5 years ago

Electrophysiological correlates of oxytocin-induced enhancement of social performance monitoring.

Ruissen, de Bruijn, Radke
Altered performance monitoring has been demonstrated after administration of different pharmacological compounds and in various clinical populations, such as excessive neurophysiological responses to mistakes in anxiety disorders. Here, a novel social pharmacological approach was applied to investigate whether oxytocin administration (24 IU) enhances performance monitoring for errors that have negative consequences for another individual, so-called social mistakes. Healthy male volunteers (N = 24) participated in a placebo-controlled crossover design. EEG measures were obtained while pairs of participants performed a speeded choice reaction-time task in an individual and social context. Following oxytocin administration, error-related negativity amplitudes were increased for social compared with individual mistakes. This increase was not found in the placebo condition. No effects of oxytocin were present in the individual context. The current study shows that oxytocin enhances performance monitoring specifically for social mistakes. This outcome is in line with a presumed role for oxytocin in salience attribution to social cues and underlines its context-dependency. Combining these processes may thus open up new research avenues and advance our understanding of individual differences in performance monitoring and oxytocin responses from a social neurocognitive, pharmacological and clinical perspective.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsx094

DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsx094

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