significantly attenuate capsaicin-induced nociception in in vivo experiments. Furthermore, oxytocin potentiates TRPV1 in planar lipid bilayers, supporting a direct agonistic action. Molecular modeling and simulation experiments provide insight into oxytocin-TRPV1 interactions, which resemble DkTx. Together, our findings suggest the existence of endogenous regulatory pathways that modulate nociception via direct action of oxytocin on TRPV1, implying its analgesic effect via channel desensitization.

  9. Oxytocin is a cardiovascular hormone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutkowska J.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin (OT, a nonapeptide, was the first hormone to have its biological activities established and chemical structure determined. It was believed that OT is released from hypothalamic nerve terminals of the posterior hypophysis into the circulation where it stimulates uterine contractions during parturition, and milk ejection during lactation. However, equivalent concentrations of OT were found in the male hypophysis, and similar stimuli of OT release were determined for both sexes, suggesting other physiological functions. Indeed, recent studies indicate that OT is involved in cognition, tolerance, adaptation and complex sexual and maternal behaviour, as well as in the regulation of cardiovascular functions. It has long been known that OT induces natriuresis and causes a fall in mean arterial pressure, both after acute and chronic treatment, but the mechanism was not clear. The discovery of the natriuretic family shed new light on this matter. Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP, a potent natriuretic and vasorelaxant hormone, originally isolated from rat atria, has been found at other sites, including the brain. Blood volume expansion causes ANP release that is believed to be important in the induction of natriuresis and diuresis, which in turn act to reduce the increase in blood volume. Neurohypophysectomy totally abolishes the ANP response to volume expansion. This indicates that one of the major hypophyseal peptides is responsible for ANP release. The role of ANP in OT-induced natriuresis was evaluated, and we hypothesized that the cardio-renal effects of OT are mediated by the release of ANP from the heart. To support this hypothesis, we have demonstrated the presence and synthesis of OT receptors in all heart compartments and the vasculature. The functionality of these receptors has been established by the ability of OT to induce ANP release from perfused heart or atrial slices. Furthermore, we have shown that the heart and large vessels

  10. Let's share a story : socially enhanced multimedia storytelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mu, M.; Simpson, S.; Race, N.; Niamut, O.A.; Koot, G.; Kaptein, A.M.; Taal, J.; Mori, L.

    2015-01-01

    An online multimedia storytelling ecosystem comprised of user applications, a collaborative storyauthoring engine, social context integration, and socially aware media services offers a mdium for inormation sharing and social storytelling about live events. User-generated audio-visual content is

  11. The enhancement of social norm compliance: Prospects and caveats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Civai, C.; Ma, I.

    2017-01-01

    Societies are characterized by a shared system of social norms, which promotes cooperation among people. However, following social norms often means going against self-interest - imagine, for example, being required to choose whether or not to get richer from an unfair deal; ignoring social norms,

  12. Low oxytocin and melatonin levels and their possible role in the diagnosis and prognosis in Iraqi autistic children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdulamir, Haidar A.; Abdul-Rasheed, Omar F.; Abdulghani, Emad A.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To test the possible association between oxytocin and melatonin levels with the severity of social and cognitive dysfunctions, and to study the correlation between these parameters in children with autism. Methods: A case-control study was carried out in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq. The study was performed on 60 male autistic patients recruited from the Pediatric Department of Al-Sader General Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq between November 2014 and April 2015. The levels of oxytocin and melatonin were measured in the serum of these autistic male patients, and categorized as mild, moderate, and severe (20 patients each), and was compared with 26 age- and gender-matched control subjects. Results: The data indicated that the levels of oxytocin (44.72 ± 36.1 µIU/mL) and melatonin in patients (23.08 ± 10.41 pg/mL) were significantly lower (pautistic patients with oxytocin (59.22 ± 27.32 µIU/mL) and melatonin (27.55 ± 14.71 pg/mL). These 2 parameters showed a significant positive correlation with each other in moderate (r=0.513; p=0.021), and severe patients (r=0.598; p=0.005). Conclusion: Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that oxytocin can be considered as a good diagnostic marker in severe autistic patients while melatonin can be considered as a good diagnostic marker in all autistic subgroups. This study proves the possibility of using oxytocin and melatonin in the diagnosis, and as markers of autism severity. PMID:26739971

  13. Why Teach Social Entrepreneurship: Enhance Learning and University-Community Relations through Service-Learning Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessel, Stacy; Godshalk, Veronica M.

    2004-01-01

    This article focuses on providing a convincing argument for incorporating social entrepreneurship into the business professor's classroom. The outreach provided by social entrepreneurship enhances learning and promotes university-community relations. Service-learning engagement activities, in the form of social entrepreneurship, create a three-way…

  14. Enhancing Lifelong Competence Development and Management Systems with Social Network-based Concepts and Tools

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheak, Alicia; Angehrn, Albert; Sloep, Peter

    2006-01-01

    This paper addresses the challenge of enhancing the social dimension of lifelong Competence Development and Management Systems with social network-based concepts and tools. Our premise is that through a combination of social network visualization tools, simulations, stimulus agents and management

  15. Plasma cortisol and oxytocin levels predict help-seeking intentions for depressive symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Susan; Larkin, Theresa

    2018-01-01

    Depressed individuals often refuse or withdraw from help, a phenomenon termed help-negation, which is a risk factor for poor outcomes. Most previous research has investigated psychosocial factors including stigma as causes of low help-seeking intentions for depression, however these do not adequately explain the problem. We hypothesised that because help-negation worsens with symptom severity, it might be linked to important biological changes associated with depression itself. We investigated the relative contributions of cortisol, a stress hormone linked to depression, and oxytocin, a hormone which mediates social behaviours, alongside psychosocial factors, to help-seeking intentions among depressed and non-depressed individuals. Morning plasma cortisol and oxytocin levels, psychopathology, suicidal ideation, help-seeking intentions from informal sources including family and friends, and formal sources including health professionals, and perceived social support were quantified in 63 adults meeting DSM-5 criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) who were not receiving any treatment, and 60 healthy controls. Between-group analyses of variance, correlations, and hierarchical multiple regressions were employed. Help-seeking intentions were lower in depressed than healthy participants, negatively correlated to cortisol and positively correlated to oxytocin. Cortisol negatively, and oxytocin positively, predicted help-seeking intentions from informal but not formal sources, after controlling for psychopathology and psychosocial factors. Neuroendocrine changes associated with depression may contribute to low help-seeking from friends and family, which may have implications for interpersonal support and outcomes. Research and clinical approaches which incorporate biological as well as psychosocial factors may allow for more targeted and effective early interventions to address lack of help-seeking and depression progression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  16. Theory of mind as a link between oxytocin and maternal behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKinnon, Anna L; Carter, C Sue; Feeley, Nancy; Gold, Ian; Hayton, Barbara; Santhakumaran, Sangeetha; Zelkowitz, Phyllis

    2018-06-01

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide associated with maternal behavior. However the mechanisms underlying this link remain unclear. In a previous study we observed an indirect effect of increased plasma oxytocin during late pregnancy on early postpartum maternal interactive behavior via theory of mind, as assessed by the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET). The current study aimed to extend these findings by testing whether this indirect effect would hold longitudinally for maternal behavior at 2-3 years postpartum, as well as for an additional observational measure of maternal mind-mindedness. The original sample of 316 pregnant women (M age  = 31.92 years) was assessed at 12-14 weeks gestation (T1), 32-34 weeks gestation (T2), and 7-9 weeks postpartum (T3). Follow-up measures were taken at 2-3 years postpartum (T4). Mothers' RMET performance (T3) was associated with more structuring and less intrusive maternal behavior at 2-3 years (T4), while their tendency to use mind-related comments (T3) was associated with greater sensitivity (T4). Bootstrap estimates also revealed a significant indirect effect of plasma oxytocin levels during late pregnancy (T2) on maternal structuring and non-intrusive behavior at 2-3 years postpartum (T4) through RMET performance (T3). Results: of the current study confirm and extend the previous findings, demonstrating that theory of mind may represent a social cognitive mechanism linking endogenous oxytocin and maternal behavior. Important changes in the oxytocinergic system during late pregnancy may help prepare for motherhood by promoting the awareness of social cues, which in turn promote maternal behavior from the early postpartum to the early childhood years. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Conjugated equine estrogen enhances rats' cognitive, anxiety, and social behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Walf, Alicia A.; Frye, Cheryl A.

    2008-01-01

    The ovarian hormone, 17β-estradiol (E2), has numerous targets in the body and brain, and can influence cognitive, affective, and social behavior. However, functional effects of commonly prescribed E2-based hormone therapies are less known. The effects of conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) on middle-aged female rats for cognitive (object recognition), anxiety (open field, plus maze), and social (social interaction, lordosis) behavior were compared-with vehicle. Our hypothesis that CEE would enha...

  18. Social interaction enhances motor resonance for observed human actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogeveen, Jeremy; Obhi, Sukhvinder S

    2012-04-25

    Understanding the neural basis of social behavior has become an important goal for cognitive neuroscience and a key aim is to link neural processes observed in the laboratory to more naturalistic social behaviors in real-world contexts. Although it is accepted that mirror mechanisms contribute to the occurrence of motor resonance (MR) and are common to action execution, observation, and imitation, questions remain about mirror (and MR) involvement in real social behavior and in processing nonhuman actions. To determine whether social interaction primes the MR system, groups of participants engaged or did not engage in a social interaction before observing human or robotic actions. During observation, MR was assessed via motor-evoked potentials elicited with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Compared with participants who did not engage in a prior social interaction, participants who engaged in the social interaction showed a significant increase in MR for human actions. In contrast, social interaction did not increase MR for robot actions. Thus, naturalistic social interaction and laboratory action observation tasks appear to involve common MR mechanisms, and recent experience tunes the system to particular agent types.

  19. Robot Enhanced Therapy for Children with Autism (DREAM): A Social Model of Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Richardson, Kathleen; Coecklebergh, M; Wakunuma, Kutoma; Billing, Erik; Ziemke, Tom; Gomez, P; Vanderborght, Bram; Belpaeme, Tony

    2017-01-01

    Development of Robot-enhanced Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders The development of social robots for children with autism has been a growth field in the last 15 years. This paper reviews studies in robots and autism as a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts on social-communication development and the way in which social robots could help children with autism develop social skills. Drawing on the ethics research from the EU funded DREAM project (framework 7), based on ...

  20. Intranasal oxytocin impedes the ability to ignore task-irrelevant facial expressions of sadness in students with depressive symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellenbogen, Mark A; Linnen, Anne-Marie; Cardoso, Christopher; Joober, Ridha

    2013-03-01

    The administration of oxytocin promotes prosocial behavior in humans. The mechanism by which this occurs is unknown, but it likely involves changes in social information processing. In a randomized placebo-controlled study, we examined the influence of intranasal oxytocin and placebo on the interference control component of inhibition (i.e. ability to ignore task-irrelevant information) in 102 participants using a negative affective priming task with sad, angry, and happy faces. In this task, participants are instructed to respond to a facial expression of emotion while simultaneously ignoring another emotional face. On the subsequent trial, the previously-ignored emotional valence may become the emotional valence of the target face. Inhibition is operationalized as the differential delay between responding to a previously-ignored emotional valence and responding to an emotional valence unrelated to the previous one. Although no main effect of drug administration on inhibition was observed, a drug × depressive symptom interaction (β = -0.25; t = -2.6, p < 0.05) predicted the inhibition of sad faces. Relative to placebo, participants with high depression scores who were administered oxytocin were unable to inhibit the processing of sad faces. There was no relationship between drug administration and inhibition among those with low depression scores. These findings are consistent with increasing evidence that oxytocin alters social information processing in ways that have both positive and negative social outcomes. Because elevated depression scores are associated with an increased risk for major depressive disorder, difficulties inhibiting mood-congruent stimuli following oxytocin administration may be associated with risk for depression. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Social stress models in rodents : Towards enhanced validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koolhaas, J M; de Boer, S F; Buwalda, B; Meerlo, P

    Understanding the role of the social environment in the development of stress related diseases requires a more fundamental understanding of stress. Stress includes not only the stimulus and the response but also the individual appraisal of the situation. The social environment is not only essential

  2. Theoretical Foundations for Enhancing Social Connectedness in Online Learning Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slagter van Tryon, Patricia J.; Bishop, M. J.

    2009-01-01

    Group social structure provides a comfortable and predictable context for interaction in learning environments. Students in face-to-face learning environments process social information about others in order to assess traits, predict behaviors, and determine qualifications for assuming particular responsibilities within a group. In online learning…

  3. Let's share a story : Socially-enhanced multimedia storytelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mu, M.; Simpson, S.; Race, N.; Niamut, O.; Koot, G.; Kaptein, R.; Taal, J.; Mori, L.

    2015-01-01

    User-generated audio-visual content is becoming the most popular medium for information sharing and social storytelling around a live event. This paper introduces an online multimedia storytelling ecosystem comprised of purpose-built user applications, a collaborative story authoring engine, social

  4. Semantically Enhanced Topic Modeling and Its Applications in Social Media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Lifan

    2013-01-01

    As we witness the prosperity of the social media in the past few years, and feel the explosion of "user-generated content" on the Internet, there is little question that we have entered an era of Big Data. Those social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora and Twitter have been important sources for a wide spectrum of users.…

  5. Enhancing collaborative leadership in palliative social work in oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Barbara; Phillips, Farya; Head, Barbara Anderson; Hedlund, Susan; Kalisiak, Angela; Zebrack, Brad; Kilburn, Lisa; Otis-Green, Shirley

    2014-01-01

    The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report-Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs-provided recommendations for meeting the palliative care needs of our growing population of older Americans. The IOM report highlights the demand for social work leadership across all aspects of the health care delivery system. Social workers are core interdisciplinary members of the health care team and it is important for them to be well prepared for collaborative leadership roles across health care settings. The ExCEL in Social Work: Excellence in Cancer Education & Leadership education project was created as a direct response to the 2008 IOM Report. This article highlights a sampling of palliative care projects initiated by outstanding oncology social work participants in the ExCEL program. These projects demonstrate the leadership of social workers in palliative care oncology.

  6. Intranasal oxytocin versus placebo in the treatment of adults with autism spectrum disorders: a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anagnostou Evdokia

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There are no effective medications for the treatment of social cognition/function deficits in autism spectrum disorder (ASD, and adult intervention literature in this area is sparse. Emerging data from animal models and genetic association studies as well as early, single-dose intervention studies suggest that the oxytocin system may be a potential therapeutic target for social cognition/function deficits in ASD. The primary aim of this study was to examine the safety/therapeutic effects of intranasal oxytocin versus placebo in adults with ASD, with respect to the two core symptom domains of social cognition/functioning and repetitive behaviors. Methods This was a pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel design trial of intranasal oxytocin versus placebo in 19 adults with ASD (16 males; 33.20 ± 13.29 years. Subjects were randomized to 24 IU intranasal oxytocin or placebo in the morning and afternoon for 6 weeks. Measures of social function/cognition (the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy and repetitive behaviors (Repetitive Behavior Scale Revised were administered. Secondary measures included the Social Responsiveness Scale, Reading-the-Mind-in-the-Eyes Test and the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale – compulsion subscale and quality of life (World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire – emotional/social subscales. Full-information maximum-likelihood parameter estimates were obtained and tested using mixed-effects regression analyses. Results Although no significant changes were detected in the primary outcome measures after correcting for baseline differences, results suggested improvements after 6 weeks in measures of social cognition (Reading-the-Mind-in-the-Eyes Test, p = 0.002, d = 1.2, and quality of life (World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire – emotion, p = 0.031, d = 0.84, both secondary measures. Oxytocin was well tolerated and no serious adverse

  7. Oxytocin improves synchronisation in leader-follower interaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gebauer, L.; Witek, M. A. G.; Hansen, N. C.

    2016-01-01

    , there was no effect when following a regular metronome or when both tappers were mutually adapting to each other. Furthermore, relative to their self-paced tapping partners, oxytocin followers were less variable than placebo followers. Our data suggests that oxytocin improves synchronisation to an unresponsive...

  8. Oxytocin and the Biopsychology of Performance in Team Sports

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pepping, Gert-Jan; Timmermans, Erik J.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the biopsychological underpinnings of expert performance in team sports. In this paper we show that there is a vast support for oxytocin as a neuropeptide involved in the encouragement of important processes linked to greater team performance in sport. We argue that oxytocin is

  9. Oxytocin augmentation: Poison or potion in the multipara? | Cluver ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Oxytocin is one of the most commonly used drugs in obstetric practice but it is also the drug associated with the most preventable adverse events in childbirth. In this review we look at the use of oxytocin augmentation in the multigravida. We look at the concept of whether the multigravida is different to the primigravida.

  10. Enhancing social networks: a qualitative study of health and social care practice in UK mental health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webber, Martin; Reidy, Hannah; Ansari, David; Stevens, Martin; Morris, David

    2015-03-01

    People with severe mental health problems such as psychosis have access to less social capital, defined as resources within social networks, than members of the general population. However, a lack of theoretically and empirically informed models hampers the development of social interventions which seek to enhance an individual's social networks. This paper reports the findings of a qualitative study, which used ethnographic field methods in six sites in England to investigate how workers helped people recovering from psychosis to enhance their social networks. This study drew upon practice wisdom and lived experience to provide data for intervention modelling. Data were collected from 73 practitioners and 51 people who used their services in two phases. Data were selected and coded using a grounded theory approach to depict the key themes that appeared to underpin the generation of social capital within networks. Findings are presented in four over-arching themes - worker skills, attitudes and roles; connecting people processes; role of the agency; and barriers to network development. The sub-themes which were identified included worker attitudes; person-centred approach; equality of worker-individual relationship; goal setting; creating new networks and relationships; engagement through activities; practical support; existing relationships; the individual taking responsibility; identifying and overcoming barriers; and moving on. Themes were consistent with recovery models used within mental health services and will provide the basis for the development of an intervention model to enhance individuals' access to social capital within networks. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. How pharmacy's adoption of social media can enhance patient outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bell M

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Maria Bell, Jan Douglas, Christopher CuttsCentre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, Manchester Pharmacy School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UKAbstract: Social media is progressively being used for sharing health information and for networking among health professionals and patients; this is particularly evident among the younger age groups. There is great potential for pharmacy to engage in the utilization of such platforms to improve health outcomes, and this paper explores some of the areas where social media is already in use in pharmacy and potential areas where using social media could make a positive impact on the determinants of health. The literature around this subject is limited; nevertheless, the number of published studies has increased in recent years. This paper concentrates on the use and application of social media by pharmacy to improve health outcomes. The subject was explored in five main areas: provision of medicines information, safer use of medicines, medicines use in chronic disease, implementation of evidence-based medicine and guidelines, and finally clinical research. In each of these areas, there is an increase in uptake and use of social media platforms by pharmacists and other health care professionals to improve patient outcomes. A variety of the more popular social media platforms have been used by health care professionals and the relative merits of these are discussed within each of the subject areas and consideration given to their application in pharmacy practice. It is evident that the majority of social media users fall into the younger age bracket, which is understandable. However, the majority of patients living with long-term conditions typically fall into the older age bracket (over 65 years of age and this should be taken into account when utilizing social media platforms to improve health outcomes.Keywords: social media, pharmacy, outcomes, impact, health

  12. Biomedical Enhancement and Social Development: A Conservative Techno-Fix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanyal, Sagar

    2016-11-01

    Allen Buchanan has argued for a linking of the ethics of human enhancement to the ethics of development more generally. The promise of the 'enhancement enterprise' is that it may help develop society, just as other technological advances have in the past. He proposes a framework of intellectual property rights, government action to ensure the poor can access the enhancements, an international organization to administer the diffusion of new enhancement technologies from the West to poor countries, and the diffusion within countries to the poorer populations. I take seriously his proposal of discussing biomedical enhancement in terms of the ethics of development. On these grounds of assessment, I argue that his proposal is politically conservative. To make the case, I distinguish conservatism in ethics from conservatism in politics; and I contextualize the proposal against the background of development economics and the neoliberal approach to development. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Intranasal oxytocin reduces provoked symptoms in female patients with posttraumatic stress disorder despite exerting sympathomimetic and positive chronotropic effects in a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sack, M; Spieler, D; Wizelman, L; Epple, G; Stich, J; Zaba, M; Schmidt, U

    2017-02-17

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe psychiatric disease accompanied by neuroendocrine changes such as adrenergic overdrive and hence an elevated cardiovascular morbidity. Current pharmacotherapeutic options for PTSD are less than suboptimal, necessitating the development of PTSD-specific drugs. Although the neuropeptide oxytocin has been repeatedly suggested to be effective in PTSD treatment, there are, to our knowledge, only three studies that have assessed its efficacy on the intensity of PTSD symptoms in PTSD patients - among them one symptom provocation study in male veterans. To evaluate for the first time how oxytocin influences the intensity of provoked PTSD symptoms and, furthermore, cardiac control in female PTSD patients, we assessed their psychic and cardiac response to trauma-script exposure with and without oxytocin pretreatment in a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study. We used a within-subject design to study 35 female PTSD patients who received oxytocin and placebo in a 2-week interval. Furthermore, we performed a small pilot study to get an idea of the relation of the stress-modulated endogenous oxytocin levels and heart rate - we correlated oxytocin serum levels with the heart rate of 10 healthy individuals before and after exposure to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Intranasal oxytocin treatment was followed by a reduction of provoked total PTSD symptoms, in particular of avoidance, and by an elevation in baseline and maximum heart rate together with a drop in the pre-ejection period, a marker for sympathetic cardiac control. Furthermore, we found a positive correlation between endogenous oxytocin levels and heart rate both before and after TSST challenge in healthy control subjects. This study provides the first evidence that oxytocin treatment reduces the intensity of provoked PTSD symptoms in female PTSD patients. The small size of both samples and the heterogeneity of the patient sample restrict the

  14. Sex differences in methamphetamine seeking in rats: impact of oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Brittney M; Young, Amy B; See, Ronald E; Reichel, Carmela M

    2013-10-01

    Previous evidence in an animal model of drug self-administration and drug seeking showed that acute oxytocin decreased methamphetamine (meth) seeking in male rats, suggesting potential clinical efficacy for the treatment of psychostimulant addiction. However, based on the well-established role of oxytocin in reproduction and pair bond formation, it is important to know how this effect extrapolates to females. Here, we tested whether oxytocin (1mg/kg, IP) would decrease meth seeking in female rats across various stages of the estrous cycle (Experiment 1). Freely cycling Long Evans female rats self-administered meth (IV) in 2-h daily sessions, followed by daily extinction sessions. Following extinction, rats received oxytocin (0, 0.3, or 1mg/kg, IP) 30min before a meth priming injection (1mg/kg, IP) to assess reinstatement of meth seeking. Next, we examined the effects of oxytocin on motivated meth- and sucrose-taking and seeking in male and female rats. In separate experiments, males and females self-administered meth (Experiment 2) or sucrose (Experiment 3) until responding was stabilized along a fixed ratio (FR) 5 schedule of reinforcement. Subsequently, rats received either oxytocin or vehicle prior to self-administration along a progressive ratio (PR) schedule of reinforcement. Rats were subsequently tested for cue-, meth-, and stress-induced reinstatement after pretreatment with oxytocin or vehicle. While oxytocin reduced meth seeking in females, we found that estrous cycle stage (as determined from vaginal cytology) did not influence meth-primed reinstatement or the ability of oxytocin to decrease reinstatement of meth seeking. Oxytocin reduced PR responding for meth only in females. Females responded more than males during cue-induced reinstatement of meth and sucrose seeking, and oxytocin reduced this responding only in meth females. In both sexes, oxytocin attenuated meth seeking in response to a meth prime and yohimbine (a pharmacological stressor). The

  15. Social Technology Enhancing the Town Centre Management Attractiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Caboni

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The article describes the social technology’s role in the TCM attractiveness from the retailers’ perspective. The exploratory research experience in Sweden during different periods between 2012 and 2016 includes contributions of the literature, direct interviews and analysis of the TCM’s websites. The state-of-the-art of social commerce perception by managers and retailers is defined, and specific evidences are given through research. An interpretation of the concept of attractiveness of the TCM is presented to explain how social commerce could affect this property. Dissonance between opinions and statements of TCM stakeholders are discussed, and the will to use social commerce to increase opportunities for TCM is, in general, declared by retailers, but it is not realized in practice in management activities. A comparative empirical exploration between different countries could be conducted in future. This paper explores the actual situation in the use of website sustaining that the social commerce and the social networks are able to go beyond the supporting of commerce activity and they are able to support the TCM attractiveness and place attachment.

  16. Blocking oxytocin receptors inhibits vaginal marking to male odors in female Syrian hamsters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Luis A; Albers, H Elliott; Petrulis, Aras

    2010-12-02

    In Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), precopulatory behaviors such as vaginal scent marking are essential for attracting a suitable mate. Vaginal marking is dependent on forebrain areas implicated in the neural regulation of reproductive behaviors in rodents, including the medial preoptic/anterior hypothalamus (MPOA-AH). Within MPOA-AH, the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) acts to facilitate copulation (lordosis), as well as ultrasonic vocalizations towards males. It is not known, however, if OT in this area also facilitates vaginal marking. In the present study, a specific oxytocin receptor antagonist (OTA) was injected into MPOA-AH of intact female Syrian hamsters to determine if oxytocin receptor-dependent signaling is critical for the normal expression of vaginal marking elicited by male, female, and clean odors. OTA injections significantly inhibited vaginal marking in response to male odors compared with vehicle injections. There was no effect of OTA on marking in response to either female or clean odors. When injected into the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), a nearby region to MPOA-AH, OTA was equally effective in decreasing marking. Finally, the effects of OTA appear to be specific to vaginal marking, as OTA injections in MPOA-AH or BNST did not alter general locomotor activity, flank marking, or social odor investigation. Considered together, these results suggest that OT in MPOA-AH and/or BNST normally facilitates male odor-induced vaginal marking, providing further evidence that OT generally supports prosocial interactions among conspecifics. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Dilemmas in providing resilience-enhancing social services to long-term social assistance clients. A qualitative study of Swedish social workers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marttila Anneli

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Long-term recipients of social assistance face barriers to social and economic inclusion, and have poorer health and more limited opportunities for improving their health than many other groups in the population. During recent decades there have been changes in Swedish social policy, with cutbacks in public benefits and a re-emphasis on means-tested policies. In this context, it is important to investigate the necessary conditions for social workers to offer social assistance and services, as well as the mediating role of social workers between public policies and their clients. Swedish social services aim to promote social inclusion by strengthening the individual´s own resources. We investigated the issues that arise when providing social services to long-term social assistance clients within the framework of resilience, which focuses on the processes leading to positive functioning in adverse conditions. Methods Interviews were conducted with 23 social workers in Stockholm and analysed by qualitative content analysis. Results The main theme to emerge from the interviews concerned the constraints that the social workers faced in providing social services to social assistance clients. The first subtheme focused on dilemmas in the interaction between social workers and clients resulting from the dual role of exercising authority and supporting and building trust with clients. Working conditions of social workers also played a crucial role. The second subtheme addressed the impact of the societal context, such as labour market opportunities and coordination between authorities. Conclusions Overall, we found that social workers to a great extent tried to find individual solutions to structural problems. To provide resilience-enhancing social services to long-term social assistance clients with varying obstacles and needs requires a constructive working environment, supportive societal structures and inter-sectoral cooperation

  18. Dilemmas in providing resilience-enhancing social services to long-term social assistance clients. A qualitative study of Swedish social workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marttila, Anneli; Johansson, Eva; Whitehead, Margaret; Burström, Bo

    2012-07-12

    Long-term recipients of social assistance face barriers to social and economic inclusion, and have poorer health and more limited opportunities for improving their health than many other groups in the population. During recent decades there have been changes in Swedish social policy, with cutbacks in public benefits and a re-emphasis on means-tested policies. In this context, it is important to investigate the necessary conditions for social workers to offer social assistance and services, as well as the mediating role of social workers between public policies and their clients. Swedish social services aim to promote social inclusion by strengthening the individual's own resources. We investigated the issues that arise when providing social services to long-term social assistance clients within the framework of resilience, which focuses on the processes leading to positive functioning in adverse conditions. Interviews were conducted with 23 social workers in Stockholm and analysed by qualitative content analysis. The main theme to emerge from the interviews concerned the constraints that the social workers faced in providing social services to social assistance clients. The first subtheme focused on dilemmas in the interaction between social workers and clients resulting from the dual role of exercising authority and supporting and building trust with clients. Working conditions of social workers also played a crucial role. The second subtheme addressed the impact of the societal context, such as labour market opportunities and coordination between authorities. Overall, we found that social workers to a great extent tried to find individual solutions to structural problems. To provide resilience-enhancing social services to long-term social assistance clients with varying obstacles and needs requires a constructive working environment, supportive societal structures and inter-sectoral cooperation between different authorities.

  19. Personality is Tightly Coupled to Vasopressin-Oxytocin Neuron Activity in a Gregarious Finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey M Kelly

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Nonapeptides of the vasopressin-oxytocin family modulate social processes differentially in relation to sex, species, behavioral phenotype, and human personality. However, the mechanistic bases for these differences are not well understood, in part because multidimensional personality structures remain to be described for common laboratory animals. Based upon principal components (PC analysis of extensive behavioral measures in social and nonsocial contexts, we now describe three complex dimensions of phenotype (personality for the zebra finch, a species that exhibits a human-like social organization that is based upon biparental nuclear families embedded within larger social groups. These dimensions can be characterized as Social competence/dominance, Gregariousness, and Anxiety. We further demonstrate that the phasic Fos response of nonapeptide neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are significantly predicted by personality, sex, social context, and their interactions. Furthermore the behavioral PCs are each associated with a distinct suite of neural PCs that incorporate both peptide cell numbers and their phasic Fos responses, indicating that personality is reflected in complex patterns of neuromodulation arising from multiple peptide cell groups. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying sex- and phenotype-specific modulation of behavior, and should be broadly relevant, given that vasopressin-oxytocin systems are strongly conserved across vertebrates.

  20. COalitions in COOperation Networks (COCOON): Social Network Analysis and Game Theory to Enhance Cooperation Networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sie, Rory

    2012-01-01

    Sie, R. L. L. (2012). COalitions in COOperation Networks (COCOON): Social Network Analysis and Game Theory to Enhance Cooperation Networks (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). September, 28, 2012, Open Universiteit in the Netherlands (CELSTEC), Heerlen, The Netherlands.

  1. ANSIBLE: A Network of Social Interactions for Bilateral Life Enhancement, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ANSIBLE (A Network of Social Interactions for Bilateral Life Enhancement) can be used pre, during, and post flight to connect the flight crew with their family,...

