Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Oxytocin may improve autism

I have done a large number of posts on behavioral effects of oxytocin, the 'trust hormone', notably in human studies that use an oxytocin inhaler (enter oxytocin in the blog search box in the left column to display them).  Recent studies are now suggesting that when some autistic people (who have difficulty interacting with others) inhale oxytocin, they began looking at people in the eye and recognizing social concepts like fairness in a computer game.


  1. Oxytocin is triggered by body contact and is released by new mothers. Even better than the chemical form, I wonder if love in terms of real felt hugs would makes autistic people improve.

  2. Oxytocin versus autism: A cure for altruism?

    “...According to Andari et al. (in press), autistics "cannot understand or engage in social situations," as evidenced by autistics' outstandingly altruistic performance in this game. It is this profound social deficit, this altruistic autistic behaviour, that was targeted for treatment.”

    “...And indeed, the treatment was successful. Autistics randomly administered a nasal mist containing oxytocin, rather than a saline placebo, significantly "improved". ... They learned and displayed selfishness and hypocrisy and us-vs-them thinking. Their objectivity, fairness, and altruism were--temporarily--cured.”