View Full Version : Oxytocin: CNS Exploratory Systems

James Brody
December 31st, 2005, 02:04 PM
Kirschner & Gerhard (2005) provide great detail about exploratory systems in angiogenesis, immune systems, and a wide array of other organizations. Even David Buss commented once on exploratory systems when he referred to calluses: use your hand and calluses grow so long as you continue that use. They then fold up.

A similar process appears to characterized neurons: violinists have more cortex devoted to their hands for so long as they practice. Anorectic individuals view a hamburger as larger. And probably a guy into porn has more of his neurons involved in viewing smut, neurons that will bitch if he gives up the habit.

Kauffman's language applies: emergent systems discover self interest when they find resources. And my love for riding the bike or, for that matter, my obsession about exploratory systems, cares little for my other responsibilities.

The following item in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is consistent with exploration. The interesting question becomes the extent to which genes modify environments and environments modify structures orchestrated by genes and the means that produce those outcomes. A metaphor: we drive on an Interstate in one manner when there is no trooper, another manner when we see one. And genes that do not recognize environments and find routes around them would not be with us long!

(A second implication: the drug houses will soon give us pills that manage blues in someone who just got dumped!)

Happy New Year!


PNAS | November 22, 2005 | vol. 102 | no. 47 | 17237-17240

Early experience in humans is associated with changes in neuropeptides critical for regulating social behavior

Alison B. Wismer Fries, Toni E. Ziegler, Joseph R. Kurian, Steve Jacoris and Seth D. Pollak

Edited by William T. Greenough, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL and approved September 20, 2005 (received for review June 7, 2005)

The formation of social attachments is a critical component of human relationships. Infants begin to bond to their caregivers from the moment of birth, and these social bonds continue to provide regulatory emotional functions throughout adulthood. It is difficult to examine the interactions between social experience and the biological origins of these complex behaviors because children undergo both brain development and accumulate social experience at the same time. We had a rare opportunity to examine children who were reared in extremely aberrant social environments where they were deprived of the kind of care-giving typical for our species. The present experiment in nature provides insight into the role of early experience on the brain systems underlying the development of emotional behavior. These data indicate that the vasopressin and oxytocin neuropeptide systems, which are critical in the establishment of social bonds and the regulation of emotional behaviors, are affected by early social experience. The results of this experiment suggest a potential mechanism whose atypical function may explain the pervasive social and emotional difficulties observed in many children who have experienced aberrant care-giving. The present findings are consistent with the view that there is a critical role for early experience in the development of the brain systems underlying basic aspects of human social behavior.

James Brody
June 23rd, 2008, 11:31 AM
I discussed oxytocin as a possible tool - a supplement or a replacement - for antidepressant treatment of suicide. See Rebellion, Chapter 11 (I think!): Suicide, Mother Said 'NO.' Peculiar, too, this article about a country that has one surveillance camera for every fourteen people.

I also wonder if Obama bathes in the stuff...



"Scientists find childbirth wonder drug that can 'cure' shyness
"Last updated at 20:30pm on 22.06.08

"It can turn anything from job interviews to the most routine of family gatherings into a sweat-inducing ordeal.

"But a 'love drug' produced naturally by the body during sex and childbirth could offer hope to the millions of people blighted by shyness, scientists have said.

"Investigators believe oxytocin - a natural hormone that assists childbirth and helps mothers bond with newborn babies - could become a wonder drug for overcoming shyness.

"Trials have found that oxytocin can reduce anxiety and ease phobias. Researchers say the hormone offers a possible, safe, alternative to alcohol as a means of overcoming the problem.

"Sixty per cent of Britons say they have suffered from shyness and one in 10 say it impedes their daily life.

"Researchers in the US, Europe and Australia are now racing to develop commercial forms of the hormone, including a nasal spray.
They believe it could also be turned into a 'wonder drug' to treat a range of personality disorders such as autism, depression and anxiety."

More at http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23497717-details/Scientists+find+childbirth+wonder+drug+that+can+'c ure'+shyness/article.do

In regard to the cameras, see http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,91211-1319813,00.html?f=rss

James Brody
September 5th, 2008, 10:25 AM
Oxytocin, vasopressin...more of both in your future...will they relieve you from the anguish of being dumped, will they make Nancy Pelosi love Pat Buchanan...


Genetic variation in the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (AVPR1A) associates with pair-bonding behavior in humans

Walum H, Westberg L, Henningsson S, Neiderhiser JM, Reiss D, Igl W, Ganiban JM, Spotts EL, Pedersen NL, Eriksson E, & Lichtenstein P.


"Pair-bonding has been suggested to be a critical factor in the evolutionary development of the social brain. The brain neuropeptide arginine vasopressin (AVP) exerts an important influence on pair-bonding behavior in voles. There is a strong association between a polymorphic repeat sequence in the 5' flanking region of the gene (avpr1a) encoding one of the AVP receptor subtypes (V1aR), and proneness for monogamous behavior in males of this species. It is not yet known whether similar mechanisms are important also for human pair-bonding. Here, we report an association between one of the human AVPR1A repeat polymorphisms (RS3) and traits reflecting pair-bonding behavior in men, including partner bonding, perceived marital problems, and marital status, and show that the RS3 genotype of the males also affects marital quality as perceived by their spouses. These results suggest an association between a single gene and pair-bonding behavior in humans, and indicate that the well characterized influence of AVP on pair-bonding in voles may be of relevance also for humans."

More at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/09/02/0803081105.abstract?sid=f50877e3-944e-4ed7-a616-4ebfd2f2ca74
Also at Karolinski Institute, http://ki.se/ki/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=130&a=60139&l=en&newsdep=130
Or at Http://www.wnbc.com/news/17381424/detail.html