Oxytocin effects on neural correlates of self-referential processing

Yi Liu, Feng Sheng, Kate A. Woodcock, Shihui Han*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Oxytocin (OT) influences how humans process information about others. Whether OT affects the processing of information about oneself remains unknown. Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject design, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) from adults during trait judgments about oneself and a celebrity and during judgments on word valence, after intranasal OT or placebo administration. We found that OT vs. placebo treatment reduced the differential amplitudes of a fronto-central positivity at 220-280. ms (P2) during self- vs. valence-judgments. OT vs. placebo treatment tended to reduce the differential amplitude of a late positive potential at 520-1000. ms (LPP) during self-judgments but to increase the differential LPP amplitude during other-judgments. OT effects on the differential P2 and LPP amplitudes to self- vs. celebrity-judgments were positively correlated with a measure of interdependence of self-construals. Thus OT modulates the neural correlates of self-referential processing and this effect varies as a function of interdependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-387
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • ERP
  • Oxytocin
  • P2
  • Self-construal
  • Self-referential processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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