Although the hormone oxytocin is well-known for its ability to promote feelings of love, social bonding, and well-being, Northwestern Medicine research shows that oxytocin can also intensify painful emotional memories. For example, when a social experience is negative or stressful, oxytocin activates a part of the brain that intensifies the memory and increases the likelihood of feeling anxious during future stressful events. Northwestern scientists also identified the brain region responsible for these effects, the lateral septum, and the pathway or route oxytocin uses in this area to enhance negative emotions. The research, which was conducted on mice, is significant because oxytocin currently is being tested as an anti-anxiety drug in several clinical trials.
Read the entire article here: “Love Hormone” Oxytocin Tied to Social Anxiety, Fear in Mice