The late positive potential and subjective arousal ratings evoked by negative images vary as a function of oxytocin receptor genotype SNP rs53576

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Abstract

In the central nervous system the neuropeptide oxytocin mediates a range of behaviors related primarily to emotionality. One factor that influences oxytocinergic communication in the human brain and correlates with emotional behaviors is the single nucleotide polymorphism rs53576 on the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR). For example, variations in this OXTR genotype are related to parental, altruistic, and other prosocial behaviors. Electroencephalographic waveforms of visually evoked response potentials recorded at the midline parietal electrode site display a prominent component putatively involved with attention allocation called the late positive potential. The magnitude of the late positive potential was found to be significantly higher in homozygous G allele individuals compared with A allele carriers when viewing negative emotionally charged images. Inversely, A allele carriers rated these negative images as more arousing, when measured by the Self-Assessment Manikin rating scale. These data suggest that OXTR functioning contributes to visual processing and subjective experience of negative stimuli.

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