BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6958 (Published 07 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6958

Men’s memories about their mothers’ affection during childhood may be reinforced by giving them oxytocin. Adult men completed questionnaires about childhood maternal care and these recollections were monitored over time as they were given doses of oxytocin or placebo. For those whose memories invoked anxiety, oxytocin seemed to amplify their pre-existing perceptions, whereas those with fond memories grew fonder with oxytocin. The researchers don’t know if the drug increases the ability to recall maternal care or whether it triggers a biased search for memories that support pre-existing beliefs (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 2010, doi:10.1073/pnas.1012669107).

Oxytocin is also given intravenously to women undergoing caesarean delivery to prevent postpartum bleeds caused by uterine atony. Researchers conducted a prospective, randomised, double blind controlled trial of adding a bolus of oxytocin to …

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