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Soc Neurosci. 2015;10(5):450-65. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2015.1087875. Epub 2015 Sep 18.

Autism: Oxytocin, serotonin, and social reward.

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a Department of Neuroscience, Brain Science Institute, Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities , Johns Hopkins University , Baltimore , MD , USA.


Over 70 years since the first description of the disease, disrupted social behavior remains a core clinical feature of autistic spectrum disorder. The complex etiology of the disorder portends the need for a better understanding of the brain mechanisms that enable social behaviors, particularly those that are relevant to autism which is characterized by a failure to develop peer relationships, difficulty with emotional reciprocity and imitative play, and disrupted language and communication skills. Toward this end, the current review will examine recent progress that has been made toward understanding the neural mechanisms underlying consociate social attachments.


Autism; Nucleus accumbens; Oxytocin; Plasticity; Reward; Serotonin; Social

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