Oxytocin and Spirituality

Peter Forster Psychobiology

Oxytocin is a fascinating neurohormone which has been linked to parent-child bonding as well as romantic love, and to darker emotions such as the rejection of “foreigners”. A recent article suggests that it may also be an important factor in the development of spirituality. Joel Yager, writing in the NEJM Journal Watch Psychiatry, summarizes the study this way: Investigators enrolled …

Oxytocin in Humans

Peter Forster Basic Science, Psychobiology

The February 2016 edition of Biological Psychiatry focused on the neurohormone oxytocin and its effects on both normal and abnormal human behavior as well as its potential role in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. This is apropos given that oxytocin has been described as the “love hormone” and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but oxytocin is involved in …

Social Intelligence and Oxytoxin

Peter Forster Basic Science, General

The nucleus accumbens (NAc) (or ventral striatum) is a central part of the reward system. The reward system has been the focus of much interest and research because of its role in the development and maintenance of addiction and depression. The reward system evolved to motivate survival behaviors and behaviors linked to reproduction and health. Evidence from research in a great number of animal species suggests that social intelligence …