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The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").
What is Oxytocin?
Oxytocin is a powerful hormone. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels drive up. It also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. In fact, the hormone plays a huge role in pair bonding. Prairie voles, one of nature's most monogamous species, produce oxytocin in spades. This hormone is also greatly stimulated during sex, birth, breast feeding, and the list goes on.
Social behavior and wound healing: Oxytocin is also thought to modulate inflammation by decreasing certain cytokines. Thus, the increased release in oxytocin following positive social interactions has the potential to improve wound healing. A study by Marazziti and colleagues used heterosexual couples to address this possibility. They found increases in plasma oxytocin following a social interaction were correlated with faster wound healing. They hypothesized this was due to oxytocin reducing inflammation, thus allowing the wound to heal faster. This study provides preliminary evidence that positive social interactions may directly impact aspects of health.
Increasing trust and reducing fear: In a risky investment game, experimental subjects given nasally administered oxytocin displayed "the highest level of trust" twice as often as the control group. Subjects who were told they were interacting with a computer showed no such reaction, leading to the conclusion that oxytocin was not merely affecting risk-aversion. Nasally administered oxytocin has also been reported to reduce fear, possibly by inhibiting the amygdala (which is thought to be responsible for fear responses). Indeed, studies in rodents have shown oxytocin can efficiently inhibit fear responses by activating an inhibitory circuit within the amygdala. Some researchers have argued oxytocin has a general enhancing effect on all social emotions, since intranasal administration of oxytocin also increases envy and Schadenfreude.
If cupid had studied neuroscience, he’d know to aim his arrows at the brain rather than the heart. Recent research suggests that for love to last, it’s best he dip those arrows in oxytocin. Although scientists have long known that this hormone is essential for monogamous rodents to stay true to their mates, and that it makes humans more trusting toward one another, they are now finding that it is also crucial to how we form and maintain romantic relationships.
Research shows that men tend to withdraw during conflict with their mate, which leads to a breakdown in communication and relationship dissatisfaction on both sides. Ditzen thinks the higher emotional arousal that oxytocin-infused men experience in her experiment may result in more engagement with their partner and thus more communication.
But the warm fuzzy side of oxytocin isn't the whole story. "Quite a number of studies have shown it's actually not that simple," says Andrew Kemp of the University of Sydney, who cowrote the paper with his colleague Adam Guastella. Recent studies have found that people who were given oxytocin, then played a game of chance with a fake opponent, had more envy and gloating. These are also both social emotions, but they're negative. "It kind of rocked the research world a little bit," Kemp says. That led some researchers to think that oxytocin promotes social emotions in general, both negative and positive.
If Kemp and Guastella are right, that could mean that oxytocin could also increase anger and other negative approach-related emotions. That could have important implications for people who are studying how to use oxytocin as a psychiatric treatment. "If you were to take a convicted criminal with a tendency towards aggression and give him oxytocin to make him more social, and if that were to enhance anger as opposed to suppressing anger, then that has very substantial implications," Kemp says.
Originally posted by littled16
reply to post by MDDoxs
Interesting drug! I'm of the opinion that if a couple needs a drug in order to stay together it probably wasn't meant to be and the drug would just be postponing the inevitable. Relationships aren't always "wine and roses" and in this day of instant gratification a lot of people will just throw in the towel rather than work through the tough times. In those cases it probably wasn't true, deep love to begin with. People who are in love deep within their souls realize that working through the tough times together brings them closer and makes the relationship stronger.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Liquid Love And A Drug: Oxytocin Vs Oxycontin
Oxytocin is sometimes called a natural love whereas oxycontin is a drug similar to morphine associated with the death of DJ AM.
Oxytocin is a hormone that plays a role in bonding, orgasms, trust, and maternal instincts. One way to activate the hormone is through love-making.
Morally speaking, we are changing the variables involved within a relationship and potentially keeping couples together that were never meant to be. I can only speculate that a possible result further down the line would be mental breakdowns or violence. I can refer to the analogy of suppressing all your troubles until you erupt.
So... my point would be that human relationships are already taken too lightly and commitments today are basically worthless to begin with. Factor in those pharmaceuticals and the who thing becomes a rat trap with no escape.