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Altruism and Altruistic LoveScience, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue$
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Stephen G. Post, Lynn G. Underwood, Jeffrey P. Schloss, and William B. Hurlbut

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 November 2019

Implications for the Neurobiology of Love

Implications for the Neurobiology of Love

Chapter:
(p.254) 14 Implications for the Neurobiology of Love
Source:
Altruism and Altruistic Love
Author(s):

Thomas R. Insel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.003.0022

Monogamous mammals are found in many different taxa and in diverse environments. There are two neuropeptide hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin. These two are found exclusively in mammals, but they belong to a family of structurally related neuropeptides implicated in sociosexual behaviors of reptiles, amphibia, and birds. All neurohormones act via specific receptors. After it is released from nerve endings the hormone binds to receptors that initiate a series of intracellular events. There are few genomic differences between prairie and montane voles. Humans have oxytocin and vasopressin; both hormones are released during copulation. We cannot say that attachment or altruism in humans involves oxytocin and vasopressin, the phylogenetic tradition is impressive. Hormones from the hypothalamus, like oxytocin and vasopressin, may modify human behavior, but due to the dominance of the cortex, intellectual, spiritual, and cultural influences ultimately may determine human attachments independent of hormonal state.

Keywords:   monogamous mammals, oxytocin, vasopressin, neurohormones, prairie, montane voles, copulation

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