Submitter Withdrawn The International Congress of Neuroendocrinology 2014

Oxytocin, wealth, and education: Social environment predicts neuropeptide levels related to a measure of dominance (#296)

Teofilo L Reyes 1 2 , Martha K McClintock 1 2
  1. Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
  2. Institute for Mind and Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) play important roles modulating trust, prosocial approach, and aggression behaviors. Early social environment has been found to impact development of the neuroendocrine delivery system, and higher social-status, measured by wealth, has been associated with reduced empathy and allocooperative behavior. In humans, the social role of OT and AVP has been examined primarily in small convenience samples in the laboratory. We examined urinary OT and AVP in a large sample of older community dwelling adults representative of the US population (57 – 85 years of age, N = 1882; National Social Life, Health and Aging Project) to examine the relationship between early social environment using college attendance as a proxy, social status measured by household income, and OT and AVP levels. OT and AVP levels were higher at higher incomes, but only in men who did not attend college. Higher OT levels were associated with greater number of offspring in socially secure women who did not attend college, suggesting that social status does have a role to play in the expression of neuroendocrine hormones tied to allocooperative behavior.