Oxytocin gene networks in the human brain: A gene expression and large-scale fMRI meta-analysis study
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Description: Social behavior plays an essential role in daily life. The neuropeptide oxytocin has generated considerable interest for its role in social behavior and potential to treat psychiatric disorders characterised by social dysfunction. This study advances our understanding of the neurobiological substrates of social behavior by interrogating human whole-brain maps of oxytocin pathway gene expression, demonstrating these genes are enriched in central, temporal, and olfactory brain regions. We also show via large-scale fMRI meta-analysis that these gene expression patterns correspond with brain regions involved in emotion and motivation processing. These results provide a proof-of-principle demonstration of corresponding mental states with gene expression patterns of a neuropeptide pathway involved in complex human behaviors, and identify neural network targets for future oxytocin trials.