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Steroids and peptides mediate a diverse array of animal social behaviors. Human research is restricted by technical-ethical limitations, and models of the neuroendocrine regulation of social-emotional behavior are therefore mainly limited to non-human species, often under the assumption that human social-emotional behavior is emancipated from hormonal(More)
In human and non-human animals the steroid hormones cortisol and testosterone are involved in social aggression and recent studies suggest that these steroids might jointly regulate this behavior. It has been hypothesized that the imbalance between cortisol and testosterone levels is predictive for aggressive psychopathology, with high testosterone to(More)
Trust plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of human social relationships. But trusting others is associated with a cost, given the prevalence of cheaters and deceivers in human society. Recent research has shown that the peptide hormone oxytocin increases trust in humans. However, oxytocin also makes individuals susceptible to betrayal,(More)
Recently, we demonstrated that the steroid-hormone testosterone reduces interpersonal trust in humans. The neural mechanism which underlies this effect is however unknown. It has been proposed that testosterone increases social vigilance via neuropeptide systems in the amygdala, augmenting communication between the amygdala and the brain stem. However,(More)
Correlational evidence in humans shows that levels of the androgen hormone testosterone are positively related to reinforcement sensitivity and competitive drive. Structurally similar anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are moreover widely abused, and animal studies show that rodents self-administer testosterone. These observations suggest that testosterone(More)
Parental responsiveness to infant vocalizations is an essential mechanism to ensure parental care, and its importance is reflected in a specific neural substrate, the thalamocingulate circuit, which evolved through mammalian evolution subserving this responsiveness. Recent studies using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) provide compelling(More)
Our empathetic abilities allow us to feel the pain of others. This phenomenon of vicarious feeling arises because the neural circuitry of feeling pain and seeing pain in others is shared. The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) is considered a robust facilitator of empathy, as intranasal OXT studies have repeatedly been shown to improve cognitive empathy (e.g. mind(More)
Deficits in empathizing and perspective taking are defining characteristics of autism-spectrum disorders. Converging evidence suggests that these socio-emotional abilities are rooted in basic mechanisms that subserve imitative behavior, and may vary with autistic traits across the population as a whole. We investigated this notion by assessing spontaneous(More)
In societies with high cooperation demands, implicit consensus on social norms enables successful human coexistence. Mimicking other people's actions and emotions has been proposed as a means to synchronize behaviour, thereby enhancing affiliation. Mimicry has long been thought to be reflexive, but it has recently been suggested that mimicry might also be(More)
Women on average outperform men in cognitive-empathic abilities, such as the capacity to infer motives from the bodily cues of others, which is vital for effective social interaction. The steroid hormone testosterone is thought to play a role in this sexual dimorphism. Strikingly, a previous study shows that a single administration of testosterone in women(More)