Scientists from Louisiana state University said that they were able to discover the source of the maternal instinct. It turned out that the cells responsible for maternal behavior, found only in female animals, according to Naked science.
In the course of the study, the researchers conducted observation of two groups of mice: the first group included only males and the second only female. As a result, the researchers found a group of cells, which is activated only with the involvement of oxytocin, in the brain of female mice. In males, this activity of the cells was observed.
Oxytocin is also known as the “love hormone” and plays an important role in the regulation of behavior, including the parent. The receptors of oxytocin, as it turned out, contained in a region of the brain responsible for so-called maternal behavior. Moreover, said biologists, expression of oxytocin receptors in these cells is observed only when there is present and estrogen – female hormone. Therefore, these cells are involved in promoting “maternal instinct”.
Scientists believe that their findings could be universal to all mammals.
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