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    oxytocin surge at dusk

    Gray wolves and prairie voles...

    Prairie voles are rare among mice for their "faithful marriages" (pair bonding, mongamy, and joint rasing of the young). Other voles and mice exhibit none of those traits. Tom Insel has done some fascinating experiments to genetically regulate the number of oxytocin and vasopressin receptors (which link to the D2 dopamine receptors associated with drug addiction) in the vole brain. Mating causes a release of both hormones, but the right receptors have to be in the brain for the pair-bonding to follow.

    In short, Tom was able to switch monogamy on and off. Monogamy may boil down to the length of a DNA sequence in a promoter switch at the front of a particular receptor gene.

    jmeoli_sya, born1945, vennettaj, and 17 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. solerena 44 months ago | reply

      She looks cute sleeping, not obvious that he is yawning... great photo, wish could take it…

    2. vennettaj 44 months ago | reply

      dh -- why did you do this to those people..

      i'm not sure what u are saying..i guess they will have to keep on receiving it...and actually some things don't wear come some toxins stay in the system..ahm..'xcuse me..i understand nothing of medicine..
      and don't give them ideas about the Prozac and fidelity .. helping depression was perhaps a side effect( i'm not really sure)...there might be more side effects..that you haven't noticed :p

    3. Dr DAD (Daniel A D'Auria MD) 44 months ago | reply

      Certainlly Dave I think that my statement was a gross oversimplification. I don't believe that any human complex emotion or characteristic is completely governed by one neurotransmitter or neuronal pathway. One cannot argue with the vole study that Steve is referring to. When it comes to the medications we prescribe (and some of us take) every day...their approved actions were likely found serendipitously as side effects when studying them for other potential uses (case in point, Viagra). The fact that very few medications work the same way on everyone is proof that these physiologic issues are more complex and genetically varied. My point was simply that at some future date, couples might choose to improve their potential for a long term monogamous relationship through medical therapy, much as many now choose to treat depression or hypertension. Just food for thought......

    4. vennettaj 44 months ago | reply

      lol... #3 and #4 are my favorite..
      hm..this is not simplification i guess :D
      depression is not fun..but i do think it can turn into a triend/fashion if there is too much help available...on the other hand, help available is, i'm confused..

    5. Dr DAD (Daniel A D'Auria MD) 44 months ago | reply

      After 20 years in practice I have to agree with much of what you said. In fact perhaps one of the things that keeps me sane is knowing that I have the ability to "change or update my reality" and continue becoming the person that I am. Part of that is achieved through "a better education", though winning the lottery wouldn't hurt. A change in personality comes with the reality that we can look forward to other things in life besides the daily drudgery. To some extent we can always effect the outcomes of our actions by way of the decisions we make though the environment will always contribute something. And last but not least, a good kick in the ass always helps you reorient. I've had many, in fact, isn't that what a wife is for?? =O

    6. Dr DAD (Daniel A D'Auria MD) 44 months ago | reply

      Hey Steve, it really is a good photo!!! =)

    7. Dr DAD (Daniel A D'Auria MD) 44 months ago | reply

      Bachelor at 54! I'm envious! Two wives and 4 kids later I still have not learned a few things!
      Truthfully thought, I would not have traded a second. Not the good or the bad, and certianly not the kids!

    8. Eppie 44 months ago | reply

      ok, so what might this say about humans? Could some people be genetically programmed to be monogamous and others not? I find myself imagining the world divided into two different kinds of hemispheres. Say some kind of volatile land of those who are not - all having a great time that lasts only briefly. And a static land of those who are and who enjoy the sense of security in the long term. Each creating a very different kind of systemic reality.

    9. Eppie 44 months ago | reply

      Oh and great picture, by the way!

    10. solerena 44 months ago | reply

      You always make perfect sense, Eppie:) – although - nobody has a real sense of security in the long term… (in terms of job, money, family, love, life, planet) we just want to think that we do.

    11. jurvetson 44 months ago | reply

      Whoa - that was deep. And we all want to think we will have symbolic immortality... But delusion and luck save some of us surely!

      Dave-h: I love the discussion. No need to worry about that. And everyone in my wife's side of the family is a psychiatrist too... So it's kinda special for me to lurk on all this

    12. tonyjurvetson 44 months ago | reply

      For those that are lacking in trusting relationships, you can now purchase a two month supply of liquid Oxytocin trust spray spray for $49.95 from

      The company warns: "We are strongly opposed to the use of Liquid Trust or any other thing for immoral or manipulative purposes. We truly hope that you will only use our products when you have only the best intentions in mind."

      So not fair spraying yourself and catching voles or hanging out with wolves.

    13. Eppie 44 months ago | reply

      Mr. Jurvetson, what an interesting contribution! And I too am wondering if it's for real! It sure looks like it is. What a hoot!

      On a more serious note, when people become too focused on creating artificial chemistry, it would seem that the natural chemistry that enables people to find their "perfect" matches gets obscured. As far as I know (and it sure fits with my experiences) when we find the "right one" for us - which involves discovering other areas of compatibility of course - things like body scent serve as a stimulant, rather than a repellant. Nothing better than smelling your man after a hard days work (unless it was somehow frightening or stressful, or if the person has poor dietary habits - too much meat and not enough veggies). The deodorant is for others, not for the woman.

      So, no... I would think that such a product would seem to promote something that works directly against the whole idea of creating trust, as the warning itself seems to make clear.

    14. vennettaj 44 months ago | reply you go...the product is out there...
      and yeah, use within your own's pretty broad..

    15. solerena 44 months ago | reply

      Oh, sounds funny:) not sure if dogs would trust this spray, they like more stinky smells, judging by our dog:) Wonder if they let women smell the spray also…

    16. tonyjurvetson 44 months ago | reply

      Interesting studies on trust in the bottle:
      Jorge D. Flechas, MD discusses Oxytocin;
      I wonder if Bernie Madoff used this product? George Busch? The mind boggles, with elections coming in November.

    17. solerena 44 months ago | reply

      Interesting research, people should agree to use it (it should be illegal otherwise) - although it is not just a light spray, they have to put couple spoons of this staff in your nose. Not sure it is a good strategy in elections:) might helps some people to relax some in other circumstances...

    18. vennettaj 44 months ago | reply

      scary :)
      the guy in the third video convinced me it's produced in the retina :p

    19. laurielabar 43 months ago | reply

      wonderful, wonderful capture. Congrats~

      The pair... ~ A Gorgeous Shot
      I saw this in the QEMD "Finch" Group

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