What is oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a neuromodulatory neuropeptide that is important for the correct processing of emotional stimuli in a social context. It has been proposed that difficulties in social cognition in schiozphrenia and other disorders such as autism, are underpinned by disruption in the dopaminergic/oxytonergic circuitry linked to socio-emotional processing. Oxytocin has been linked to prosocial behaviours in some studies, but not in others. So, oxytocin effects may be moderated by features of the social environment or individual differences.

What is the evidence for the efficacy of adjunctive oxytocin?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests adjunctive oxytocin may have a small to medium-sized benefit for improving symptoms. Low quality evidence is unable to determine any benefit of oxytocin for social cognition.

March 2019

Last updated at: 12:09 am, 21st March 2019
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.