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Abstract #5287

Oxytocin influences the directed connectivity between the precuneus and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

Jyothika Kumar1, Sarina J Iwabuchi2, Birgit A Völlm1, and Lena Palaniyappan3

1Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2Radiological Sciences, Division of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 3Department of Psychiatry & Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

The default mode network (DMN) is now known to play an important role in social cognition. Thus, we hypothesized that the social neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) will modulate the connectivity of the DMN. We used Granger Causality Analysis and found that intranasal OXT modulates the effective or ‘causal’ connectivity between the precuneus: a key DMN node and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a key region in the central executive network. Thus, OXT has the potential to enhance the cooperative role of the DMN, which could explain the mechanistic action by which OXT improves social cognition in disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

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