The Importance And Effects Of Oxytocin

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Oxytocin is a hormone classified as a neuropeptide that is produced in the hypothalamus area of the brain and that mammals produce almost exclusively (1,2,5). From the hypothalamus, oxytocin spreads to other parts of the brain and peripheral parts of the body to influence cells and behavior. Although oxytocin has been known for almost a hundred years, research into its effects on behavior and exact function is still ongoing and has recently picked up.
For many years oxytocin has been used in medicine. In humans it is known to stimulate contractions in labor, increase milk ejection in lactation (4,5), and is found at increased levels during pleasurable activities such as a massage or sex (3). It is known by many names, the trust hormone, the love hormone, the cuddle hormone, because of the wide variety of behaviors it is known to affect. More recently, oxytocin is being researched for its role in social behaviors. It is believed that it may have a role in both romantic and social bonding in humans (3). While research in humans is still ongoing, it is known that oxytocin is a key part of pair bonding in monogamous animals (4). Its particular effects on a species are species specific (3), but research done in prairie voles, rats, and
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There would be more audible barks, more sniffing, and longer allogrooming in pairs where the male was treated for oxytocin on average. Preliminary tests in the lab showed oxytocin affecting the behavior of mice, but as a blind researcher I was not part of the test so I do not know how behavior was affected. Studies with prairie voles show increased side-by-side contact (2), which is an affectionate behavior, so it can be expected that the affectionate behaviors measured here should also increase. An example of a data table is seen in Figure 1 and a graph that may be used is Figure

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