Psychopharmacology

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 71–74 | Cite as

Low doses of oxytocin facilitate social recognition in rats

  • Piotr Popik
  • Jerzy Vetulani
  • Jan M. van Ree
Original Investigations

Abstract

Social recognition of juveniles by adult male residents has been shown to be modulated by neurohypophyseal hormones. The decrease of social investigation behavior during a second encounter with the same juvenile serves as index for social recognition. In the present study it was found that low doses (0.09–6.0 ng · kg−1) of oxytocin (OXT) given subcutaneously dose dependently facilitated social recognition. The effect of OXT appeared specific, since no change in social investigation was found when a novel juvenile was tested during the second encounter. No disturbances of social recognition by the low doses of OXT could be detected, in contrast to higher doses of this hormone. Other neurohypophyseal hormones, vasopressin and vasotocin, did not facilitate social recognition when tested in the same range of low doses.

Key words

Oxytocin Social memory Social recognition Memory facilitation Neuropeptides 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piotr Popik
    • 1
  • Jerzy Vetulani
    • 1
  • Jan M. van Ree
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Rudolf Magnus InstituteUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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