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Just been listening to Dr Paul Zak who has been doing much of the recent research in oxytocin, trust, social phobic anxiety etc.

Interesting...He finds that oxytocin is not "stored" but made immediately as and when the person or animal encounters triggers for its release. Also, he finds that not only is there variation between people in their release of oxytocin, but, also in their ability to be affected by it. He suspects that some people may have less or impaired receptors for oxytocin, so, even if these people enounter triggers, and then release oxytocin, it may not be able to exert quite the same or as strong an effect.

Using my own personal experience, I would suggest to researchers, that they study if there are differences in these less receptive people depending on the trigger??? There are many triggers;

birth/labour

breast feeding

hugs/touch/massage

sex

care and attention/assistence from carers, non-threatening eye contact

petting animals and caring for animals

I suspect, there will be differences....In ASDs maybe infants are less able to use oxytocin from the parental care per se, or maybe because sensory issues make it uncomfortable. But, maybe as their nervous system develops they might then be more able, but, unfortunately, their short history has already changed the way carers interact with them, and also they have conditioned associations that still make them less inclined to elicit parental care, attention, touch...

I suspect, the triggers could be put into groups..

eg, biological triggers that are older in evolutionary terms, such as birth, breastfeeding  and sex.

social triggers that maybe less old in evolutionary terms, such as, shared attention, care, eye contact, talking, singing...

And maybe an inbetween category?? Maybe social grooming that is physical, and also taking care of pets??

Just exploring thoughts, I hope this is part of what blogs are for??

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