Navigation Links
'Love Hormone' Boosts Memories of Mom -- Good or Bad, Study Finds
Date:11/29/2010

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A study involving men and their mothers suggests a new function for the "love hormone" oxytocin in human behavior.

Grown men who inhaled a synthetic form of oxytocin, a naturally occurring chemical, recalled intensified fond memories of their mothers if, indeed, Mom was all that caring.

But if men initially reported less close relationships with Mom, oxytocin seemed to encourage them to dwell on the negative.

These findings, published online Nov. 29 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, appear to contradict public perception about oxytocin's beneficial effects, the researchers say.

"There's a popular idea that oxytocin has these ubiquitous positive effects on social interactions, but this suggests that it depends on the person to whom it's given and the context in which it's given," said study lead author Jennifer Bartz. "It's not this universal attachment panacea."

Oxytocin, which is produced in abundance when a mother breast-feeds her baby, is known as the "bonding" hormone and may actually have therapeutic applications.

One study found that people with high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome were better able to "catch" social cues after inhaling the hormone.

Oxytocin has also been linked to trust, empathy and generosity, but may also spark the less attractive qualities of jealousy and gloating.

By fostering attachment, oxytocin is considered critical to survival of an individual, and also to survival of the species.

"It's what allows the infant to survive to maturity and to reproduce by ensuring the caregiver stays close to the infant and provides nurturance and support to an otherwise defenseless infant," explained Bartz, assistant professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Those initial experiences with an early caregiver -- usually a mother -- stay with us and guide our later relationships, for better or for worse.

The researchers hypothesized that oxytocin would amplify whatever initial memories men had about their mothers, and this turned out to be accurate.

Thirty-one men, aged 19 to 45, were asked about the care they had received from their mothers during childhood, based on their own recollections

The men also made two visits to the clinic, about a month apart, once to receive oxytocin and once to receive a placebo. In effect, each man acted as his own control group.

Men who had initially described their mothers as warm and nurturing tended to think even more highly of them after receiving the oxytocin.

But men who hadn't reported such positive connections actually downgraded their assessment of the maternal relationship after taking oxytocin.

"We found that participants who were more securely attached, when they got oxytocin, they remembered mom as more close," Bartz said. "For those who were more anxiously attached, it amplified it in the other direction. It brought to mind their chronic insecurities about their relationship with their mother.

"This supports this idea that oxytocin may actually play a role in the formation of these memories," she added.

"It's not just a 'happy' drug," said Paul Sanberg, distinguished professor of neurosurgery and director of the University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa. "Because oxytocin differentiates like that [between pleasure and anxiety], it's more evidence that it's involved in human attachment. This is the first empirical evidence."

Most of the evidence we have so far on oxytocin as an attachment hormone has been in animals, noted Sanberg, who was not involved with the study.

More information

Colorado State University has more on oxytocin.

SOURCES: Jennifer Bartz, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City; Paul Sanberg, Ph.D., D.Sc., distinguished professor of neurosurgery and director, University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair, Tampa; Nov. 29, 2010, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Death of Loved One May Trigger Elevated Heart Rate
2. Romantic Love: Natures Painkiller?
3. Light is the friend of lovers
4. When the Fireworks Fizzle: How to Stoke the Flames of Lasting Love
5. Who Doesn't Love Free?
6. Reading the look of love
7. God is a Brown Girl Too Awakens Women to Love at its July Retreat in New York
8. Just Graduated College Seniors Ride for Loved Ones With Diabetes Cycling Cross Country to Raise Funds to Help Find a Cure
9. LoveToKnow.com Launches Gluten Free Channel and Will Donate to National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
10. A Mothers Love Overcomes Povertys Effect on Health
11. Love U Parties Brings Health-conscious Personal Touch to Passion Parties
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Love Hormone' Boosts Memories of Mom -- Good or Bad, Study Finds
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics to ... technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... KS (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com ... retailers of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and ... have become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic treatment ... Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. This ... of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents often ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply is ... of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that have ... Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root Extract ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... faced the many challenges of the current process. Many of ... option because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs ... would have to offer it at such a high cost ... to afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, ... their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription ... definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis ... four states – Kentucky , New ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... financial data derived from varied research sources to present unique ... on the market during the next five years, including a ... markets, regional and country level analysis. The report provides a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: