Oxytocin is released in response to acutely stressful

Info icon This preview shows pages 2–4. Sign up to view the full content.

Oxytocin is released in response to acutely stressful experiences o Oxytocin helps ensure parents and others will engage w/ and care for infants Animal models help biologists draw parallels btwn ancient physiology and contemporary behaviors o Oxytocin plays a major role in social interactions and parental behaviors Release and actions depend on many other neurochemicals such as endogenous opioids and dopamine o Interactions of oxytocin w/ vasopressin is important to social bonding Vasopressin – 9 amino acid neuropeptide, increases BP and causes water retention o Blocking only oxytocin receptor or vasopressin receptor doesn’t eliminate social approach o Antagonists for either oxytocin or vasopressin receptor inhibited selective sociality Genes that regulate production of oxytocin & vasopressin are located on same chromosome o Both peptides can bind to & have antagonist or agonist effects on each other’s receptors Prairie voles are highly social species and presumably humans as well Vasopressin – associated w/ physical and emotional mobilization, help support vigilance o May protect against physiologically “shutting down” in the face of danger o Mothers exhibit agonistic behaviors in defense of their young – thru actions of vasopressin & oxytocin Oxytocin – associated w/ immobility w/o fear including relaxed physiological states o Increase of oxytocin associated w/ birth and lactation though not essential for parenting Male care of offspring also appears to rely on both oxytocin and vasopressin thru autonomic nervous system o Sexually naïve male prairie voles show spontaneous parental behavior in presence of infant o Stimuli from infants that release oxytocin & vasopressin may differ btwn sexes
Image of page 2

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

Parental care and support in a safe environment are particularly important for mental health in social mammals o Oxytocin modulates behavioral and autonomic distress following separation from a mother or child Trauma or neglect may produce behaviors and emotional states that are socially pathological o Males seem to be especially vulnerable to negative effects of early experiences Both males and females produce vasopressin and oxytocin – capable of responding to both hormones o In brain regions involved in defensive aggression, production of vasopressin is androgen-dependent o Males may be experiencing higher central levels of vasopressin Oxytocin & vasopressin pathways are regulated by coordinated genetic, hormonal, and epigenetic factors o Influences adaptive and behavioral functions across an animal’s life span o Endocrine and behavioral consequences of a stress or challenge may be different for males & females Males and females have different coping strategies & experience both stressful experiences o Sex differences in brain and behavior may help explain gender differences in vulnerability to disorders Love is epigenetic – positive experiences in early life can act upon and alter expression of specific genes o Changes in gene expression may have behavioral consequences Infants chronically exposed to vasopressin could become sensitized to defensive
Image of page 3
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.
  • Spring '08
  • YOUNG
  • Psychology, presynaptic terminal button, oxytocin w/ vasopressin

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern