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:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are confused ... endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms and ... help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of ... award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , ... Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an ... of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a ... Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Guerbet announced today that it has been named a ... One of 12 suppliers to receive the ... of Premier members through exceptional local customer service and ... lower costs. "We ... customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and ... Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, ... report to their offering. ... for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data ... trends with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... The Biotechnology industry might still ... great opportunities to investors. Stock-Callers.com assesses the recent performances ... XON ), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ARNA ), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... your complimentary trade alerts at: http://stock-callers.com/registration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: