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  Oxytocin facilitates pavlovian fear learning in males

Eckstein, M., Scheele, D., Patin, A., Preckel, K., Becker, B., Walter, A., et al. (2016). Oxytocin facilitates pavlovian fear learning in males. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41(4), 932-939. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.245.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-F8AB-3 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-19DF-7
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Eckstein, Monika1, 2, Author
Scheele, Dirk1, 2, Author
Patin, Alexandra1, 2, Author
Preckel, Katrin1, 2, Author              
Becker, Benjamin1, 2, Author
Walter, Annika1, 2, Author
Domschke, Katharina3, Author
Grinevich, Valery4, Author
Maier, Wolfgang1, 5, Author
Hurlemann, René1, 2, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Bonn, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Psychology, University Bonn, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Schaller Research Group on Neuropeptides, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: In human evolution, social group living and Pavlovian fear conditioning have evolved as adaptive mechanisms promoting survival and reproductive success. The evolutionarily conserved hypothalamic peptide oxytocin is a key modulator of human sociality, but its effects on fear conditioning are still elusive. In the present randomized controlled study involving 97 healthy male subjects, we therefore employed functional magnetic resonance imaging and simultaneous skin conductance response (SCR) measures to characterize the modulatory influence of intranasal oxytocin (24 IU) on Pavlovian fear conditioning. We found that the peptide strengthened conditioning on both the behavioral and neural levels. Specifically, subjects exhibited faster task-related responses and enhanced SCRs to fear-associated stimuli in the late phase of conditioning, which was paralleled by heightened activity in cingulate cortex subregions in the absence of changes in amygdala function. This speaks against amygdalocentric views of oxytocin having pure anxiolytic-like effects. Instead, it suggests that the peptide enables extremely rapid and flexible adaptation to fear signals in social contexts, which may confer clear evolutionary advantages but could also elevate vulnerability for the pathological sequelae of interpersonal trauma.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-07-072015-03-272015-07-092015-09-092016-03
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/npp.2015.245
PMID: 26272050
PMC: PMC4748433
Other: Epub 2015
 Degree: -

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Title: Neuropsychopharmacology
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 41 (4) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 932 - 939 Identifier: ISSN: 0893-133X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925558485