Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Exploring a Hormone for Caring

One of the things that amazing about harmones is that levels get determined at such an early age and the body adapsts to these lower/different levels.


Exploring a Hormone for Caring


By NICHOLAS WADE

The lack of emotional care given to infants in some Romanian and Russian orphanages has provided researchers an opportunity to study the hormonal basis of the mother-child bond.

Researchers led by Seth D. Pollak of the University of Wisconsin have found that these children, even three and a half years after adoption into Wisconsin families, produce two critical hormones in a different pattern from children with traditional upbringings.

The hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, are small proteins produced by the pituitary gland in the center of the brain. Although they influence bodily functions like giving milk and the water balance, they also have a range of effects on social behavior, at least in laboratory rodents and monkeys."

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