ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (6): 863-874.

• 研究前沿 • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Oxytocin, Oxytocin Receptor Genotypes and Social Adaptive Behavior

WU Nan;SU Yan-Jie   

  1. (Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China)
  • Received:2011-08-10 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2012-06-15 Published:2012-06-15
  • Contact: SU Yan-Jie

Abstract: Functioning as a vital regulating hormone in mammalian birth and lactation, Oxytocin (OT) has also been involved in maternal bonding and social affiliation. Recent studies implicates the effect of OT in social adaptive behaviors, including enhancing attachment, influencing parenting as well as leading some pro-social effect such as increasing trust and generosity. Meanwhile, the genetic variation of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) also relates to the formation of parent-child bonds and individual difference on pro-social behavior. However, the mechanism of oxytocin promoting social adaptive behavior remains unknown. Evidence from both studies of genes and hormone suggests that OT and OXTR probably first increase social recognition reinforce empathy, eliminate fear and anxiety, and then subsequent influence a series of adaptive behaviors. Future studies could systematically investigate the gene-hormone-neural mechanism of how OT and OXTR influence social adaptive behavior by combining the methods of molecular genetics and neuroscience.

Key words: Oxytocin, Oxytocin receptor genes, attachment, trust, empathy