Hormones and social cognition
Oxytocene is a hormone that is believed to play a big role in human behaviors. DNA Methylation, on the other hand is one of the mechanisms that affect gene expression. A recent study on PNAS used brain imaging of 98 individuals to study the effects of Methylation of OXTR, which is a gene that codes for the receptor protein of oxytocene molecul, to better understand the effects of oxytocin. The study has shown that methylation of the OXTR affects areas that are important in face perception and emotional processing and that it is associated with increased reaction to the stimuli such as fear and anger. Results also showed decreased functional connectivity in different brain regions supporting earlier assumptions that oxytocene is associated with social cognition.