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Oxytocin: How One Molecule Shapes Our Social Life
I like to think that I make decisions based on logic. Other people say they rely on their “gut feelings,” and yet others “follow their heart.” But what is really happening? Scientifically spea... king, what does your heart or your gut have to do with behaviour? And are you really in control of that head of yours? What if our decisions, our relationships, even our feelings of pain and our food cravings are in fact dependent on our brain chemistry? One culprit, for better or worse, in reinforcing human behaviour is Oxytocin. What is Oxytocin? It is a Neuropeptide [noor-oh-pep-tahyd] or a peptide (protein) produced by neural tissue, as a result of hormonal activity. This tiny little molecule affects: pain; rewards; food intake; metabolism; reproduction; social behaviour; learning; and memory functions. For something so tiny, Oxytocin has the capacity to alter our entire social world. This infographic shows how various scientific tests have determined the various ways that Oxytocin can act on our social behaviours, the creation and the preservation of relationships and even decision making. Oxytocin is the love, cuddle, moral, and group think hormone makes us who we are, for better and worse.
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