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A 6 page research paper describing the purposes and effects of oxytocin. Oxytocin is one of two hormones produced in the hypothalamus and released by the pituatary glands. It is called the "touch hormone" because it has been found to be associated with the bonding that occurs between mother and child. Studies using this hormone in inducing labor are reported. Bibliography is included.

Page Count:

6 pages (~225 words per page)

File: D0_Oxytocin.doc

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

lobe, a downward extension of the hypothalamus. From there it is released into the circulation. It is also made in the corpus luteum (the "white body" formed in the ovary immediately after ovulation), in the uterus, the placenta, the amniotic sac which surrounds the developing embryo, and in males, the testis (Egan 1996). Oxytocin has been found to be responsible for bonding between mothers and babies, lactation, uterine contractions during and after childbirth (Colliers Encyclopedia 1996). The greatest amount of research on oxytocin has been conducted in pre- and post-natal environments. The greatest amount of publicity for this hormone has been in the realm of romantic love. An article by Sharon Brownlee in U.S. World and News Reports reported that biologists found that oxytocin probably helps fuel romantic love. Brain chemicals, such as oxytocin, that blunt pain and bring about euphoric feelings may also make people feel good in the company of lovers. It is known that there are other mammals that have the same neural and chemical pathways involved in human love (Brownlee, 1997). Of course, we do not know if these other species feel the same kind of heart-stopping flutters humans experience but we do know other species demonstrate devotion and caring for each other. With any species, a baby first feels love from its mother. In fact, for mammalian young to survive, mothers must invest a lot of time and energy in them. The different growth and maturity rates between the species require some mothers to invest more time and energy than others. An elephant seal, for instance, suckles her pup for only a few weeks before abandoning it. A kangaroo carries her joey around for two years, at which time the youngster isnt even able to get all his legs in the ...

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