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Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin on Perceptions of Trustworthiness in Aging
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
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2016 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Perceptions of trustworthiness in others influence thought and behavior during social interactions. Growing evidence suggests that intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin increases perceived trustworthiness of unfamiliar faces, with particularly pronounced effects for in-group compared to out-group faces. To date, prosocial effects of oxytocin have been mostly investigated in young adults, and the majority of studies comprised men. Recent evidence that older adults experience increased difficulty in determining trustworthiness in faces highlights the importance of examining the potentially beneficial role of oxytocin on perceptions of trustworthiness in aging. In the present study, 48 young and 54 older participants evaluated the trustworthiness of young and older male and female unfamiliar faces, while undergoing magnetic resonance imaging. Participants were randomly assigned to either self-administer intranasal oxytocin or a placebo before engagement in the task. Behavioral analysis suggested that female faces were generally rated as more trustworthy than male faces. This effect was particularly pronounced in older participants in the oxytocin group but young participants in the placebo group. Functional connectivity analysis between amygdala and prefrontal cortex is currently underway and will identify the underlying brain mechanism of oxytocin’s effect on trustworthiness perceptions. Findings from this study emphasize the importance of considering age and sex of participants and faces when examining effects of oxytocin on perceptions of facial trustworthiness. Results will be discussed in the context of an emerging literature on oxytocin’s age-by-sex modulatory role in social and affective information processing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 56, no S3, 361-362 p.
Keyword [en]
age, oxytocin, facial trustworthiness
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138375DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnw162.1462OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138375DiVA: diva2:1067027
Conference
The Gerontological Society of America’s 69th Annual Scientific Meeting, November 16-20, 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Available from: 2017-01-19 Created: 2017-01-19 Last updated: 2017-01-20

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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