Oxytocin Modulation of Neural Circuits

  • Mariela Mitre
  • Jessica Minder
  • Egzona X. Morina
  • Moses V. Chao
  • Robert C. Froemke
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 35)


Oxytocin is a hypothalamic neuropeptide first recognized as a regulator of parturition and lactation which has recently gained attention for its ability to modulate social behaviors. In this chapter, we review several aspects of the oxytocinergic system, focusing on evidence for release of oxytocin and its receptor distribution in the cortex as the foundation for important networks that control social behavior. We examine the developmental timeline of the cortical oxytocin system as demonstrated by RNA, autoradiographic binding, and protein immunohistochemical studies, and describe how that might shape brain development and behavior. Many recent studies have implicated oxytocin in cognitive processes such as processing of sensory stimuli, social recognition, social memory, and fear. We review these studies and discuss the function of oxytocin in the young and adult cortex as a neuromodulator of central synaptic transmission and mediator of plasticity.


Cortex Inhibition Neuromodulation Oxytocin Synaptic plasticity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariela Mitre
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jessica Minder
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Egzona X. Morina
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Moses V. Chao
    • 1
    • 3
  • Robert C. Froemke
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Otolaryngology, Neuroscience and PhysiologyNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Cell Biology, PsychiatryNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Center for Neural ScienceNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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