Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oxytocin might be neurobiolgical basis for monogamy

LA Times       Come for the romance, stay for the oxytocin. That’s the neurobiological bottom line on monogamy, according to a new study. 
Men spritzed with oxytocin, a hormone from the pituitary gland, showed a renewed attraction for the faces of their romantic partners, but not for equally attractive strangers, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And the men weren’t just saying so. Their brains were hyped up in areas associated with reward and motivation, according to the study.

“Monogamy is actually quite costly for humans, so there must be some form of benefit,” said Rene Hurlemann, a psychiatrist at the University of Bonn in Germany who led the study. “We’d expect humans, especially males, would disseminate their genes. That would be a very strong evolutionary force driving male behavior. But what drives males to stay in a monogamous relationship?”

The answer may lie in a steady diet of oxytocin that triggers dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward, motivation and addiction, according to the study.
In humans, overtures of social support, hugs, massages and sexual intercourse all release oxytocin. And oxytocin, in turn, has been shown to induce pro-social behavior –- we tend to trust each other and feel more attached to others in response to the chemical. [...]


  1. So to what extent are our midos chemical based?

    1. ...and by extension how is our bechira affected???

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