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- Journal Article Title: Effects of Oxytocin on Recollections of Maternal Care and Closeness.
- Journal Article Author: Jennifer A. Bartz, Jamil Zaki, Kevin N. Ochsner, Niall Bolger, Alexander Kolevzon, Natasha Ludwig, and John E. Lydon
- Journal Title and Date of Publication: PNAS, 2010, December 14.
This study seeks to test the hypothesis that oxytocin positively influences social perception. The literature that underpins the role of oxytocin in encoding maternal care and closeness recollections and associates them with positive outcomes as a response to the social stimuli is the basis for this study.
The researchers used a randomized crossover trial involving the double-blinding method to avoid the effect of placebo in the test-groups. The researchers used adult males as subjects in the study. They gave the participants 24 IU oxytocin as well as a placebo through the nose on two episodes a few weeks apart. They assessed the differences at baseline of individual divergence in attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety. After administering oxytocin or placebo, the researchers tested the memories of maternal care and closeness when participants were young children. The change in maternal memories caused by the drug was determined by calculating the difference between oxytocin and placebo estimates on maternal care and closeness indicators.
The results of the study indicated that oxytocin did not positively bias memories on maternal care and closeness in childhood for a typical person. These findings contrast with the claim that scientists expected to prove based on the existing view.
Nevertheless, attachment anxiety correlated to the administration of oxytocin consistent with the hypothesis the researchers developed. Consequently, the findings indicate that attachment anxiety could predict alterations in maternal care and closeness estimates for oxytocin relative to placebo. Less anxiously attached persons recalled a stronger bond with their mothers after administration of oxytocin than after administration of a placebo. The converse was true for more anxiously attached person.
The research revealed that oxytocin intensified persistent concerns on closeness and the consistency of significant others which portrayed attachment anxiety. Conversely, less anxious subjects depicted a beneficial response to oxytocin, recollecting maternal experiences more positively than very anxious ones do.
Issues for class
Scholars epitomized oxytocin as a hormone involved in the formation of love emotions. Nevertheless, the findings of this study show that it is not a general-purpose attachment solution. Therefore, some undiscovered factors overlap or interplay in generating emotions. Perhaps, the neurotransmitters or hormones involved in psychosis could be involved.
Bartz, J., Zaki, J., Ochsner, K., Bolger, N., Kolevzon, A., Ludwig, N., & Lydon, J.E. (2010). Effects of Oxytocin on Recollections of Maternal Care and Closeness. PNAS , 107 (50), 21371-21375.