  2. Oxytocin gene polymorphisms influence human dopaminergic function in a sex-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Tiffany M; Enoch, Mary-Anne; Hodgkinson, Colin A; Peciña, Marta; Mickey, Brian; Koeppe, Robert A; Stohler, Christian S; Goldman, David; Zubieta, Jon-Kar

    2012-08-01

    Oxytocin, classically involved in social and reproductive activities, is increasingly recognized as an antinociceptive and anxiolytic agent, effects which may be mediated via oxytocin's interactions with the dopamine system. Thus, genetic variation within the oxytocin gene (OXT) is likely to explain variability in dopamine-related stress responses. As such, we examined how OXT variation is associated with stress-induced dopaminergic neurotransmission in a healthy human sample. Fifty-five young healthy volunteers were scanned using [¹¹C]raclopride positron emission tomography while they underwent a standardized physical and emotional stressor that consisted of moderate levels of experimental sustained deep muscle pain, and a baseline, control state. Four haplotype tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms located in regions near OXT were genotyped. Measures of pain, affect, anxiety, well-being and interpersonal attachment were also assessed. Female rs4813625 C allele carriers demonstrated greater stress-induced dopamine release, measured as reductions in receptor availability from baseline to the pain-stress condition relative to female GG homozygotes. No significant differences were detected among males. We also observed that female rs4813625 C allele carriers exhibited higher attachment anxiety, higher trait anxiety and lower emotional well-being scores. In addition, greater stress-induced dopamine release was associated with lower emotional well-being scores in female rs4813625 C allele carriers. Our results suggest that variability within the oxytocin gene appear to explain interindividual differences in dopaminergic responses to stress, which are shown to be associated with anxiety traits, including those linked to attachment style, as well as emotional well-being in women. Copyright © 2012 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The differential impact of oxytocin receptor gene in violence-exposed boys and girls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Livia C; Jones, Christopher W; Drury, Stacy S; Theall, Katherine P

    2017-06-01

    Childhood violence exposure is a prevalent public health problem. Understanding the lasting impact of violence requires an enhanced appreciation for the complex effects of violence across behavioral, physiologic, and molecular outcomes. This subject matched, cross-sectional study of 80 children explored the impact of violence exposure across behavioral, physiologic, and cellular outcomes. Externalizing behavior, diurnal cortisol rhythm, and telomere length (TL) were examined in a community recruited cohort of Black youth. Given evidence that genetic variation contributes to individual differences in response to the environment, we further tested whether a polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR rs53576) moderated associations between violence and youth outcomes. Exposure to violence was directly associated with increased externalizing behavior, but no direct association of violence was found with cortisol or TL. Oxytocin genotype, however, moderated the association between violence and both cortisol and TL, suggesting that pathways linked to oxytocin may contribute to individual differences in the physiologic and molecular consequences of violence exposure. Sex differences with OXTR in cortisol and TL outcomes were also detected. Taken together, these findings suggest that there are complex pathways through which violence exposure impacts children, and that these pathways differ by both genetic variation and the sex of the child. Copyright © 2017 ISDN. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Emotional engagements predict and enhance social cognition in young chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bard, Kim A; Bakeman, Roger; Boysen, Sarah T; Leavens, David A

    2014-09-01

    Social cognition in infancy is evident in coordinated triadic engagements, that is, infants attending jointly with social partners and objects. Current evolutionary theories of primate social cognition tend to highlight species differences in cognition based on human-unique cooperative motives. We consider a developmental model in which engagement experiences produce differential outcomes. We conducted a 10-year-long study in which two groups of laboratory-raised chimpanzee infants were given quantifiably different engagement experiences. Joint attention, cooperativeness, affect, and different levels of cognition were measured in 5- to 12-month-old chimpanzees, and compared to outcomes derived from a normative human database. We found that joint attention skills significantly improved across development for all infants, but by 12 months, the humans significantly surpassed the chimpanzees. We found that cooperativeness was stable in the humans, but by 12 months, the chimpanzee group given enriched engagement experiences significantly surpassed the humans. Past engagement experiences and concurrent affect were significant unique predictors of both joint attention and cooperativeness in 5- to 12-month-old chimpanzees. When engagement experiences and concurrent affect were statistically controlled, joint attention and cooperation were not associated. We explain differential social cognition outcomes in terms of the significant influences of previous engagement experiences and affect, in addition to cognition. Our study highlights developmental processes that underpin the emergence of social cognition in support of evolutionary continuity. © 2014 The Authors. Developmental Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Enhance Your Science With Social Media: No ... Really

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goss, H.; Aiken, A. C.; Sams, A.

    2016-12-01

    The ability to communicate the societal value of basic research to nonacademic audiences is morphing from an optional soft skill to a crucial tool for scientists who are competing over finite or shrinking resources for research. Former National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone argued as early as 2006 that "scientists themselves must do a better job of communicating directly to the public," taking advantage of "new, non-traditional outlets" on the Internet. Findings suggest that scientists have begun to embrace social media as a viable tool for communicating research and keeping abreast of advancements in their fields. Social media is changing the way that scientists are interacting with each other and with the global community. Scientists are taking to popular social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to challenge weak research, share replication attempts in real time, and counteract hype. Incorporating social media into the different stages of a scientific publication: Accelerates the pace of scientific communication and collaboration Facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration Makes it possible to communicate results to a large and diverse audience Encourages post-publication conversations about findings Accelerates research evaluation Makes science more transparent Amplifies the positive effects of scientists' interactions with more traditional media Our presentation will demonstrate how scientists can use social media as a tool to support their work, collaborate with peers around the world, and advance the cause of science. Information will be presented by communications experts and research librarians in collaboration with scientists who are already active on social media. Content will focus on pragmatic best practices for engaging peers, other stakeholders, promoting science and scientific research, and measuring success.

