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ID 2384

Dopamine, Oxytocin, Rewards, and Bonding

Doctor Larry Young discusses how dopamine and oxytocin interact in the reward and reinforcement parts of the brain to help form social bonds.
We know that dopamine is involved in reward and reinforcement, and we know that the dopamine system is activated during social interactions or mating. We also know that the dopamine system is interacting with the oxytocin system to promote the pair bond formation. So for example if you block dopamine, a female will not bond with a male or a male will not bond with a female. Simply by blocking that dopamine input, even oxytocin can’t stimulate the bond; blocking oxytocin receptors will also block the bond formation. Even dopamine can’t stimulate the bond. But if you have both acting at the same time to sort of activate the social aspects and the reward aspects, then it comes together to form a bond which is a preference to interact with another individual.
dopamine, oxytocin, reward, bond, receptor, reinforcement, larry, young
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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