The neurochemistry of pair bonding

J. Thomas Curtis, Zuoxin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The formation and maintenance of social attachments are fundamental to human biology. Because deficits in the ability to form such attachments are associated with a variety of psychological disorders, an understanding of the neural basis of social attachment may provide insights into the causes of such disorders. Comparative studies using several closely related species of voles that display different social organizations and behaviors have begun to provide important insights into the neurochemical events underlying social attachment. Here we review recent developments in the study of social attachment, focusing on the roles of specific neurochemical systems in pair-bond formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Corticosterone
  • Dopamine
  • Oxytocin
  • Social attachment
  • Vasopressin


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