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The Other and Me: Effects of oxytocin on self-other distinction.

Authors
  • Tomova, L1
  • Heinrichs, M2
  • Lamm, C3
  • 1 Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. Electronic address: [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Psychology, Laboratory for Biological and Personality Psychology, University of Freiburg, Germany; Freiburg Brain Imaging Center, University Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit, Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. , (Austria)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2019
Volume
136
Pages
49–53
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2018.03.008
PMID: 29550334
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Distinguishing self- from other-related representations plays an important role in social interactions. The neuropeptide oxytocin has been shown to modulate social behavior as well as underlying social cognitions and emotions. However, how exactly oxytocin modulates representations of self and other is still unclear. The present study therefore aimed to assess effects of oxytocin on self-other distinction on two different processing levels (i.e., lower-level imitation-inhibition and higher-level perspective taking) in a male sample (n = 56) by performing a double-blind, placebo-controlled oxytocin administration study. Oxytocin improved visual perspective-taking and thus affected self-other distinction on the cognitive level, but had no effects on self-other distinction on the perceptual-motor level nor on a control task measuring attention reorientation. Thus, our findings suggest that oxytocin reduces ambiguity during perspective-taking in social interactions, which in turn may encourage social approach motivation and affiliative behavior. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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