Oxytocin is a hormone which plays an important part in labour, delivery and breastfeeding and it also plays a role in promoting trust, love and social recognition. Recently psychologists have become interested in using oxtyocin to treat autism. Dr Adam Guastella from the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney studied the effects of oxytocin on adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). They gave half of them an oxytocin nasal spray and half a placebo. The participants were also asked to complete a facial expression task that measured how well they recognised emotions. The study found that the participants were better at recognising emotions after they had received the oxytocin spray.
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