2013年12月16日月曜日

Oxytocin enhances brain reward system responses in men viewing the face of their female partner

Dirk Scheele, Andrea Wille, Keith M. Kendrick, Birgit Stoffel-Wagner, Benjamin Becker, Onur Güntürkün, Wolfgang Maier, and René Hurlemann
PNAS December 10, 2013 vol. 110 no. 50 20308-20313

ヒト行動薬理+fMRI実験。
オキシトシンを経鼻投与されると、男性はパートナーの顔をより魅力的だと思うようになる。
また、その変化は脳内報酬系(腹側被蓋野と側坐核)活動の変化と対応している。

The biological mechanisms underlying long-term partner bonds in humans are unclear. The evolutionarily conserved neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) is associated with the formation of partner bonds in some species via interactions with brain dopamine reward systems. However, whether it plays a similar role in humans has as yet not been established. Here, we report the results of a discovery and a replication study, each involving a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject, pharmaco-functional MRI experiment with 20 heterosexual pair-bonded male volunteers. In both experiments, intranasal OXT treatment (24 IU) made subjects perceive their female partner's face as more attractive compared with unfamiliar women but had no effect on the attractiveness of other familiar women. This enhanced positive partner bias was paralleled by an increased response to partner stimuli compared with unfamiliar women in brain reward regions including the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). In the left NAcc, OXT even augmented the neural response to the partner compared with a familiar woman, indicating that this finding is partner-bond specific rather than due to familiarity. Taken together, our results suggest that OXT could contribute to romantic bonds in men by enhancing their partner's attractiveness and reward value compared with other women.

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