Article

Promoting social behavior with oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Centre de Neuroscience Cognitive, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5229, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 69675 Bron, France.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 02/2010; 107(9):4389-94. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910249107
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Social adaptation requires specific cognitive and emotional competences. Individuals with high-functioning autism or with Asperger syndrome cannot understand or engage in social situations despite preserved intellectual abilities. Recently, it has been suggested that oxytocin, a hormone known to promote mother-infant bonds, may be implicated in the social deficit of autism. We investigated the behavioral effects of oxytocin in 13 subjects with autism. In a simulated ball game where participants interacted with fictitious partners, we found that after oxytocin inhalation, patients exhibited stronger interactions with the most socially cooperative partner and reported enhanced feelings of trust and preference. Also, during free viewing of pictures of faces, oxytocin selectively increased patients' gazing time on the socially informative region of the face, namely the eyes. Thus, under oxytocin, patients respond more strongly to others and exhibit more appropriate social behavior and affect, suggesting a therapeutic potential of oxytocin through its action on a core dimension of autism.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Tiziana Zalla, Nov 29, 2014
3 Followers
 · 
185 Views
  • Source
    • "was the weather like ? ) . The number of the throws to the PosC face and to the NegC face has been used as measures of induced prosocial behaviour . The perform - ance on this task has already been shown to be corre - lated with social preference and prosocial behaviour [ Andari et al . , 2010 ; Riem et al . , 2013 ] ."
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A deficit in empathy has been suggested to underlie social behavioural atypicalities in autism. A parallel theoretical account proposes that reduced social motivation (i.e., low responsivity to social rewards) can account for the said atypicalities. Recent evidence suggests that autistic traits modulate the link between reward and proxy metrics related to empathy. Using an evaluative conditioning paradigm to associate high and low rewards with faces, a previous study has shown that individuals high in autistic traits show reduced spontaneous facial mimicry of faces associated with high vs. low reward. This observation raises the possibility that autistic traits modulate the magnitude of evaluative conditioning. To test this, we investigated (a) if autistic traits could modulate the ability to implicitly associate a reward value to a social stimulus (reward learning/conditioning, using the Implicit Association Task, IAT); (b) if the learned association could modulate participants' prosocial behaviour (i.e., social reciprocity, measured using the cyberball task); (c) if the strength of this modulation was influenced by autistic traits. In 43 neurotypical participants, we found that autistic traits moderated the relationship of social reward learning on prosocial behaviour but not reward learning itself. This evidence suggests that while autistic traits do not directly influence social reward learning, they modulate the relationship of social rewards with prosocial behaviour. Autism Res 2015. © 2015 The Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research. © 2015 The Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research.
    Autism Research 08/2015; DOI:10.1002/aur.1523 · 4.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Nonetheless, there is great interest in oxytocin's potential to improve social cognition as well as promote pro-social behavior. Because of these potential effects, oxytocin is currently being tested as an adjunct treatment for disorders characterized by social deficits, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia (Andaria et al., 2010; Feifel et al., 2010; reviewed in Bakermans- Kranenburg and van I Jzendoorn, 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hormones have nuanced effects on learning and memory processes. The degree and direction of the effect (e.g., is memory impaired or enhanced?) depends on the dose, type and stage of memory, and type of material being learned, among other factors. This review will focus on two specific topics within the realm of effects of hormones on memory: (1) How glucocorticoids (the output hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) affect long-term memory consolidation, retrieval, and working memory, with a focus on neural mechanisms and effects of emotion; and (2) How oxytocin affects memory, with emphasis on a speculative hypothesis that oxytocin might exert its myriad effects on human social cognition and behavior via impacts on more general cognitive processes. Oxytocin-glucocorticoid interactions will be briefly addressed. These effects of hormones on memory will also be considered from an evolutionary perspective.
    06/2015; 1(2). DOI:10.1007/s40750-014-0010-4
  • Source
    • "In addition, this technique avoids muscle artifacts, including eyes movements (Sperling, 1997). We used the modified version of the 'Euro Cyberball' task (van Beest and Williams, 2006; Andari et al., 2010), a computer ball-tossing game with two additional fictitious players, that subjects believed they were real. Subjects played in two games. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social pain after exclusion by others activates brain regions also involved in physical pain. Here we evaluated whether monetary reward could compensate for the negative feeling of social pain in the brain. To address this question we used the unique technique of intracranial electroencephalography in subjects with drug resistant epilepsy. Specifically, we recorded theta activity from intracranial electrodes implanted in the insular cortex while subjects experienced conditions of social inclusion and exclusion associated with monetary gain and loss. Our study confirmed that theta rhythm in the insular cortex is the neural signature of social exclusion. We found that while a monetary gain suppresses the effect of social pain in the anterior insula, there is no such effect in the posterior insula. These results imply that the anterior insula can use secondary reward signals to compensate for the negative feeling of social pain. HENCE, HERE WE PROPOSE THAT THE ANTERIOR INSULA PLAYS A PIVOTAL ROLE IN INTEGRATING CONTINGENCIES TO UPDATE SOCIAL PAIN FEELINGS: Finally, the possibility to modulate the theta rhythm through the reward system might open new avenues of research for treating pathologies related to social exclusion. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 05/2015; DOI:10.1093/scan/nsv054 · 5.88 Impact Factor
Show more