A new study has analyzed the development of oxytocin in the child’s body and the development that may be affected by the behavior of the mother. Oxytocin is an important hormone primarily related to social interactions and plays a role in many mammals. This same hormone can also be triggered by simple eye contact or touch, elaborating on confidence levels and relationships, as reported in a press release announcing research on the Max Planks Society website.
In a new epigenetic study conducted by Virginia University researchers Kathleen Kroll and Jessica Connelly, and Tobias Grossman of Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive Brain Science, the mother’s behavior itself is the development of the child’s oxytocin.
As Grossman himself explains, it is already known that oxytocin is involved in the child’s first social process and, in the long run, affects more complex later social behavior.
The same researcher explains the meaning of the research they have created. “Advances in molecular biology, especially epigenetics, have recently made it possible to study in detail the interaction between nature and reproduction, in this case, the care of children. This is exactly what we did here.”
The researchers analyzed various saliva samples collected from the 5-month mother and child, observing the free play interaction between the mother and the child themselves. According to Krol, the results show that the oxytocin receptor is essential for the hormone oxytocin to exert its effect and can determine the number of genes produced.
In general, the results of this study show that people do not interact simply based on genetics, but the same interactions are based on a balance between genetics and experience. This means that the first social interaction that a child may have, even a non-parent breeder, can strongly affect biological and psychological development through changes in oxytocin.
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