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After my scientist friend flashed her new DNA earrings, I set out to investigate which accessories that reflected my research interests I could use to adorn myself. That’s when I came across the oxytocin necklace.
I purchased mine through the I Love Science Store, but the necklace is available on other sites as well.
You may be wondering, besides making for a really awesome statement piece, what exactly is oxytocin?
Oxytocin (OT) is a neuropeptide that plays a role in human bonding. Often referred to as the “love hormone,” “bonding hormone,” or “cuddle chemical,” it is secreted in association with uterine contraction during labor, the production of milk, and is thought to play a role in the initiation of maternal bonding and behavior. In addition, levels of oxytocin rise when we hug or kiss a loved one.
It can even increase when we play with our dogs!
Studies have shown that OT can improve trust and influence our ability to process positive social cues. Additionally, research has demonstrated that oxytocin can increase our level of attraction to a stimulus and promote bonding.
Before you begin to think that OT is the powerful link to love and attraction, it is important to note that it isn’t always associated with positive emotions. On the flip side, OT can intensify negative memories or make us more suspicious of people we view as outsiders. During periods of separation from loved ones, researchers have found higher levels of oxytocin and cortisol present.
Despite the outcome, it is clear that oxytocin is intimately linked with relationship science. In addition, the necklace certainly gets people talking.