Finding a better route to treating social anxiety disorder may lie in another part of the brain, researchers suggest — ScienceDaily

Studies have long suggested that oxytocin — a hormone that can also act as a neurotransmitter — regulates prosocial behavior such as empathy, trust and bonding, which led to its popular labeling as the “love hormone.” Mysteriously, oxytocin has also been shown to play a role in antisocial behaviors and emotions, including reduced cooperation, envy and anxiety. How oxytocin could exert such opposite roles had largely remained a mystery, but a new UC Davis study sheds light on how this may work.

Working with California mice, UC Davis researches showed that the “love hormone” oxytocin can sometimes have antisocial effects depending on where in the brain it is made. (Mark Chappell/UC Riverside)

While most oxytocin is produced in an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus, some oxytocin is produced in another brain area known as the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, or BNST. The BNST is known

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Watching Cute Animal Videos Reduces Stress And Anxiety In Humans, Science Shows

KEY POINTS

  • Study: Watching adorable animal videos has mental health benefits
  • The videos enhance one’s mood and provide relief against stress
  • After watching the videos, anxiety levels could drop as much as 50% 

Watching images and videos of cute animals for a minimum of 30 minutes reduces stress and anxiety levels, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom and the Tourism of Western Australia jointly.

In the study, first reported by CNN, the researchers monitored related vitals of 19 respondents comprised of 15 students and four university staff. To get the most ideal results, the study was conducted during the respondents’ winter exams as such a period proved to be the most stressful for both students and staff. 

All participants had decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels after watching cute animal videos compiled for the session. Specifically, the participants

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