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A large body of research has focused on the ability of oxytocin to facilitate social bonding in both marital and parenting relationships in human females.
Could this have implications for autism spectrum disorders?
Perhaps one of the most important discoveries from brain science. More engaged fathers have a dramatic effect on healthy child development.
The researchers found that after oxytocin administration, fathers’ salivary oxytocin rose dramatically, more than 10 fold, but moreover, similar increases were found in the infants’ oxytocin. In the oxytocin conditions, key parenting behavior, including father touch and social reciprocity, increased but infant social behavior, including social gaze and exploratory behavior, increased as well.