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:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... MedPro Waste Disposal, LLC (MedPro) is proud ... now offers its mail back service for an all-inclusive rate. MedPro Disposal President, Dan ... provide service to all of the clients in the country who are looking for ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... Further establishing itself as a leader in natural pet products category, Paragon ... selected from over 1,000 entrants as a winner and recipient of the prestigious GLOBAL ... dogs are a favorite product among pet-parents worldwide, as each whimsical knobby shape of ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Rassouli, dentist in ... cognitive decline. According to the research, which was published in the “Journal of the ... decline, and about 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that dental ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... The 2016 World Ultimate & Guts Championship (WUGC) Mixed roster was announced in February and ... WUGC is being held in London, England this year from June 18-25. At the last ... gold in the women’s masters division, and a silver in the women’s division, so Mazur ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... , ... May 02, 2016 , ... According to an ... one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. Of those ... to tell her story and others. , In her new book, Lyah! Lyah! ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ALBANY, New York , April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... new market report titled, "Skincare Devices Market - Global ... - 2023." According to the report, the global skincare ... 2014 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR ... 17,299.4 Mn in 2023. Browse the full Skincare ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016  Bayer Animal ... a senior from the University of Florida College ... the Bayer Excellence in Communication Award (BECA). Brittany ... which were awarded a total of $70,000 in ... last four years, Bayer has provided a total ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 Oasmia Pharmaceutical AB ... a new generation of drugs within human and ... for Paclical/Apealea in the Phase III study that ... ovarian cancer. These preliminary results showed non-inferiority between ... carboplatin versus Taxol in combination with carboplatin. In ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: