Neuroscience: The hard science of oxytocin

Dr. Larry Young, faculty member in NS and PBEE, is featured in a Nature article about how scientists are seeking a deeper understanding of oxytocin and how it works in the brain. 

“People just concluded it was a bonding molecule, a cuddling hormone, and that's the pervasive view in the popular press,” says Young, who has been studying the molecule since the 1990s.

Oxytocin is difficult to measure reliably in the brain, making it hard to know exactly where, when and how much is normally released; nor do scientists understand precisely how it works to alter behaviour. “What we need to start thinking about is the more fundamental role that oxytocin plays in the brain,” Young says.

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