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Oxytocin is able to influence human sociability

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 22.12.2018
22 December 2018, 09:00

Oxytocin is the hormone of the nucleus of the hypothalamus, which is often called the "hormone of love": it ensures the onset of orgasm and the formation of intimate affection, establishes maternal behavior. However, this is not all: among other things, oxytocin is involved in the formation of interactions, including communication with other people. This information was voiced by Swiss scientists representing the University of Neuchâtel.

Experts have long known the fact that the hormonal substance oxytocin takes part in the formation of social ties. As scientists have suggested, the hormone allows people to treat each other in a special way. For example, the mother is attached to her baby, it reveals previously unknown maternal feelings: all this - the case of the "hands" of the hormone oxytocin.

A new scientific study made it possible to demonstrate: oxytocin is no less important in order to take joint actions, for example, production cooperation or information exchange.

As a rule, an intranasal spray with an active component is used to evaluate the properties of oxytocin. However, this time the specialists chose a different method. They measured the natural content of oxytocin in the salivary secretions of voluntary participants: this was done in order to determine the quality of its influence on the formation of interrelations between people. Such an experiment was set up: volunteers "hunted for eggs": played a pair game, according to the rules of which they should choose eggs marked with certain colors. So, the first player in the pair received 1 franc of reward for each egg found, marked with a red marker. The second player received as much for the egg marked with a blue marker. Therefore, the participants were motivated by the receipt of material rewards. In this case, players were given the right to choose: play independently, or help their friend in pairs, cooperating with him in search. Following the results of the experiment, the specialists succeeded in discovering the following. Volunteers working in pairs and helping their partners, the content of oxytocin was higher. 

In addition, experts have determined the influence of the hormone on sociability. With an increased concentration of oxytocin in the blood, volunteers reluctantly discussed their own target orientation with partners, but were distracted by participants from other groups, discussing their tasks. According to scientists, this may indicate that the hormone stimulates cooperation in its environment, while lengthening the social distance with other participants who are not ranked "in their own circle."

Detailed results of the work of scientists are published on the pages of the university's website (www.unine.ch/unine/home/pour-les-medias/communiques-de-presse/locytocine-dite-hormone-de-lamou.html).

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