Table 5.

Actions of oxytocin on behaviors in different species

BehaviorsSpeciesReference Nos.
RatMousePrairie voleSheepHuman
Maternal behavior(↑)?? 163,256, 289, 367, 440, 441, 599, 616
Female sexual behavior↑ or ↓ 13, 87,122, 256, 288, 416, 599, 601
Male sexual behavior↑ or ↓? 21, 24, 90-92, 286, 356, 416,537, 599
Female affiliative behavior?? 256, 286, 416,593
Male affiliative behavior↑ or ↔?? 111, 256, 416, 602, 613
(Auto)grooming(↑)?(↑) 83,127, 140, 324, 356, 375, 568, 600, 602
Social memory? 94, 125, 137, 154,256, 286, 459, 598
Male aggression?↑ or ↔?? 130, 286, 356, 597, 613
Female aggression↑ or ↓??? 172, 213, 286,600
Nociception?? 27,350, 606
Anxiety??? 368,371, 566, 595
Feeding???? 25, 26, 382, 574,576
Memory and learning↑ or ↓?? 56, 60, 76, 133, 134, 155, 170, 310,431
Tolerance to opiates??? 313, 498
  • The effects of oxytocin on behaviors are indicated as follows: ↑, increase; ↔, no effect; ↓, decrease; ?, unknown. Symbols in parentheses indicate a weak effect or a slight tendency to a decrease (↓) or increase (↑) (for details, see the indicated references and additional references in the text). [Modified from Kendrick (286).]