The Neurobiology of Trust

ShareBy Paul J. Zak If you were asked to fall backward into the arms of a stranger, would you trust the other person to catch you? Such a situation, a common exercise in group therapy, is a bit extreme. But every day most people place some degree of trust in …

Oxytocin (Part 1/5)

ShareFeeling is the central organizing principle of human behavior. You can measure feeling in the brain, in the body’s biochemistry, in mother’s milk, in saliva and in spinal taps. We can measure it in brain chemicals such as serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine. Feelings are all encompassing, and love is …

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Oxytocin – The Neurochemical of Everything Good

ShareOxytocin has been a favorite focus in my e-newsletter before. (Healing and Awakening into Aliveness and Wholeness at www.lindagraham-mft.net.) Oxytocin is the brain’s naturally occurring hormone of “tend and befriend” (Healing Heartache, Sept. 2008), the molecule of motherly love and attachment (The Neurobiology of Feeling Unlovable, Feb. 2009), the neuropeptide …

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Oxytocin (Part 2/5)

June 16, 2011 Featured, Oxytocin In The News Comments Off

Oxytocin is found only in mammals. When it is high, one experiences a sense of relaxation, rest, and growth, repair and healing, loving behavior and emotional-attachment. Love and nurturing early in our lives are necessary for optimum health, and healthy brain development cannot take place without it. It isn’t just that low oxytocin levels are an indicator of early neglect and lack of touching, it also indicates a dysfunction of the entire system, and serves as a prognosticator of our later mental and physical health. Its presence says, “I was loved and could develop normally,” its lack says, “I was unloved and my system is skewed.” That is what I mean by “marker.”
… Continue Reading

Oxytocin (Part 1/5)

June 9, 2011 Featured Comments Off

Feeling is the central organizing principle of human behavior. You can measure feeling in the brain, in the body’s biochemistry, in mother’s milk, in saliva and in spinal taps. We can measure it in brain chemicals such as serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine. Feelings are all encompassing, and love is the key feeling in human intercourse. It can be found everywhere in the system because feeling is everywhere. Except—except where it is blocked and hidden away. Then we have an index of pain and repression. So something like oxytocin can be a marker for love. Speaking broadly, it can indicate where and when fear and pain took the place of love very early on. Love is defined broadly as having one’s need fulfilled in a timely manner; that means even in the womb, during gestation, there are needs that require fulfillment. When they are not, there can be effects on all sorts of biologic processes, including oxytocin. When I state that a baby needs a calm environment, it includes gestational life. A depressed/anxious mother is not providing a calm environment; the fetus is all neurochemically sensitive to her levels of stress and responses.
… Continue Reading

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Big Love Dilemma

June 2, 2011 Oxytocin and Sex, Oxytocin In The News Comments Off

Tulsa, OK – Big Love, the hit Showtime series about a fictional fundamentalist Mormon husband and his three families living side by side, may not have been exactly what the Terminator was trying to accomplish but biology says there are some similarities.

Many would say that the Terminator’s most recent exploits to hit the media regarding his long-time mistress and love child was nothing more than testosterone driven selfishness, yet neuroscience may prove those assumptions wrong.

… Continue Reading

Oxytocin Improves Social Experiences among the Shy

May 27, 2011 Oxytocin And Anxiety, Oxytocin In The News Comments Off

If all we had to do was sniff some oxytocin whenever we needed a confidence boost, our daily lives would undoubtedly improve. But it’s not that simple, although the hormone has been shown in recent studies to improve social skills in certain situations.

A September 2010 study in the journal Psychological Science indicated that oxytocin helped people who felt shy and awkward to improve their social skills. Led by Jennifer Bartz, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, researchers found that oxytocin appeared helpful only for those who are less socially proficient.

… Continue Reading

Low oxytocin levels may predict post-partum depression risk

May 13, 2011 Oxytocin In The News, Uncategorized Comments Off

By Rob Stein

Washington Post Lifestyle

Swiss scientists may have found a way to identify pregnant women who are at risk for experiencing post-partum depression after their babies are born, as well as a clue to how to prevent it.

Read the entire article at:  http://wapo.st/l5Uzrd

Oxytocin Peaks at Orgasm; Also Peaks Perception of Pleasure, Studies Say

May 5, 2011 Uncategorized Comments Off

Good sex includes (at least) three parts: the buildup, the peak and the afterglow, and oxytocin is one of the few neuropeptides that is part of all, bringing home pleasure before, during and after.

In fact, oxytocin plays a highly prominent part in sex, a role that has been researched since at least the 1980s when a benchmark study showed blood plasma levels rose in both genders during arousal and were markedly higher during climax than prior baseline levels. … Continue Reading

Dealing with Conflict Begins at Birth

May 3, 2011 Oxytocin In The News Comments Off
And though bonding with your baby can be affected by your levels of oxytocin, not all parents feel a bond right away; sometimes it takes a little longer, which is normal. Early infancy development is some of the more important developmental periods of ...
See all stories on this topic »

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Featured Content:

Susan Kuchinskas Interview

23 Feb 2012

Bryan Post interviews Chemistry of Connection author, Susan Kuchinskas.

Oxytocin (Part 5/5)

7 Jul 2011

ShareIt is my goal in therapy to help patients love and have the capacity to receive love; all else is secondary. Love makes us strong for our progeny. We need sex to enhance love, have progeny, and vice versa. It is the natural outgrowth of love. What we too often …

Oxytocin (Part 4/5)

30 Jun 2011

ShareAnother hormone, vasopressin, contributes to male nurturance of offspring – it makes for caring fathers. It also has pain-killing effects and helps make animals venture out and be more exploratory. If vasopressin is blocked, there is immediately less paternal behavior. When injected directly into a section of the brain of …

Oxytocin (Part 3/5)

23 Jun 2011

ShareBonding is the most positive aspect of human relationships. We learn how to bond emotionally in adulthood through early bonding in childhood, as simplistic as that sounds. It cannot be taught! And it certainly cannot be taught in later life. Attachment is pretty well set in our childhood. It is …

Oxytocin (Part 2/5)

16 Jun 2011

ShareOxytocin is found only in mammals. When it is high, one experiences a sense of relaxation, rest, and growth, repair and healing, loving behavior and emotional-attachment. Love and nurturing early in our lives are necessary for optimum health, and healthy brain development cannot take place without it. It isn’t just …

Oxytocin (Part 1/5)

9 Jun 2011

ShareFeeling is the central organizing principle of human behavior. You can measure feeling in the brain, in the body’s biochemistry, in mother’s milk, in saliva and in spinal taps. We can measure it in brain chemicals such as serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine. Feelings are all encompassing, and love is …

Oxytocin Promotes Social Attachment, Beginning with Mother and Child

1 Apr 2011

ShareBy Maureen Salamon Oxytocin’s nickname as the “cuddle hormone” is well-earned, since many studies have proven its ability to promote attachment not just between mother and child, but among groups. One of the primary bonds among mammals, of course, is between mother and baby, and much research has focused on …

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