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Sniff and mimic - Intranasal oxytocin increases facial mimicry in a sample of men.

Korb, Sebastian and Malsert, Jennifer and Strathearn, Lane and Vuilleumier, Patrik and Niedenthal, Paula (2016) 'Sniff and mimic - Intranasal oxytocin increases facial mimicry in a sample of men.' Hormones and Behaviour, 84. 64 - 74. ISSN 0018-506X

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Abstract

The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has many potential social benefits. For example, intranasal administration of OT appears to trigger caregiving behavior and to improve the recognition of emotional facial expressions. But the mechanism for these effects is not yet clear. Recent findings relating OT to action imitation and to the visual processing of the eye region of faces point to mimicry as a mechanism through which OT improves processing of emotional expression. To test the hypothesis that increased levels of OT in the brain enhance facial mimicry, 60 healthy male participants were administered, in a double-blind between-subjects design, 24 international units (IUs) of OT or placebo (PLA) through nasal spray. Facial mimicry and emotion judgments were recorded in response to movie clips depicting changing facial expressions. As expected, facial mimicry was increased in the OT group, but effects were strongest for angry infant faces. These findings provide further evidence for the importance of OT in social cognitive skills, and suggest that facial mimicry mediates the effects of OT on improved emotion recognition.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Oxytocin, Facial Expression, Administration, Intranasal, Double-Blind Method, Imitative Behavior, Emotions, Social Perception, Adult, Male, Young Adult
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 19:49
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 19:49
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29727

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