Love, money, and a lovably-nicknamed molecule are all in the mix — hey, they ARE the mix — in this newly published study:
“Oxytocin modulates hemodynamic responses to monetary incentives in humans,” Brian J. Mickey, Joseph Heffernan, Curtis Heisel, Marta Peciña, David T. Hsu, Jon-Kar Zubieta, Tiffany M. Love [pictured here], Psychopharmacology, epub 2016. The authors explain:
“Oxytocin [popularly called ‘the love molecule’] is a neuropeptide widely recognized for its role in regulating social and reproductive behavior…. Our findings demonstrate that intranasal administration of oxytocin modulates human midbrain and medial prefrontal function during motivated behavior. These findings suggest that endogenous oxytocin is a neurochemical mediator of reward behaviors in humans.”
Like many published studies, this one possibly gives you, the reader, a lovable picture of what its authors are sure might be part of the story of what happens or does not happen in nature.