The Dark Side Of The Love Hormone Oxytocin

Source: 
— PopSci

Oxytocin, the feel-good bonding hormone released by physical contact with another person, orgasm and childbirth (potentially encouraging monogamy), might have a darker side. The love drug also plays an important role in intensifying negative emotional memories and increasing feelings of fear in future stressful situations, according to a new study.

Two experiments performed with mice found that the hormone activates a signaling molecule called extracellular-signal-related kinases (ERK), which has been associated with the way the brain forms memories of fear. According to Jelena Radulovic, senior author on the study and a professor at Northwestern University's medical school, ERK stimulates fear pathways in the brain's lateral septum, the region with the highest levels of oxytocin.

Read Full Story

Join Metanexus Today

Metanexus fosters a growing international network of individuals and groups exploring the dynamic interface between cosmos, nature and culture. Membership is open to all. Join Now!