May 28-June 02, 2022
Erice, Sicily, ITALY

Workshop Organizers

Conference goals

Purpose of the Workshop

Conference goals

The purpose of the Workshop is to highlight new perspectives on the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in modulating brain activity in relation to behavior and cognition. The workshop will cover a number of issues related to the brain mechanisms regulating its synthesis and release, and its effects on different aspects of behavior. The precise neural mechanisms of these neuromodulators are still at the center of debates, and it is therefore important to understand how its action could impact different neural circuitry related to reward, anxiety, attention, social perception and bonding. We will also consider how methodological approaches can generate different outcomes and how the different route of administrations may impact their effects on cognition and behaviors.

Another goal of the workshop is that of examining the complex interactions between genes, early experience and the potential impact of oxytocin and vasopressin on epigenetic expressions in regulating complex parent-infant social communication. As you can see from the program a variety of animal models will be discussed, including fish, rodents and nonhuman primates in order to provide an evolutionary perspective and new insights about potential differences among species that have been adapted to specific social and ecological conditions. Lastly, the workshop will foster scientific interactions among the leaders of the field with the objective to evaluate the clinical implications of these two neuromodulators in neurodevelopmental disorders and its potential application for pharmacotherapy interventions in psychopathologies. This topic has raised also some controversies about the efficacy of the treatments in clinical populations. This will be therefore one of the themes covered by our workshop. The workshop is highly integrative and interdisciplinary. Each talk is presented by an outstanding scholar in the field and is addressed to a broad audience.

Workshop Topics

Conference goals

  • - Brain mechanisms: release and interactions with other neurotrasmitters
  • - Genetics and epigenetics.
  • - Behavioral and cognitive effects.
  • - Clinical implications.

Speakers & Topics

Steve Chang

Neuronal bases for the combinatorial effect of oxytocin and naloxone on social attention

Alexander Charlet

Astrocytes involvement in oxytocin-induced regulation of emotions

Jessica Connelly

DNA methylation of OXTR as an epigenetic rheostat of experience

Catherine Crockford

Attentive mothers have higher oxytocin levels independent of life history or ecological effects in wild chimpanzees

Pier Francesco Ferrari

Oxytocin and modulation of cortical networks involved in social perception in primates

Robert Froemke

Neural circuitry of oxytocin release for mouse maternal behavior

Valery Grinevich

Diversity of oxytocin circuits modulating distinct socio-emotional behaviours

Keith Kendrick

Infrequent intranasal oxytocin with positive social interaction improves symptoms in autistic children: A randomized clinical trial

Takefumi Kikusui

Oxytocin mediates emotional tears in animals

Inga Neumann

Acute versus chronic matters: Oxytocin effects on anxiety and social fear

Rui Oliveira

Evolutionary conserved role of oxytocin in social information use in zebrafish

Daniel Quintana

Accelerating the translation of intranasal oxytocin treatment by improving methods, theory, and reproducibility

Brian Trainor

Oxytocin circuits of social approach and anxiety

Alexa H Veenema

Involvement of oxytocin and vasopressin within the brain reward system to regulate social play behavior in sex-specific ways

Larry Young

Oxytocin and diversity in social behavior: From pair bonding to psychiatric disorders.