Navigation Links
'Love Hormone' May Boost Men's Memories of Mom -- Good or Bad
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.

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."

Another expert agreed.

"People were thinking that oxytocin was going to generally make things more positive but depending on how someone's attachment really was, it just made the memory of that come back stronger," said Keith A. Young, vice chair for research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Temple. "The oxytocin seemed to tap into the actual memory rather than making everything better."

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; Keith A. Young, Ph.D., vice chair for research in the department of psychiatry and behavioral science, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and core leader, neuroimaging and genetics, Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans, Temple, Tex; 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. LifestyleMom.com and the LifestyleMom Radio Cafe Aim to Help Women Create a Family Life and "Me Life" That They Truly Love
2. PolicyLink CEO Angela Glover Blackwell Released the Following Statement on First Lady Michelle Obamas Childhood Obesity Initiative
3. Cook With Love This Valentines Day With Heart-Smart Recipes
4. Say “I Love You” From Head to Toe with a Gift That's Healthy and Soothes Away Stress this Valentine's Day
5. Als Angels Love and Laughter Event to Support Children and Families in Desperate Need
6. Chocolate lovers could be lowering their risk of stroke: Study
7. Sensis Condoms With QuikStrips(TM) Reminds Lovers To Protect The Passion This Valentines Day
8. Want to Find Love? Be Giving
9. Liquid Love: Last Minute Valentines Day Gift For Your Heart
10. For Valentine's Day, Lifestyle Correspondent and Her Two Sets of Twins Show a Little Love Where Its Needed the Most
11. Fans Spread the Love on Target Facebook Page and Help Donate $1 Million to Five Charities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Love Hormone' May Boost Men's Memories of Mom -- Good or Bad
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Research has shown that building shame resilience ... and level of relapse. , At the 2016 iaedp Symposium, the ... the critical tasks of the recovery phase and beyond including relapse prevention and ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Love is in the air at King Kullen! The ... and packaging. This staple for Valentine’s Day is a must-have, and can be picked ... Day, not only are long-stem roses available, but also other flower bouquets, elegantly wrapped ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... High Falls, NY & Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Frank Davis, Founder of Activz Whole-Food Nutrition , announced that the much-anticipated feature ... 5th on the New Really Cool Humans Amateur TV Network. , Each week, on ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... The event is being held on April 7, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. ... Parkinson’s will fund nearly $100,000 for research for the care and cure of Parkinson’s ... is the architect of this informative event to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Francisco Canales, MD and Heather Furnas, ... Valley office. The technique utilizes the body’s own healing abilities to quickly rejuvenate ... are part of only a select few cosmetic surgeons bringing this procedure to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... LODI, N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016  Montoya ... Pinnacle Professional in the field of Pharmaceuticals. Montoya is ... . ... and supplies, Becton Dickinson provides healthcare institutions, ... medical equipment throughout fifty countries across the globe. ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... LONDON , Feb. 4, 2016 ... and competitive market to drive long-term market growth ... very common set of chronic disorders that affect ... disparate in terms of their symptoms and key ... by dysregulation of immune pathways and an inappropriate ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Omnicell, Inc. (NASDAQ: OMCL ), a leading provider of ... announced results for its fiscal year and fourth quarter ... --> GAAP results: Revenue for the fourth quarter ... 4.1% from the third quarter of 2015, and up ... 2014. Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2015 was ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: