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Oxytocin Researcher = Sexy Geek

Can Trust Be Bottled?

The Boston Globe ran another story rounding up the latest experiments on oxytocin. Carey Goldberg adds some interesting details about the amount of oxytocin used in trust experiments:

The synthetic oxytocin used in the experiments has been around so long that it is available as a generic drug. It is no longer sold in the United States, though European women still use it to boost breastfeeding, said Paul Zak, one of the authors of the trust paper in Nature.

The dose needed to produce effects on trust was large -- subjects took about three teaspoonsful up their noses. But it appears to be quite safe, said Zak, who is director of the center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Claremont Graduate University in California.

Goldberg also got Paul Zak of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies to comment on Liquid Trust:

But Zak said it's ''totally bogus," because sniffing oxytocin from someone's shirt collar will not get enough of the hormone to the brain. It's also available without a prescription -- unlike the real stuff -- he said, and overpriced: ''Liquid Trust" costs $49.95 for a two-month supply, while Zak and his colleagues made their inhalers for about $5 each.