Saving this “Oxytocin vs Testosterone” as it is a nice, hard won (2 years) list of references by Alessandro Miani .

Saving this “Oxytocin vs Testosterone” as it is a nice, hard won (2 years) list of references by Alessandro Miani .
Alessandro Miani
Université de Neuchâtel 5th May, 2018
Ok, after two years, I can come up with a partial answer!
Testosterone (T) and oxytocin (OXT) are well known to interact with each other (1–3), producing opposite behavioral effects (4–7) due to the blocked OXT receptors by T (8,9). In the brain, one of the target of both T and OXT is the prefrontal cortex (PFC) (10), a network that is crucial for impulse control and self-regulation, important also for social cognition, mentalization, and empathy (11). The PFC has an inhibitor effect on behavior (12,13), thus, a reduced activity does lead to an increased propensity towards aggressive behavior (14).
1. Gossen A, Hahn A, Westphal L, Prinz S, Schultz RT, Gründer G, et al. Oxytocin plasma concentrations after single intranasal oxytocin administration – A study in healthy men. Neuropeptides [Internet]. Elsevier Ltd; 2012;46(5):211–5. Available from:
2. Dhakar MB, Stevenson EL, Caldwell HK. Oxytocin, vasopressin, and their interplay with gonadal steroids. In: Oxytocin, Vasopressin and Related Peptides in the Regulation of Behavior [Internet]. 2013. p. 3–26. Available from:
3. Frayne J, Nicholson HD. Effect of oxytocin on testosterone production by isolated rat Leydig cells is mediated via a specific oxytocin receptor. Biol Reprod [Internet]. 1995;52(6):1268–73. Available from:
4. Burnham TC. High-testosterone men reject low ultimatum game offers. Proc Biol Sci [Internet]. 2007;274(1623):2327–30. Available from:
5. Zak PJ, Kurzban R, Ahmadi S, Swerdloff RS, Park J, Efremidze L, et al. Testosterone Administration Decreases Generosity in the Ultimatum Game. Aleman A, editor. PLoS One [Internet]. 2009 Dec 16;4(12):e8330. Available from:
6. Zilioli S, Ponzi D, Henry A, Maestripieri D. Testosterone, Cortisol and Empathy: Evidence for the Dual-Hormone Hypothesis. Adapt Hum Behav Physiol [Internet]. 2015;1(4):421–33. Available from:
7. Zak PJ, Borja K, Matzner WT, Kurzban R. The Neuroeconomics of Distrust: Sex Differences in Behavior and Physiology. Am Econ Rev [Internet]. 2005 Apr;95(2):360–3. Available from:
8. Insel TR, Young LJ, Witt DM, Crews D. Gonadal steroids have paradoxical effects on brain oxytocin receptors. J Neuroendocrinol [Internet]. 1993;5(6):619–28. Available from:
9. Arsenijevic Y, Tribollet E. Region-specific effect of testosterone on oxytocin receptor binding in the brain of the aged rat. Brain Res. 1998;785(1):167–70.
10. Bos PA, Hofman D, Hermans EJ, Montoya ER, Baron-Cohen S, van Honk J. Testosterone reduces functional connectivity during the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ Test. Psychoneuroendocrinology [Internet]. Elsevier Ltd; 2016;68(March):194–201. Available from:
11. Frith CD, Frith U. The Neural Basis of Mentalizing. Neuron [Internet]. 2006;50(4):531–4. Available from:
12. Goldstein JM, Jerram M, Poldrack R, Anagnoson R, Breiter HC, Makris N, et al. Sex differences in prefrontal cortical brain activity during fMRI of auditory verbal working memory. Neuropsychology [Internet]. 2005;19(4):509–19. Available from:
13. Güvendir E. Why are males inclined to use strong swear words more than females? An evolutionary explanation based on male intergroup aggressiveness. Lang Sci [Internet]. Elsevier Ltd; 2015;(13):1–7. Available from:
14. Mehta PH, Beer J. Neural Mechanisms of the Testosterone-Aggression Relation:The Role of Orbitofrontal Cortex. J Cogn Neurosci [Internet]. 2010;22(10):2357–68. Available from:

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