to make men more sensitive and affectionate
Article page | Family topics |
have finally been answered: Scientists have developed a spray which can make men
sensitive and affectionate using a ''cuddle hormone''.
Forty eight healthy males participated in the experiment. Half received an
oxytocin nose spray at the start of the experiment, the other half a placebo.
The researchers then showed their test subjects photos of emotionally charged
situations in the form of a crying child, a girl hugging her cat, and a grieving
man. The test subjects were then invited to express the depth of feeling they
experienced for the persons shown.
In summary, Dr. René Hurlemann of Bonn University
´ s Clinic for Psychiatry was able
to state that "significantly higher emotional empathy levels were recorded for
the oxytocin group than for the placebo group", despite the fact that the
participants in the placebo group were perfectly able to provide rational
interpretations of the facial expressions displayed. The administration of
oxytocin simply had the effect of enhancing the ability to experience
fellow-feeling. The males under test achieved levels which would normally only
be expected in women. Under normal circumstances, the "weak" sex enjoys a clear
advantage when it comes to the subject of "empathy".
In a second experiment, the participants had to use their computers to complete
a simple observation test. Correct answers produced an approving face on the
screen, wrong ones a disapproving one. Alternatively, the feedback appeared as
green (correct) or red (false) circles. "In general, learning was better when
the feedback was shown in the form of faces", states Dr. Keith Kendrick of the
Cambridge Babraham Institute in England. "But, once again, the oxytocin group
responded clearly better to the feedback in the form of facial expression than
did the placebo group".
In this connection, the so-called amygdaloid nucleus appears to play an
important role. This cerebral stucture, known generally to doctors as the
amygdala, is involved in the emotional evaluation of situations. Certain people
suffer from an extremely rare hereditary disease which progressively affects the
amygdala. "We were lucky to be able to include two femals patients in our study
group who were suffering this defect of the amygdala", says Hurlemann. "Both
women reacted markedly worse to approving or disapproving faces in the
observation test than did other women in a control group. Moreover, their
emotional empathy was also affected". Hence, the researchers suspect that the
amygdala could bear some form of co-responsibility for the effect of the oxytin.
One of the effects of the hormone oxytocin, also called as cuddle hormone, is
that it triggers labour pains. It also strengthens the emotional bond between a
mother and her new-born child. Oxytocin is released on a large scale during an
orgasm, too. This neuropeptide is also associated with feelings such as love and
trust. Our study has revealed for the first time that emotional empathy is
modulated by oxytocin, and that this applies similarly to learning processes
with social multipliers, says Hurlemann.
ANI/ Times of Oman