Pro Social Behavior And Social Behaviour

1976 Words8 Pages
Pro-social behaviour can be defined as any behaviour which has the immediate goal of helping or benefiting others (Smith & Mackie, 2007). Two neuropeptides which have been closely connected to pro-social behaviour are oxytocin and vasopressin. Recent evidence has shown that these neuropeptides play an important role in mediating the regulation of social cognition and behaviours such as pair bonding, attachment and anxiety (Bartels & Zeki, 2004; Nagasawa, Okabe, Mogi, & Kikusui, 2012) Through the use of neuroimaging and other non-invasive techniques, such research can offer insight into the understanding of the mechanisms by which oxytocin and vasopressin contribute to pro-social behaviour and may also help to explain the neural systems of…show more content…
This type of parenting stimulates the child’s oxytocin system and causes them to seek more contact with their parents (Nagasawa, Okabe, Mogi & Kikusui, 2012). These findings suggest that there is a positive oxytocin feedback loop between the child and their key attachment figures, which is necessary for facilitating a successful attachment. For example Fieldman et al (2012) found that parents reporting more parental care in childhood have higher plasma oxytocin and provide more touch to their infants. Stimulation or blocking of the oxytocin receptors causes individual differences in parental behaviour. In research conducted by Donaldson & Young (2008) the infusion of oxytocin was found to stimulate maternal behaviour in virgin rats that would ordinarily ignore or attack their pups. On the other hand, oxytocin-receptor antagonists are known to reduce maternal behaviours. From the above analysis it is evident that oxytocin is the glue for parental bonding and can be seen to have a positive genetic impact on parenting and future attachments. Despite this, Mascaro, Hackett and Rilling (2013) note an alternative strategy for parental caregiving. In their study, it was found that higher testosterone levels and larger testes volume were correlated with a lack of paternal caregiving. When viewing images of their own child, it was shown that activation in a brain area associated with reward and motivation did predict paternal caregiving (Mascaro,
Open Document