If you’re familiar with the importance that hormones play in our day to day lives, you are probably quite familiar with Oxytocin.
It is well known for being an integral part of feelings of romantic and social bonding. It is also an extremely important thing for new mothers as it plays a key role in bonding with a newborn child and also affects the breastfeeding process.
Studies in animals have also pointed out that oxytocin is an important part of boosting male monogamy and keeping focus on a single mate.
A new study that was conducted by scientists at Northwestern University has also been able to point out that Oxytocin also plays an important role in making negative emotional memories more vivid.
Several different studies all surrounding the effects of Oxytocin in mice were published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The key study involved placing mice in various setting where they experienced fear or had to deal with some type of aggression from other mice. The researchers involved with the study measured varied responses from those mice with extra oxytocin receptors.
There was also a control group of standard mice with normal receptors. They noted a significant uptick in bad memories for the mice that had the extra oxytocin receptors in their brains.
Scientists plan to further study the use and treatment of individuals with oxytocin because it appears to be very useful in treating anxiety and depression. There is also a growing body of evidence that indicates the role oxytocin plays in regulating the mood and personalities of people who suffer from autism.
Oxytocin right now is typically delivered as a form of nasal spray and a number of studies conducted on humans have found mixed results. A study conducted in Australia on autistic boys found that Oxytocin did not significantly improve emotional recognition or social interaction across the board but individual results did improve for several of the 38 test subjects.
These results are set for publication in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Another study pointed out that a single dose of Oxytocin spray to people who suffered from chronic migraine attacks was found to be beneficial. 64% of those who received oxytocin reported a significant reduction in pain compared to a mere 27% of the control group who received a placebo.