Re-examining decades of the social construal of Oxytocin, the General Approach-Avoidance Hypothesis of Oxytocin (GAAO) predicts that Oxytocin will modulate responding to emotionally-evocative and personally-relevant social and non-social stimuli due to its action on the neural substrate of approach and avoidance motivation. We report the first critical experimental test of GAAO predictions by means of a double-blind intra-nasal administration of Oxytocin vs. placebo in 90 healthy adults (N = 90, 50% women). As predicted, we found that among men and women for whom negative emotion (anxious arousal) is motivationally-relevant, intra-nasal administration of Oxytocin reduced behavioral avoidance of emotionally-evocative negatively-valenced social and non-social stimuli, but not closely matched emotionally-neutral stimuli. Findings cannot be explained by extant social theories of Oxytocin. We discuss the implications of the present findings for basic and translational clinical Oxytocin research.
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 1 Jul 2017|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Prof. Bernstein recognizes the funding support from the Israel Science Foundation. Mrs. Harari-Dahan recognizes the support from the University of Haifa President's Doctoral Fellowship Program. We want to thank Dr. Ido Lurie, Dr. Margarita Gorelik- Fad, Eyal Zur from Super Pharm Professional pharmacy, Noa Schongot, Noa Ebenstein, Chen Bar Cohen, Ortal Gretchin and Shira Talmon for their help in carrying out the study.
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd
- Anxiety sensitivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry