5 years ago

Sex-dependent neural effect of oxytocin during subliminal processing of negative emotion faces

In line with animal models indicating sexually dimorphic effects of oxytocin (OXT) on social-emotional processing, a growing number of OXT-administration studies in humans have also reported sex-dependent effects during social information processing. To explore whether sex-dependent effects already occur during early, subliminal, processing stages the present pharmacological fMRI-study combined the intranasal-application of either OXT or placebo (n = 86–43 males) with a backward-masking emotional face paradigm. Results showed that while OXT suppressed inferior frontal gyrus, dorsal anterior cingulate and anterior insula responses to threatening face stimuli in men it increased them in women. In women increased anterior cingulate reactivity during subliminal threat processing was also positively associated with trait anxiety. On the network level, sex-dependent effects were observed on amygdala, anterior cingulate and inferior frontal gyrus functional connectivity that were mainly driven by reduced coupling in women following OXT. Our findings demonstrate that OXT produces sex-dependent effects even at the early stages of social-emotional processing, and suggest that while it attenuates neural responses to threatening social stimuli in men it increases them in women. Thus in a therapeutic context OXT may potentially produce different effects on anxiety disorders in men and women.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1053811917307267

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.