The “love hormone”: Oxytocin may trigger the study also found that aggression – Naturopathy naturopathy specialist portal

Study: Oxytocin can lead to aggression

It’s long been known that the hormone Oxytocin may enhance positive feelings. But apparently, the so-called “love hormone can cause” aggression. To this end, Researchers have now. Their results could shed new light on the Oxytocin-treatment of various psychiatric disorders of social anxiety and autism to schizophrenia.

Oxytocin is a hormone that in humans, many important physiological functions are regulated, such as, for example reproductive, cardiovascular, social behavior and Learning. It is also known as the “love hormone” and regulates, for example, processes such as the mother-child bond, and also for the introduction of the birth as well as Breastfeeding responsible. And it can lead, according to a new study of aggression.

Limitations while the Corona-pandemic


As the Max-Planck-Institute for psychiatry, in a recent communication, writes, were couples forced to make during the pandemic-restrictions, to spend days and weeks together – some of which have found their love again, others are probably now on the way to the divorce court.

In Oxytocin, a peptide produced in the brain, played, may play a role: It is known that it can amplify as a neuro-modulator positive feelings.


What is new is that it can also trigger aggression. This is the conclusion scientists have drawn scientists from the Weizmann Institute of science. Together with researchers from the Munich Max-Planck-Institute for psychiatry, they have manipulated the Oxytocin-producing brain cells of mice living under semi-natural conditions, and investigated.

The results of the study were published in the journal “Neuron”.

For eight years, worked on the study


According to the experts a lot of Knowledge comes to the effect of Neuromodulators such as Oxytocin from behavioral studies on laboratory animals under standard laboratory conditions: All parameters are strictly controlled and artificial.

A series of recent scientific research, however, suggests that the actions of a mouse in a semi-natural environment a lot more about their natural behavior, especially if the findings are to be transferred to the people.

The research team led by neurobiologists Alon Chen has created an experimental setup that makes it possible to observe mice in an environment to their natural living conditions is similar.

For eight years, scientists have worked with scientists in the study: day and night, the researchers, the activity of rodents with cameras monitored and analysed computer-based.

New in particular, the use of Optogenetics and a specially developed, implantable device that made it possible was, certain nerve cells in the brain remote-controlled with the help of the light on or off. So, the researchers were able to track the behavior of the mice in a natural environment and at the same time your brain functions to analyze.

Oxytocin was used as a kind of test run for the experimental System. The so-called “love hormone” is already longer suspected, to not only convey positive feelings, but tend to reinforce the perception of social signals and thus to foster, depending on the individual’s personality and the environment, but also socially distinctive behavior.

For the study, the Team of mice in which they could the Oxytocin-producing cells in the Hypothalamus gently activate used.

The “love hormone” is more of a “social hormone”

The mice to each other revealed in the semi-natural environment, first of all, an increased interest, fast but aggressive behavior was added increasingly. In contrast, the increasing oxytocin production in the animals under classical laboratory conditions, and reduced Aggression.

As it says in the message, it would be expected in an all-male, all-natural social environment, aggressive behavior, when the animals for territory or food to compete. This means that the social conditions are conducive to competition and Aggression.

A different social Situation, such as the standard laboratory conditions, however, leads to a different effect of Oxytocin.

If the “love hormone,” is more of a “social hormone”, what does that mean for its pharmaceutical use? According to the experts, its effects depend on both the context and the personality. This implies that for therapeutic use a very much more differentiated view is required.

The researchers suggest one can understand the complexity of behavior only, when you examine it in a complex environment. Only then the findings can be transferred to human behavior. (ad)

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