Effects of oxytocin on the amygdala during social and anxiety responses

Effects of oxytocin on the amygdala during social and anxiety responses

Student: 
Rosanna Sobota '14
Sponsor: 
Dr. Steven Siegel
Department: 
Psychiatry
School: 
Medicine

This project investigated the effects of oxytocin on social behavior and amygdala activity in a ketamine model of schizophrenia. We found that social interaction deficits caused by ketamine could not be rescued by oxytocin, but among control mice oxytocin treatment increased social interaction and decreased amygdala activation. This indicates that ketamine and oxytocin may affect social behavior via two distinct pathways. Ketamine may instead be reducing social drive by inhibiting the reward associated with social interaction. The figure shows a comparison of amygdala activity during a social choice and nonsocial choice in control mice.