I recently read your article Oxytocin: The Hormone that Binds. This bonding molecule and its withdrawal effects can be so severe. Have there been any studies on how Oxytocin or withdrawal from it affects the levels of other similar hormones such as serotonin, epinephrine, etc? It seems like the detoxing process is just as bad if not worse than hardcore drugs such as Vicodin, cocaine, heroin, or morphine, at least from an emotional/ psychological perspective.
It's been almost 2 years since I came out of this very bad, painful "relationship" with a girl. I say "relationship" because it was strictly a sexual and logically I knew it was never going to lead to anything serious but my emotions said otherwise. After such a long time I feel like I am still in detox mode.
Entries in fMRI (7)
Some women, though not many, have reported that they can achieve an orgasm simply by having their breasts and nipples stimulated. The idea of a woman experiencing orgasm without any genital touching whatsoever might seem perplexing, but new research suggests that there is actually a sound biological basis for it.
To determine how the brain processes physical touch, researchers used a soft bristled brush to caress participants’ arms at either a quick or a slow pace. MRI scans of participants’ brains revealed activity in the insula, a region of the brain associated with emotional responses, during the slow, sensual strokes. Brain activity was similar when participants watched someone else receive slow strokes, but not when touch was directed toward inanimate objects.
Morrison, I., Björnsdotter, M., & Olausson, H. (2011). Vicarious responses to social touch in posterior insular cortex are tuned to pleasant caressing speeds. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(26), 9554-9562.
Researchers recently made 17 women hot…by applying intense heat to their forearms. Women felt less pain when looking at pictures of romantic partners versus when looking at strangers or other objects. Brain scans taken during the heat exposure indicated that parts of the brain associated with safety were more active in the partner condition, whereas areas associated with pain were less active, especially when women were in longer relationships or with particularly supportive partners.
Some research is just too cool; here’s a now classic study worth sharing.
For a long time scientists have been curious about the link between empathy and pain. In particular, people use so-called “mirror neurons” to help interpret what others are experiencing, to help remember their own experiences, and to help predict or imagine the past or future.
Perhaps when Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses wrote “Don’t Cry,” he was really protecting his libido. First, researchers collected tears of women who watched sad movies. Later, males who smelled the tears had decreased testosterone and found pictures of females less appealing. fMRI scans of males’ brain activity after smelling tears revealed that males' brains had less activity in regions associated with sexual arousal, which suggests that odorless tears contain a chemical signal that men unconsciously detect.
Gelstein, S., Yeshurun, Y., Rozenkrantz, L., Shushan, S., Frumin, I., Roth, Y., & Sobel, N. (2011). Humans tears contain a chemosignal. Science, 331 (6014), 226-230. doi: 10.1126/science.1198331
A new study highlights the similarities between physical pain and social rejection. When recently dumped individuals were asked to view a picture of their ex, an fMRI scan revealed that their brain was active in the same areas that process physical pain.