Attachment, aggression and affiliation: The role of oxytocin in female social behavior

  title={Attachment, aggression and affiliation: The role of oxytocin in female social behavior},
  author={Anne Campbell},
  journal={Biological Psychology},
  • A. Campbell
  • Published 31 January 2008
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Biological Psychology

Antisocial oxytocin: complex effects on social behavior

  • A. Beery
  • Psychology, Biology
    Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
  • 2015

Oxytocin and the social brain: between love and hate

This thesis provides an overview of the literature concerning the effect of oxytocin on social behavior in animals and humans and focuses on the key question whether oxytoc in can or cannot be seen as a “love hormone” and how oxytocIn is capable of promoting love, bonding and aggression at the same time.

Oxytocin promotes social bonding in dogs

Behavioral evidence is provided that exogenous OT promotes positive social behaviors in the domestic dog toward not only conspecifics but also human partners, which constitutes the basis for the formation of any stable social bond.

The role of oxytocin on peaceful associations and sociality in mammals

This work summarises the most current studies that have investigated oxytocin’s role in regulating stable peaceful associations not directly related to mating, and proposes a novel research approach to evaluate the relationship between individual variation in social tendencies and variation in the oxytociergic system.

Life in groups: the roles of oxytocin in mammalian sociality

OT’s effects reach beyond maternal attachment and pair bonds to play a role in affiliative behavior underlying “friendships”, organization of broad social structures, and maintenance of established social relationships with individuals or groups.

Endogenous peripheral oxytocin measures can give insight into the dynamics of social relationships: a review

It is argued that non-invasive measures of peripheral oxytocin hold several research and potential therapeutic advantages and offers the potential of behavioral therapy as an addition or alternative to chemical therapy in the field of mental health.

The role of oxytocin in antisocial behavior: A multi-method approach

It is suggested that the timing of trauma has a distinct effect on hormonal activity and it should be integrated into any comprehensive model and incorporate the investigation of oxytocin and trauma in future research.

The his and hers of prosocial behavior: an examination of the social psychology of gender.

  • A. Eagly
  • Psychology
    The American psychologist
  • 2009
Sex differences in prosocial behavior reflect the division of labor, which reflects a biosocial interaction between male and female physical attributes and the social structure.



Oxytocin, motherhood and bonding

A model of how oxytocin may act to alter maternal and socio‐sexual behaviours is proposed which initially involves activation of oxytocIn neurones in a single brain site, the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), following vaginal and cervical stimulation.


  • C. Carter
  • Psychology, Biology
  • 1998

Anxiety, cortisol, and attachment predict plasma oxytocin.

The present results may help interpreting seeming contradictions in the recent literature on oxytocin, attachment, and stress in humans, by suggesting that context effects determine which relationships are found in different studies: anxiolytic effects of Oxytocin in a context of partner support versus stress- or cortisol-induced oxytocIn responses in a contexts of distress or increased cortisol.

Preliminary research on plasma oxytocin in normal cycling women: investigating emotion and interpersonal distress.

Data are presented from an initial study to examine change in plasma oxytocin in response to a standard imagery task that elicits emotion related to attachment and suggest that peripheral secretion of oxytocIn in reaction to emotional stimuli is associated with the individual's interpersonal characteristics.

Mother–infant bonding and the evolution of mammalian social relationships

This emancipation from olfactory and hormonal determinants of bonding has been succeeded by the increased importance of social learning that is necessitated by living in a complex social world and, especially in humans, a world that is dominated by cultural inheritance.

Peptides of love and fear: vasopressin and oxytocin modulate the integration of information in the amygdala.

  • J. Debiec
  • Biology, Psychology
    BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology
  • 2005
A recent study by Huber et al demonstrates that vasopressin and oxytocin modulate the excitatory inputs into the CeA in opposite manners, which elucidates the mechanisms through which these neuropeptides may control the expression of fear.

Brain Oxytocin Correlates with Maternal Aggression: Link to Anxiety

Investigation of maternal aggression and the role of brain oxytocin in lactating Wistar rats selectively bred for high anxiety-related behavior or low anxiety- related behavior during the 10 min maternal defense test found differences in intracerebral release patterns of Oxytocin are critical for the regulation of maternal aggressive behavior.

Variations in Maternal Behaviour are Associated with Differences in Oxytocin Receptor Levels in the Rat

Female Long‐Evans rats exhibit stable individual differences in maternal behaviours such as pup licking/grooming and arched‐back nursing posture, and oxytocin receptor levels in the central nucleus of the amygdala were significantly higher in high compared to low LG‐ABN females regardless of reproductive status.

Social status in pairs of male squirrel monkeys determines the behavioral response to central oxytocin administration

  • J. WinslowT. Insel
  • Biology, Psychology
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • 1991
The status-related behavioral effects of oxytocin in the squirrel monkey may reflect differences in brain oxytocIn receptor density associated with the higher concentrations of testosterone in the dominant animal or depend on the conditioned behavioral differences associated with social organization.