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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

pesticides, homicides, love, hate... infinity

From: Reanimation Library

"Men given a dose of oxytocin, a hormone known to promote feelings of love and trust, have revealed the chemical’s dark side: It made them more ethnocentric.
     When asked to resolve a moral dilemma, such as choosing to save five lives from a runaway train by sacrificing one life, oxytocin-sniffing Dutch men more often saved fellow countrymen over Arabs and Germans than those who didn’t get a hormonal whiff.
     'Earlier research of oxytocin paints a very rosy view of it. We thought it was odd a neurological system that survived evolution would make people indiscriminately loving toward others,' said social psychologist Carsten De Dreu of the University of Amsterdam, co-author of a Jan. 10 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 'Under oxytocin we saw an increase of in-group favoritism, which has the downside of discrimination against people who are not part of your group.' [...]
As a neurotransmitter, it’s also intricately involved in social behaviors such as mother-child bonding, feelings of trust and love, and group recognition."

"The magnocellular neurons [...] in the hypothalamus produce the hormones, vasopressin (VP) and oxytocin (OT) that are released into the blood stream from the posterior pituitary. These hormones are recognized for their roles in fluid and electrolyte homeostasis, maintenance of blood pressure, and [oxytocin] is important during parturition and lactation. [...]
     Gonadal steroids have also been implicated in the regulation of the magnocellular oxytocin neurons."

"Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are synthetic chemicals that arise from sources such as pesticides and have the ability to mimic or inhibit gonadal steroid hormones. The objective of this research was to examine the effects of EDCs on the behaviors associated with monogamy and the expression of related neuropeptide receptors. [...]
     Oxytocin (OT) receptor binding in the brain was assessed for possible effects on this behaviorally important neuropeptide signaling system. The cingulate cortex showed a reduction in OT binding in the MXC group. These findings demonstrate that exposure to EDCs during pre- and neonatal development can alter female adult neural phenotype and behavior related to monogamous behavior traits."

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