Note on UCLA Social Neuroscience Lab re Genetic Underpinnings of Psychological “Resources”

Below is the abstract and link to online publication.  One of the research programs of this lab is the integration of genetics, development, psychology, and socioemotional functioning.

Shimon Saphire-Bernstein, S., Way, B. M., Kim, H. S., Sherman, D. K., & Taylor, S. E. (2011)Oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is related to psychological resources. PNAS, 108(37). Advance online publication. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1113137108

Lab website: http://taylorlab.psych.ucla.edu/index.htm

Psychological resources—optimism, mastery, and self-esteem—buffer the deleterious effects of stress and are predictors of neurophysiological and psychological health-related outcomes. These resources have been shown to be highly heritable, yet the genetic basis for this heritability remains unknown. Here, we report a link between the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) SNP rs53576 and psychological resources, such that carriers of the “A” allele have lower levels of optimism, mastery, and self-esteem, relative to G/G homozygotes. OXTR was also associated with depressive symptomatology. Mediation analysis indicates that the effects of OXTR on depressive symptoms may be largely mediated by the influence of OXTR on psychological resources.

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This entry was posted in challenges of interdisciplinary research, social neuroscience by Constance A. Cummings. Bookmark the permalink.

About Constance A. Cummings

Constance A. Cummings, PhD, is Project Director of the non-profit Foundation for Psychocultural Research, which supports and advances interdisciplinary research and scholarship at the intersection of brain, mind, culture, and mental health and illness. She is co-editor (with Carol Worthman, Paul Plotsky, and Dan Schechter) of Formative Experiences: The Interaction of Caregiving, Culture, and Developmental Psychobiology (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and (with Laurence Kirmayer and Rob Lemelson) the forthcoming Re-Visioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience, and Global Mental Health (Cambridge, 2015). She received her doctorate in theoretical linguistics from New York University.

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