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  Oxytocin facilitates social approach behavior in women

Preckel, K., Scheele, D., Kendrick, K. M., Maier, W., & Hurlemann, R. (2014). Oxytocin facilitates social approach behavior in women. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8: 191. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00191.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-ADB6-E Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-7C8F-2
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Preckel, Katrin1, 2, Author              
Scheele, Dirk1, 2, Author
Kendrick, Keith M.3, Author
Maier, Wolfgang1, 4, Author
Hurlemann, René1, 2, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Bonn, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Medical Psychology, University Bonn, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Key Laboratory for Neuroinformation, School of Life Science & Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China, ou_persistent22              
4German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Approach; Avoidance; Female; Sexual dimorphic; Oxytocin; Social distance
 Abstract: In challenging environments including both numerous threats and scarce resources, the survival of an organism depends on its ability to quickly escape from dangers and to seize opportunities to gain rewards. The phylogenetically ancient neurohormonal oxytocin (OXT) system has been shown to influence both approach and avoidance (AA) behavior in men, but evidence for comparable effects in women is still lacking. We thus conducted a series of pharmacological behavioral experiments in a randomized double-blind study involving 76 healthy heterosexual women treated with either OXT (24 IU) or placebo intranasally. In Experiment 1, we tested how OXT influenced the social distance subjects maintained between themselves and either a female or male experimenter. In Experiment 2, we applied a reaction time based AA task. In Experiment 3 we investigated effects on peri-personal space by measuring the lateral attentional bias in a line bisection task. We found that OXT specifically decreased the distance maintained between subjects and the male but not the female experimenter and also accelerated approach toward pleasant social stimuli in the AA task. However, OXT did not influence the size of peri-personal space, suggesting that it does not alter perception of personal space per se, but rather that a social element is necessary for OXT's effects on AA behavior to become evident. Taken together, our results point to an evolutionarily adaptive mechanism by which OXT in women selectively promotes approach behavior in positive social contexts.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2014-03-192014-05-072014-05-27
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00191
PMID: 24904342
PMC: PMC4034412
Other: eCollection 2014
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Title: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : Front Behav Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Lausanne, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 8 Sequence Number: 191 Start / End Page: - Identifier: Other: 1662-5153
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1662-5153