Navigation Links
Serotonin: A critical chemical for human intimacy and romance
Date:4/14/2011

Philadelphia, PA, 14 April 2011 - The judgments we make about the intimacy of other couples' relationships appear to be influenced by the brain chemical serotonin, reports a new study published in Biological Psychiatry.

Healthy adult volunteers, whose levels of serotonin activity had been lowered, rated couples in photos as being less intimate and less romantic than volunteers with normal serotonin activity.

The approach involved giving amino acid drinks to two groups of volunteers in order to manipulate blood concentrations of the amino acid tryptophan, which is a vital ingredient in the synthesis of serotonin. One group received drinks that contained tryptophan. The other group received drinks that did not contain tryptophan. They were then asked to make judgments about sets of photographs of couples. Differences in the judgments made by the two groups reflected changes in their serotonin activity.

"Serotonin is important in social behavior, and also plays a significant role in psychological disorders such as depression," explained Professor Robert Rogers of Oxford University, who led the research. "We wanted to see whether serotonin activity influences the judgments we make about peoples' close personal relationships."

The volunteers who received the drink without tryptophan consistently rated the couples in the photos as being less 'intimate' and 'romantic' than the participants who received the control drink.

This finding is an important reminder that our relationships with other people are influenced by processes beyond our awareness and control. But we should not be surprised by this revelation. Serotonin function drops in association with episodes of depression, where the capacity for intimacy also is often compromised.

Understanding the powerful influence of these chemicals is important as supportive close relationships are known to protect against the development of mental illnesses and to promote recovery in those affected by psychiatric conditions. The opposite is also true: dysfunctional relationships can be triggers for those at risk of these conditions.

The results raise the possibility that lower serotonin activity in people with depression and other psychiatric conditions could contribute to changes in the way they perceive personal relationships, or even in their ability to maintain positive personal relationships.

"Although this is only a small study, the same patterns may well extend to the way we perceive our own relationships," said Professor Rogers.

"The ability to chemically influence the capacity for intimacy could be very important. Reduced capacity for intimacy can be a vexing symptom of many psychiatric disorders and an important target for treatment," noted Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. "Drugs that ameliorate the impact of serotonin deficits might play a role in the treatment of this symptom."

Although much more research is necessary before a drug might come to market that can help promote intimacy, it is clear for now that our chemistry has an impact on nearly aspect of our lives, from our most public actions to our most private, as we see here with human intimacy and romantic feelings.


'/>"/>

Contact: Chris J. Pfister
C.Pfister@elsevier.com
215-239-3266
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Years Later, Victims of Critical Respiratory Illness Still Suffer
2. For Young Kids With Pneumonia, Timing of Antibiotic Critical: Study
3. Young asthmatics are leaving emergency rooms missing critical documentation
4. Most New Jersey residents see global health as critical to states economy
5. Researchers find brain insulin plays critical role in the development of diabetes
6. Boston Medical Center critical care chief receives grant for lung injury study
7. UBC-VCH researchers find critical link between Down syndrome and Alzheimers disease
8. Researchers make critical leukemia stem cell discovery
9. Being a good sport can be critical to maintaining lifelong physical activity
10. Scripps Research scientists identify first synthetic activator of 2 critical proteins
11. Yogas ability to improve mood and lessen anxiety is linked to increased levels of a critical brain chemical
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(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 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, ... at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his ... it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, ... minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to ... value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in concert ... capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and professional ... than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), ... is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, ... , Inc. Patients are no longer limited to ... EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), ... (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) ... MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the forecast ... to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... today announced the appointment of Dr. Edward ... as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. ... Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a ... will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: