Early studies attempting to disentangle the network complexity of the brain exploited the accessibility of sensory receptive fields to reveal circuits made up of synapses connected both in series and in parallel. More recently, extension of this organisational principle beyond the sensory systems has been made possible by the advent of modern molecular, viral and optogenetic approaches. Here, evidence supporting parallel processing of social behaviours mediated by oxytocin is reviewed. Understanding oxytocinergic signalling from this perspective has significant implications for the design of oxytocin-based therapeutic interventions aimed at disorders such as autism, where disrupted social function is a core clinical feature. Moreover, identification of opportunities for novel technology development will require a better appreciation of the complexity of the circuit-level organisation of the social brain.
- Synaptic plasticity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience