Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2010 Jun 11;328(5984):1408-11. doi: 10.1126/science.1189047.

The neuropeptide oxytocin regulates parochial altruism in intergroup conflict among humans.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 15, 1018 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands. c.k.w.dedreu@uva.nl

Abstract

Humans regulate intergroup conflict through parochial altruism; they self-sacrifice to contribute to in-group welfare and to aggress against competing out-groups. Parochial altruism has distinct survival functions, and the brain may have evolved to sustain and promote in-group cohesion and effectiveness and to ward off threatening out-groups. Here, we have linked oxytocin, a neuropeptide produced in the hypothalamus, to the regulation of intergroup conflict. In three experiments using double-blind placebo-controlled designs, male participants self-administered oxytocin or placebo and made decisions with financial consequences to themselves, their in-group, and a competing out-group. Results showed that oxytocin drives a "tend and defend" response in that it promoted in-group trust and cooperation, and defensive, but not offensive, aggression toward competing out-groups.

Comment in

PMID:
20538951
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk