Essay On 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,
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Specifically, behaviors that show affection will be studied, such as allogrooming and vocalizations and approach. By researching this, it will be possible to observe which behaviors may be universally affected by oxytocin and which are specific to California mice. It will also show the impact of oxytocin on strictly monogamous animals and may allow us to make reasonable assumptions on its impact in similar animals. We believe that treating California mice with oxytocin will increase the frequency and duration of affectionate behaviors in the California mice because of it’s observed effects in prairie

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