Oxytocin enhances the perception of biological motion in humans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence suggests that intranasally administered oxytocin modulates several social cognitive and emotional processes in humans. In this study, we investigated the effect of oxytocin on the perception of biological motion (a walking character) and nonbiological motion (a rotating shape). The participants were 20 healthy volunteers who observed moving dots embedded among a cloud of noise (mask) dots. Sensitivity (d') for motion detection was determined after the administration of oxytocin and placebo. The results showed that oxytocin (relative to placebo) administration increased sensitivity to biological motion but not to nonbiological motion. These results suggest that oxytocin specifically modulates the perception of socially relevant stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-241
Number of pages5
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this