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Oxytocin attenuates affective evaluations of conditioned faces and amygdala activity


Petrovic, P; Kalisch, R; Singer, T; Dolan, R J (2008). Oxytocin attenuates affective evaluations of conditioned faces and amygdala activity. Journal of Neuroscience, 28(26):6607-6615.

Abstract

Social relations between humans critically depend on our affective experiences of others. Oxytocin enhances prosocial behavior, but its effect on humans’ affective experience of others is not known. We tested whether oxytocin influences affective ratings, and underlying
brain activity, of faces that have been aversively conditioned. Using a standard conditioning procedure, we induced differential negative affective ratings in faces exposed to an aversive conditioning compared with nonconditioning manipulation. This differential negative
evaluative effect was abolished by treatment with oxytocin, an effect associated with an attenuation of activity in anterior medial temporal and anterior cingulate cortices. In amygdala and fusiform gyrus, this modulation was stronger for faces with direct gaze, relative to
averted gaze, consistent with a relative specificity for socially relevant cues. The data suggest that oxytocin modulates the expression of evaluative conditioning for socially relevant faces via influences on amygdala and fusiform gyrus, an effect that may explain its prosocial
effects.

Abstract

Social relations between humans critically depend on our affective experiences of others. Oxytocin enhances prosocial behavior, but its effect on humans’ affective experience of others is not known. We tested whether oxytocin influences affective ratings, and underlying
brain activity, of faces that have been aversively conditioned. Using a standard conditioning procedure, we induced differential negative affective ratings in faces exposed to an aversive conditioning compared with nonconditioning manipulation. This differential negative
evaluative effect was abolished by treatment with oxytocin, an effect associated with an attenuation of activity in anterior medial temporal and anterior cingulate cortices. In amygdala and fusiform gyrus, this modulation was stronger for faces with direct gaze, relative to
averted gaze, consistent with a relative specificity for socially relevant cues. The data suggest that oxytocin modulates the expression of evaluative conditioning for socially relevant faces via influences on amygdala and fusiform gyrus, an effect that may explain its prosocial
effects.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:05 Feb 2009 16:19
Last Modified:03 Aug 2017 14:58
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
ISSN:0270-6474
Additional Information:Holder of copyright: The Society for Neuroscience
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4572-07.2008
PubMed ID:18579733

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