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.