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Oxytocin Induces Brain Activity Reductions to Negative Emotional Stimuli in Younger and Older Adults
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, the intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin has mainly been related to improvements in domains such as emotion recognition and memory, but to date the effects of oxytocin in aging remain largely unknown. A major caveat in oxytocin research is that it is almost exclusively based on young men which may reflect an inadequate picture of the potential benefits of oxytocin administration. In a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, within-subjects study design, we investigated whether oxytocin affects the recognition of positive and negative stimuli differently in younger and older adults. Forty-four older adults (50% women; M= 69.82) and 44 younger adults (50% women; M= 24.75) participated in this study two times, receiving a single intranasal dose of 40 IUs of placebo and oxytocin in randomized order 40 minutes before engaging in the task. Participants watched short videoclips where actors displayed nine emotions: neutrality, happiness, pride, interest, relief, anger, despair, sadness, and disgust. Preliminary results indicate that oxytocin-induced reductions to negative emotions were found in bilateral fusiform gyrus (Z > 4.16, Family wise error corrected, pFWE < 0.009), hippocampus (Z > 4.53, pFWE < 0.002), insula (Z > 3.69, pFWE < 0.045), and superior temporal gyrus (Z > 4.34, pFWE < 0.008), as well as, right-lateralized reductions in the amygdala (Z = 3.73, pFWE = 0.005). These findings are in line with previous studies showing decreased brain activity to negative stimuli and suggest that this mechanism in not only present in younger adults but it can also be extended to an older population. Future studies should investigate how oxytocin impacts socioemotional and cognitive processes in elderly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
oxytocin, emotion recognition, younger and older adults, fMRI
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154147OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-154147DiVA, id: diva2:1191203
Conference
CERE 2018: Glasgow, Scotland, UK, April 4-5, 2018
Available from: 2018-03-16 Created: 2018-03-16 Last updated: 2018-09-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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