+THE SOCIAL BONDING HORMONE – OXYTOCIN (central to attachment)


December 31, 2014.  I continue on my hunt.  I will not stop at the moment to “translate” any of what I am including here, but I assure you for anyone with a truly traumatic infancy and childhood — including many who were not abused or neglected but suffered greatly from “birth trauma,” the following information is a must read.  All of us who have insecure attachment disorders have some form of emotional-social trauma altered development.  Oxytocin is a preventative biochemical working FOR healthy attachment and AGAINST hurtful actions in relationships.


Early life stress modulates amygdala-prefrontal functional connectivity: Implications for oxytocin effects

Yan Fan, Ana Lucia Herrera-Melendez, Karin Pestke, Melanie Feeser, Sabine Aust, Christian Otte, Jens C. Pruessner, Heinz Böker, Malek Bajbouj, and Simone Grimm

Human Brain Mapping

Article first published online: 26 MAY 2014


Recent evidence suggests that early life stress (ELS) changes stress reactivity via reduced resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC) between amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Oxytocin (OXT) modulates amygdala connectivity and attenuates [reduces] responses to psychosocial stress, but its effect appears to be moderated by ELS. Here we first investigate the effect of ELS on amygdala-prefrontal rs-FC, and examine whether ELS-associated changes of rs-FC in this neural circuit predict its response to psychosocial stress. Secondly, we explore the joint effect of OXT and ELS on the amygdala-prefrontal circuit. Eighteen healthy young males participated in a resting-state fMRI study of OXT effects using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, within-subject crossover design. We measured the rs-FC to bilateral amygdalae and subsequently assessed changes of state anxiety and prefrontal responses to psychosocial stress. Multiple linear regressions showed that ELS, specifically emotional abuse, predicted reduced rs-FC between the right amygdala and pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC), which in turn predicted elevated state anxiety after psychosocial stress. In subjects with lower ELS scores, stronger pgACC-amygdala rs-FC predicted stronger pgACC deactivation during the psychosocial stress task, and this rest-task interaction was attenuated by OXT. In subjects with higher ELS scores however, the rest-task interaction was altered and OXT showed no significant effect. These findings highlight that ELS reduces pgACC-amygdala rs-FC and alters how rs-FC of this circuit predicts its stress responsiveness. Such changes in pgACC-amygdala functional dynamics may underlie the altered sensitivity to the effects of OXT after ELS. Hum Brain Mapp 35:5328–5339, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.



The two faces of oxytocin

Why does the ‘tend and befriend’ hormone come into play at the best and worst of times?

By Tori DeAngelis, February 2008, Vol 39, No. 2, print version page 30


PRIORITY COMMUNICATION-BRIEF REPORT:  Oxytocin Increases Gaze to the Eye Region of Human Faces

Adam J. Guastella, Philip B. Mitchell, and Mark R. Dadds


doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.06.026 © 2008 Society of Biological Psychiatry

Background: In nonhuman mammals, oxytocin has a critical role in peer recognition and social approach behavior. In humans, oxytocin has been found to enhance trust and the ability to interpret the emotions of others. It has been suggested that oxytocin may enhance facial processing by increasing focus on the eye region of human faces. Methods: In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, between-subject design, we tracked the eye movements of 52 healthy male volunteers who were presented with 24 neutral human faces after intranasal administration of 24 IU oxytocin or placebo. Results: Participants given oxytocin showed an increased number of fixations and total gaze time toward the eye region compared with placebo participants. Conclusions: Oxytocin increases gaze specifically toward the eye region of human faces. This may be one mechanism by which oxytocin enhances emotion recognition, interpersonal communication, and social approach behavior in humans. Findings suggest a possible role for oxytocin in the treatment of disorders characterized by eye-gaze avoidance and facial processing deficits.





oxytocin bonding

oxytocin bonding in relationships

oxytocin bonding mother and child

oxytocin bonding with baby

what secretes oxytocin


I copied this information into this blog post “for educational purposes only.”

‘Love Hormone’ Oxytocin May Play Key Role in Kids’ Social Skills


While looking for possible link to autism, researchers found hormone affected all kids

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) — The “love hormone” oxytocin has a tremendous effect on kids’ ability to function socially, Stanford University researchers report.

Children blessed with naturally high levels of oxytocin are more savvy at communicating with others and interpreting social signals or situations, said study author Karen Parker, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Stanford

“The higher your oxytocin [levels], the better your social functioning,” Parker said.

The findings also showed that oxytocin levels are highly inheritable.

Oxytocin is released during most activities that cause people to bond to one another — sex, hugging, kissing, holding hands, giving birth and breast-feeding, among them.

The researchers noted that the original intent of their study was to determine whether children with autism had lower levels of oxytocin than children without the disorder.

For years, impaired oxytocin function has been suspected as an underlying cause of autism, the researchers explained.

Autism is a developmental disorder that causes significant difficulties in social interaction. It affects one out of every 68 children in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While oxytocin levels in the children with autism were similar to those of their unaffected siblings and children without autism in the study, the researchers did find that increasing oxytocin levels improved social functioning in all three groups.

Oxytocin has such a powerful effect on social skills that the hormone could prove a very useful treatment for some people with autism, said Rob Ring, chief science officer for the advocacy and research organization Autism Speaks.

“If oxytocin has a general pro-social effect on individuals, it still very much argues for engaging the oxytocin system for therapeutic reasons,” Ring said. “This research shows in people with autism that if you have increasing levels of oxytocin, you have increasing ability in social behavior. That is valuable knowledge.”

In their study, the Stanford researchers examined 79 children with autism, 52 of their unaffected siblings and 62 unrelated children without autism. All of the children were between the ages of 3 and 12.

The team checked levels of oxytocin in the children’s blood, and used a series of diagnostic tools to test for autism spectrum disorders and overall social ability.

All children with autism have social deficits, but in the study these deficits were worst in those with the lowest blood oxytocin levels and mildest in those with the highest oxytocin levels.

But the social skills of the kids without autism also corresponded to their oxytocin levels, the researchers found.

“Oxytocin appears to be a universal regulator of social functioning in humans,” Parker said. “That encompasses both typically developing children as well as those with the severe social deficits we see in children with autism.”

Comparisons between siblings with and without autism revealed that oxytocin levels in the blood are more than 85 percent heritable, the study authors noted.

Oxytocin levels are influenced by inheritance to about the same degree as adult height, which is often described as being strongly influenced by genetics, the researchers added.

“We found that social functioning was similar between related siblings, and oxytocin levels were way more similar between siblings,” Parker said.

The researchers did not completely rule out a possible link between oxytocin levels and autism. They noted that they only checked oxytocin in the blood, and that levels of the hormone may be different in the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes and protects the brain.

In the meantime, oxytocin therapy may prove helpful for children with autism and adults whose levels of the hormone are low, Parker and Ring said.

“It may be there’s a subpopulation of people with low oxytocin levels, and they may be the best responders to oxytocin treatment,” Parker said. “This may help us handpick the people we think are going to benefit most from this therapy.”

The findings are published online Aug. 4 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

Visit the American Psychological Association for more on oxytocin.

SOURCES: Karen Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif.; Rob Ring, Ph.D., chief science officer, Autism Speaks; Aug. 4, 2014, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Last Updated: Aug 4, 2014

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Here is another article about these findings:

Blood-oxytocin levels in normal range in children with autism, study finds

Blood levels of oxytocin correlate with social performance regardless of whether children have autism, according to a new study.

Regulator of social functioning

“Oxytocin appears to be a universal regulator of social functioning in humans,” said Karen Parker, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the lead author of the study. “That encompasses both typically developing children as well as those with the severe social deficits we see in children with autism.”

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects 1 of every 68 children in the United States. It is characterized by social and communication deficits, repetitive behaviors and sensory problems. The new study included 79 children with autism, 52 of their unaffected siblings and 62 unrelated children without autism. All of the children were between the ages of 3 and 12.

“It didn’t matter if you were a typically developing child, a sibling or an individual with autism: Your social ability was related to a certain extent to your oxytocin levels, which is very different from what people have speculated,” said Antonio Hardan, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the study’s senior author. Hardan is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who treats children with autism at the hospital.

Information about ongoing Stanford research in oxytocin therapy for children with autism is available athttp://med.stanford.edu/clinicaltrials/trials/NCT01624194. More information about related research can be found at https://web.stanford.edu/group/autism.


Here is yet another take on this research:

Dysregulated Oxytocin Not Unique to Autism


A comment about the research design:

“Major Shortcoming”

Angela Sirigu, PhD, of the Institute of Cognitive Science, Centre de Neuroscience Cognitive, Lyon, France, told Medscape Medical News these new findings are “interesting” and are in line with findings her team published in 2012 in Cerebral Cortex.

The study in 30 healthy adults showed a correlation between the level of plasma oxytocin and the level of sociability, measured with a score of extraversion. “That is, subjects with higher levels of plasma oxytocin were more sociable and enjoyed being with others compared to those having a low level of oxytocin and poor social skills,” Dr. Sirigu said.

However, she added that in her view, a “major problem” with the article in Proceedings is use of enzyme immunoassay to measure oxytocin levels. This method, “even with extraction, has been highly criticized because of low sensitivity to detect OXT. In other words, what they measured is OXT but also other multiple immunoreactive products present in addition to oxytocin. This is a major shortcoming we need to consider,” said Dr. Sirigu.


This is the link to the abstract for the research.  The article is not available free online.

Plasma oxytocin concentrations and OXTR polymorphisms predict social impairments in children with and without autism spectrum disorder

  1. Karen J. Parker
  2. Joseph P. Garner
  3. Robin A. Libove,
  4. Shellie A. Hyde,
  5. Kirsten B. Hornbeak,
  6. Dean S. Carson,
  7. Chun-Ping Liao,
  8. Jennifer M. Phillips,
  9. Joachim F. Hallmayer, and
  10. Antonio Y. Hardan


Oxytocin and socioemotional aging: Current knowledge and future trends

Natalie C. Ebner1, Gabriela M. Maura, Kai MacDonald, Lars Westberg and Håkan Fischer

Swedish – ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE Front. Hum. Neurosci., 28 August 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00487

“…there is an increasing body of research suggesting a significant role of OT in the context of various disorders characterized by socioemotional dysfunction such as social-bonding deficits or related to social anxiety and stress (Zetzsche et al., 1996Heinrichs et al., 2003Taylor et al., 2006; see MacDonald and Feifel, 2012, for an overview), deficits with great relevance in an aging context. Thus, future research toward implementation of pharmacological neuropeptide treatments with the potential to decrease emotional and social stress, anxiety, and depression (Arletti and Bertolini, 1987Carter and Altemus, 1997) will be important. These interventions may consequently promote positive social interaction and willingness to engage in more frequently rewarding social risks (Heinrichs et al., 2003Kosfeld et al., 2005), improving health and life quality up until late in life.”


While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional


Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.


Leave a Comment »


2 thoughts on “+THE SOCIAL BONDING HORMONE – OXYTOCIN (central to attachment)

  1. Regarding the Stanford study, I applaud the study’s main finding. I wonder about the other weak, in my view, findings.

    For example, the finding that “Plasma OXT concentrations were highly heritable.” The researchers did not attempt to understand the contribution of the environment, as did similar studies.

    The researchers rather unscientifically, in my opinion, assumed genetic causes for the observed effects. That practice may have been fine decades ago with more primitive scientific techniques, but I don’t understand the value of one of the lead researchers saying “What our study hints at is that social function may be heritable in families” in 2014.


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