Oxytocin: Biochemistry, Functions and Effects on Social Cognition


Michael M. Watts (Editor)

Series: Endocrinology Research and Clinical Developments
BISAC: MED027000

Oxytocin is a neurohypophysial hormone that consists of nine amino acids which are synthesized in the paraventricular, supraoptic, and accessory nuclei of the hypothalamus. Oxytocin is released in systemic blood circulation through the posterior pituitary gland, where it acts as hormone, regulating a range of physiological functions. It is involved in learning and memory, sensory and motor regulation via the spinal cord and regulation of the reproductive system.

The quality and stability of one’s romantic relationship can impact overall well-being and health, leading researchers to search for the mechanisms that underlie the development of relationship discord versus those that foster satisfaction. Within this field, there has been recent attention towards biological variables, with oxytocin being at the forefront due to its established role in pair bonding in both animals and humans.

A review is presented which suggests the involvement of the oxitocinergic system in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal-axis during pubertal development and social cognition in mammals.

The closing study presents data which indicate that oxytocin has actions in different brain areas and is involved with spine-specific plastic effects, and modulates the dynamic neural sex steroid actions and the processing of context-dependent stimuli by adapting the neuronal and synaptic structure to the reproductive status and the social experience in mice.
(Imprint: Nova Medicine and Health)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Identifying the Oxytocin Biochemistry and Its Functions on Physiology, Psychology and Social Cognition
(Orkun Aydın and Pınar Ünal Aydın, Department of Psychology, International University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo , Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Chapter 2. The Role of the Oxytocin System in Adult Romantic Relationship Functioning, Quality, and Stability
(Samantha A. Wagner and Richard E. Mattson, PhD, Department of Psychology – Clinical Science, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, US)

Chapter 3. Oxytocin as a Modulator for Puberty Development and Its Role in Social Cognition
(ShabanaAnjum, PhD, Anuradha, PhD, and Amitabh Krishna, PhD, Department of Zoology, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, UP, India)

Chapter 4. Oxytocin Induces Dendritic Spine-Specific Changes Related to Gonadal Steroid Actions and Social Behavior in Mice
(Roberta O. Becker, Virgínia M. Lazzari, Márcia Giovenardi and Alberto A. Rasia-Filho, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Graduation Program in Health Sciences, Porto Alegre/RS, Brazil, and others)


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