Vasopressin Essay

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VII. Vasopressin and Faces Vasopressin has long been implicated in the memory of faces and is thus useful for research on recall and recognition of faces. Because of the role vasopressin plays in relationships, it is important to consider its value in affecting romantic relationships and perception of romantic partner's faces. In a study by Thompson and colleagues (2004) researchers looked at how vasopressin administration affects responses to happy, angry and neutral faces in terms of attention, and arousal and physiological measures like corrugator supercilii electromyograms (EMG), heart rate and skin conductance (Thompson, Gupta, Miller, Mills, & Orr, 2004). This was based on previous experiments with the effect of oxytocin on facial perception. Neutral faces were found to elicit higher responses in the EMG. They argued that because the faces were ambiguous having been taken from Paul Ekman's series of faces, vasopressin may have lead participants to view those neutral faces in a more aggressive way causing that increased EMG response. This study demonstrates that there is a link between vasopressin and facial recognition responses and further studies have added on to this. In a follow up study in 2006, they looked at vasopressin effects on perception of friendliness for both men and women on pictures of same sex faces. They found that the results of vasopressin depended on the gender as women were friendlier when presented with same sex faces (Thompson, George, Walton, Orr, & Benson, 2006). Interestingly, they did not repeat the study to see the effect of vasopressin between both sexes seeing opposite sex pictures. In men, however, the familiarity of the romantic partner when combined with insecurity would decrease the per... ... middle of paper ... ...ition because we would know the attachment system, as it is currently understood, affects the memory system, can affect the impact of neuropeptides on memory encoding and retrieval and the facial perception system . It would advance the role of memory in relationships and how traits influence perceptions. Further research on this topic when extending to familiar vs unfamiliar objects would further knowledge in how object categorization works. Understanding the effect of attachment style and the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin on facial recognition would further our understanding of memory and whether or not relationships change our ability to recall and distinguish between people; after all attachment styles can change. By conducting this experiment, it is hoped that the processes underlying how Romeo and Juliet recognized each other would be further understood.
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