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Oxytocin, Emotions and Mirror Neurons

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
 
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02228031
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 28, 2014
Last Update Posted : August 19, 2019
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
University of Maryland, College Park
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Robert Buchanan, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this project is to investigate the possible effect of intranasally administered Oxytocin (OT) on specific mirror neuron areas in human brain. The mirror neuron system (MNS) is thought to be involved in action perception and understanding, and may also underlie more complex cognitive processes such as imitation. We will use electroencephalographic (EEG) investigations to examine brain activity while participants complete two different tasks, consisting of the observation and imitation of emotional facial expressions (video presented) and the observation and execution of simple grasping actions (live presented), respectively. In addition, before the beginning of the EEG recording session, subjects will be randomly assigned to two different groups (Oxytocin or Placebo group) and will receive a dose of either intranasal Oxytocin or Placebo solution. Oxytocin is a polypeptide hormone that plays a critical role in social behavior. We will identify mu and beta rhythm from the ongoing EEG and examine suppression as a function of emotion and goal directed action perception and imitation/execution.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Social Cognition Expressed Emotion Drug: Oxytocin Other: Placebo Early Phase 1

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 44 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: The Influence of Oxytocin on the Mirror Neuron System: Developing Brain Imaging Paradigms for Future Therapeutic Interventions
Actual Study Start Date : October 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2016

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Drug Information available for: Oxytocin

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Oxytocin
The experimental oxytocin group will receive 24 international units (IU) of oxytocin using an intranasal administration (self-administered nasal spray) one time before the experimental session.
Drug: Oxytocin
The experimental oxytocin group will receive 24 international units (IU) of oxytocin using an intranasal administration (self-administered nasal spray) one time before the experimental session
Other Name: Syntocinon nasal spray

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
The placebo comparator group will receive sterile saline through intranasal administration, consisting of the same salt solution in which the hormone will be dissolved , but lacking the hormone itself.
Other: Placebo
The placebo comparator group will receive sterile saline through intranasal administration, consisting of the same salt solution in which the hormone will be dissolved , but lacking the hormone itself.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. EEG mu rhythm suppression [ Time Frame: Before oxytocin/placebo administration and 45 minutes after ]
    The EEG mu rhythm suppression is an index of the human mirror neuron system (alpha and lower beta band activity (8-13 and ~20Hz) recorded over the sensorimotor cortex. EEG will be recorded during the performance of an emotion imitation task (Carr et al., 2003) in which participants will be asked to imitate and internally generate facial emotions seen on a computer screen, or to simply observe, as well as performing a simple grasping action task. Changes in the mu suppression while the performance of these tasks, before and after oxytocin/placebo administration, will be the primary outcome measure.



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 30 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Right-hand dominant
  • Sufficient spoken English so as to be able to complete testing validly and give informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Currently taking any psychotropic or cognition enhancing medication
  • History of schizophrenia or any other psychotic disorder, including Bipolar Disorder
  • Family history of psychosis
  • Neurological disease or clinically significant head injury
  • Physical disability that substantially impairs motor function
  • Current diagnosis of polydypsic-induced hyponatremia
  • Substance dependence or abuse in the past 6 months

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02228031


Locations
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United States, Maryland
Child Development Lab, University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland, United States, 20742
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Maryland, Baltimore
University of Maryland, College Park
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Robert W Buchanan, MD University of Maryland, College Park
Study Director: Nathan Fox, PhD University of Maryland, College Park

Publications:
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Responsible Party: Robert Buchanan, Interim Director, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02228031    
Other Study ID Numbers: HP-00059904
First Posted: August 28, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 19, 2019
Last Verified: August 2019

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Robert Buchanan, University of Maryland, Baltimore:
Mirror neurons
Imitation
Oxytocin
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Oxytocin
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Oxytocics
Reproductive Control Agents