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Oxytocin and social salience: a call for gene-environment interaction research

Authors
Publisher
Frontiers Media S.A.
Publication Date
Volume
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00199
Keywords
  • Endocrinology
  • General Commentary Article
Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Geography

Abstract

Oxytocin and social salience: a call for gene-environment interaction research GENERAL COMMENTARY published: 31 October 2013 doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00199 Oxytocin and social salience: a call for gene-environment interaction research Benjamin A. Tabak* Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA *Correspondence: [email protected] Edited by: Alfonso Abizaid, Carleton University, Canada Keywords: oxytocin, oxytocin receptor gene, OXTR, gene-environment interaction, genetic association study A commentary on A paradoxical association of an oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism: early-life adversity and vulnerability to depression by McQuaid, R. J., McInnis, O. A., Stead, J. D., Matheson, K., and Anisman, H. (2013). Front. Neurosci. 7:128. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00128 The role of the neuropeptide oxytocin in social cognition and prosocial behavior continues to fascinate the scientific com- munity (Bartz et al., 2011b). However, as our knowledge of oxytocin’s influence on social processes increases, a more complex picture continues to emerge. Studies have begun to identify individual differences and environmental contexts that substan- tially alter the effects of oxytocin admin- istration (Bartz et al., 2011b; Macdonald, 2012). In addition, interpersonal distress has been positively correlated with plasma oxytocin (e.g., Tabak et al., 2011), and evidence for potential negative conse- quences of oxytocin administration con- tinues to accumulate (Miller, 2013)— calling into question the view that oxy- tocin represents a social panacea (Pfeiffer, 2013). Although questions remain about how to properly measure oxytocin (Szeto et al., 2011; McCullough et al., 2013), and whether intranasal administration of oxytocin crosses the blood-brain barrier (Churchland and Winkielman, 2012; but see, Neumann et al., 2013), a developing theme in human oxytocin research is that early environmental experiences and/or attachment styles appear to moderat

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