  6. Using Social Media Technologies to Enhance Online Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hershey H. Friedman

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Models of distance education have evolved over decades, just in time to collide with modern pedagogies in which communication, interaction, student engagement, and active learning are of critical importance. The number of college students taking online classes continues to grow. Today, nearly 30% of college students are taking at least one online class. The social media technologies encompass a wide variety of Web-based technologies such as blogs, wikis, online social networking, and virtual worlds. This paper examines the relevant published literature, looking at online learning activities through the prism of the defining characteristics of today’s new communication technologies.

  7. Semantically-enhanced advertisement recommender systems in social networks

    OpenAIRE

    Pazahr, Ali

    2017-01-01

    El objetivo principal de la investigación es estudiar y diseñar un entorno de recomendación publicitaria en las redes sociales que puede ser enriquecido mediante tecnologías semánticas. A pesar de que existen muchas aplicaciones y soluciones para los sistemas de recomendación, en este estudio se diseña un framework robusto con un rendimiento adecuado para poder ser implementado en las redes sociales con el objetivo de ampliar los propósitos de negocio. De este objetivo principal se pueden ...

  8. Using social media to enhance career development opportunities for health promotion professionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roman, Leah A

    2014-07-01

    For health promotion professionals, social media offers many ways to engage with a broader range of colleagues; participate in professional development events; promote expertise, products, or services; and learn about career-enhancing opportunities such as funding and fellowships. Previous work has recommended "building networking into what you are already doing." This article provides updated and new social media resources, as well as practical examples and strategies to promote effective use of social media. Social media offers health promotion professionals cost-effective opportunities to enhance their career by building communities of practice, participating in professional development events, and enriching classroom learning. Developing the skills necessary to use social media for networking is important in the public health workforce, especially as social media is increasingly used in academic and practice settings. © 2014 Society for Public Health Education.

  9. Intranasal Oxytocin Normalizes Amygdala Functional Connectivity in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Saskia B J; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Nawijn, Laura; Frijling, Jessie L; Veltman, Dick J; Olff, Miranda

    2016-07-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been suggested as a promising pharmacological agent for medication-enhanced psychotherapy in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of its anxiolytic and prosocial properties. We therefore investigated the behavioral and neurobiological effects of a single intranasal OT administration (40 IU) in PTSD patients. We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over resting-state fMRI study in male and female police officers with (n=37, 21 males) and without PTSD (n=40, 20 males). We investigated OT administration effects on subjective anxiety and functional connectivity of basolateral (BLA) and centromedial (CeM) amygdala subregions with prefrontal and salience processing areas. In PTSD patients, OT administration resulted in decreased subjective anxiety and nervousness. Under placebo, male PTSD patients showed diminished right CeM to left ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) connectivity compared with male trauma-exposed controls, which was reinstated after OT administration. Additionally, female PTSD patients showed enhanced right BLA to bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) connectivity compared with female trauma-exposed controls, which was dampened after OT administration. Although caution is warranted, our findings tentatively suggest that OT has the potential to diminish anxiety and fear expression of the amygdala in PTSD, either via increased control of the vmPFC over the CeM (males) or via decreased salience processing of the dACC and BLA (females). Our findings add to accumulating evidence that OT administration could potentially enhance treatment response in PTSD.

  10. Social importance enhances prospective memory: evidence from an event-based task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Stefan; Meier, Beat

    2017-07-01

    Prospective memory performance can be enhanced by task importance, for example by promising a reward. Typically, this comes at costs in the ongoing task. However, previous research has suggested that social importance (e.g., providing a social motive) can enhance prospective memory performance without additional monitoring costs in activity-based and time-based tasks. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of social importance in an event-based task. We compared four conditions: social importance, promising a reward, both social importance and promising a reward, and standard prospective memory instructions (control condition). The results showed enhanced prospective memory performance for all importance conditions compared to the control condition. Although ongoing task performance was slowed in all conditions with a prospective memory task when compared to a baseline condition with no prospective memory task, additional costs occurred only when both the social importance and reward were present simultaneously. Alone, neither social importance nor promising a reward produced an additional slowing when compared to the cost in the standard (control) condition. Thus, social importance and reward can enhance event-based prospective memory at no additional cost.

  11. The Effects of Assertiveness Training on Enhancing the Social Skills of Adolescents with Visual Impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-il

    2003-01-01

    A study of the effects of assertiveness training to enhance the social/assertiveness skills of 36 adolescents with visual impairments found that parents, the students, teachers, and observers judged the adolescents' social skills differently. However, the training did have some specific effect on increasing assertiveness. (Contains references.)…

  12. How Social-Media Enhanced Learning Platforms Support Students in Taking Responsibility for Their Own Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pals Svendsen, Lisbet; Mondahl, Margrethe

    2013-01-01

    Purpose – The paper is based on the chapter “How Social Media Enhanced Learning Platforms Challenge and Motivate Students to Take Charge of Their Own Learning Processes – A Few Examples” from the publication Increasing Student Engagement and Retention using Social Technologies: Facebook, e...

  13. A Review of Information and Communication Technology Enhanced Social Work Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Chitat; Holosko, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Information and communications technology (ICT) has impacted almost all human service disciplines and currently is evolving in social work. This study provides a systematic review of ICT-enhanced social work interventions, with particular reference to their intervention fidelity (IF), validity, and the role of ICT in the helping…