A group of researchers from the Louisiana State University (LSU) believes it has identified a hormone linked to maternal instinct. According to the researchers, who published their work on PLOS ONE, it would in fact be oxytocin, already referred to as “the love hormone,” to play a very important role in maternal behavior.
This substance, present in the brain, has already attracted scientific attention in recent years as it is considered for treatments against many mental health disorders, including anxiety, as well as postpartum depression and autism spectrum disorders. The researchers found that certain cells activated precisely by oxytocin a particular area of the brain of female mice do not have a counterpart in the same area of male brain matter.
According to the researchers, this specific area of the brain is involved in the regulation of maternal behavior.
And they are convinced, among other things, that there is also a connection between altered expression of oxytocin receptors and postpartum depression, a period of depression after childbirth that has significant negative impacts not only on the sea but also on the child.
“Many scientists have attempted to study the difference between the oxytocin system in females compared to males, but so far no one has managed to find real evidence. Our discovery was a great surprise,” says Ryoichi Teruyama, a professor at LSU.
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