November 30, 2010
Oxytocin Boosts Memories Of Mom

For better or worse oxytocin will intensify your feelings about Mom.

Researchers have found that the naturally-occurring hormone and neurotransmitter oxytocin intensifies men's memories of their mother's affections during childhood. The study was published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai School of Medicine wanted to determine whether oxytocin, a hormone and neurotransmitter that is known to regulate attachment and social memory in animals, is also involved in human attachment memories. They conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial, giving 31 healthy adult men oxytocin or a placebo delivered nasally on two occasions. Prior to administering the drug/placebo, the researchers measured the men's attachment style. About 90 minutes after administering the oxytocin or the placebo the researchers assessed participants' recollection of their mother's care and closeness in childhood.

Either more caring or less caring memories were dredged up.

They found that men who were less anxious and more securely attached remembered their mothers as more caring and remembered being closer to their mothers in childhood when they received oxytocin, compared to when they received placebo. However, men who were more anxiously attached remembered their mothers as less caring and remembered being less close to their mothers in childhood when they received oxytocin, compared to when they received placebo. These results were not due to more general effects of oxytocin on mood or well-being.

So then is there a drug or hormone that'll intensify your feelings about high school? If so, any takers? I'd just as soon forget about it myself. But if I live long enough to get rejuvenation therapies then I'm looking forward to forming memories of my second childhood.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 November 30 09:51 PM  Brain Development

JAL said at December 2, 2010 1:15 PM:

I don't see in the link whether they controlled for whether the men were breast fed as infants.

Oxytocin is released in the mother when she breast feeds. Might be an association there? (Biological and/or psychological.)

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