The neurobiology of pair bonding

  title={The neurobiology of pair bonding},
  author={Larry J. Young and Zuoxin Wang},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
A neurobiological model for pair-bond formation has emerged from studies in monogamous rodents. The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin contribute to the processing of social cues necessary for individual recognition. Mesolimbic dopamine is involved in reinforcement and reward learning. Concurrent activation of neuropeptide and dopamine receptors in the reward centers of the brain during mating results in a conditioned partner preference, observed as a pair bond. Differential regulation of… 
Anatomy and neurochemistry of the pair bond
An integrated description of the interaction of neural circuits involved in conveying somatosensory information from the genitalia to the brain during sexual activity and neuropeptidergic circuits involved specifically in the processing of socially salient cues in rodents is presented.
Vasopressin and pair-bond formation: genes to brain to behavior.
How the presence of a microsatellite sequence in the prairie vole vasoppressin receptor gene may determine vasopressin receptor binding patterns in the brain and how these patterns may in turn affect social behavior is discussed.
The neurobiology of pair bonding: Insights from a socially monogamous rodent
The ties that bond: neurochemistry of attachment in voles
Genes, brains and mammalian social bonds.
Love and Attachment: The Psychobiology of Social Bonding
Advances in the psychobiology of social bonds have led to hypotheses about the pharmacotherapy of disorders of attachment, and particular genetic and environmental variations contribute to social-bonding phenotypes, consistent with an evolutionary perspective on the value of these behaviors.
Neurobiology of pair bonding in fishes; convergence of neural mechanisms across distant vertebrate lineages
Novel insights are provided into the neurobiology of teleost pair bonding and high convergence in the neurochemical mechanisms governing pair bonding across actinopterygians and sarcopteryGians is revealed, by repeatedly co-opting and similarly assembling deep neurochemical and neuroanatomical homologies that originated in ancestral osteithes.
Dopamine Regulation of Pair Bonding in Monogamous Prairie Voles
Dopamine Regulation of Social Choice in a Monogamous Rodent Species
It is described how mesolimbic dopamine transmission differentially mediates the formation and maintenance of monogamous pair bonds in this species and concludes that prairie voles are an excellent model system for the neuroscience of social choice and that complex social decision-making can be robustly explained by reward and hedonic processing.


Is social attachment an addictive disorder?
  • T. Insel
  • Psychology, Biology
    Physiology & Behavior
  • 2003
Cellular Mechanisms of Social Attachment
It is hypothesize that oxytocin and vasopressin may be facilitating affiliation and social attachment in monogamous species by modulating these reward pathways.
A role for central vasopressin in pair bonding in monogamous prairie voles
It is demonstrated that central AVP is both necessary and sufficient for selective aggression and partner preference formation, two critical features of pair bonding in the monogamous prairie vole.
The Neuroendocrine Basis of Social Recognition
The social recognition deficits seen in oxytocin knockout mice have now been demonstrated in both males and females, as well as in female estrogen receptor knockout mice.
Oxytocin Receptor Distribution Reflects Social Organization in Monogamous and Polygamous Voles
  • L. Shapiro, T. Insel
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1992
It is demonstrated that species from the genus Microtus (voles) selected for differences in social affiliation show contrasting patterns of oxytocin receptor expression in brain, and it is suggested that variable expression of the oxytocIn receptor in brain may be an important mechanism in evolution of species-typical Differences in social bonding and affiliative behavior.
Facilitation of Affiliation and Pair-Bond Formation by Vasopressin Receptor Gene Transfer into the Ventral Forebrain of a Monogamous Vole
A role for ventral pallidal V1aR in affiliation and social attachment is demonstrated and a potential molecular mechanism for species differences in social organization is provided.
The neural correlates of maternal and romantic love
A gender-specific mechanism for pair bonding: oxytocin and partner preference formation in monogamous voles.
The results suggest that oxytocin, released with mating, may be critical to formation of a partner preference in the female prairie vole; this contrasts to vasopressin, which appears to be more important for pair bonding in the male of this species.