Oxytocin Effects on the Prosocial Learning


To investigate whether intranasal oxytocin (24 IU) treatment can influence prosocial learning behavior in males.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Basic Science
    • Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: August 10, 2018

Detailed Description

In a double-blind, within-subject, placebo controlled design, investigators plan to investigate the effect of oxytocin treatment on prosocial learning. Before the self-administration, participants need to finish several questionnaires including IRI, AAS, BASBIS, SPSRQ, SES, PTM, STAI, BDI, ASQ and PNAS. They would finish the PANAS again before the scanning.

Participants are informed that they perform the reward learning task either for themselves, another (unknown) person or no one (control). In the probabilistc reward learning task, associations with two stimuli with different reward probabilities are learned via monetary feedback (reward ¥1 or no reward ¥0). After the experiment, participants need to finish the PANAS.


  • Drug: Oxytocin
    • intranasal administration of oxytocin (24 IU)
  • Drug: Placebo
    • intranasal administration of placebo (24 IU)

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: male oxytocin group
    • male subjects with oxytocin treatment
  • Placebo Comparator: male placebo group
    • male subjects with placebo treatment

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Neural processing during feedback based on prosocial learning assessed by fMRI scanner
    • Time Frame: 1 hour
    • fMRI BOLD indices of neural processing learning related brain regions will be compared between the treatment administrations.

Secondary Measures

  • Behavioral learning performance measured by E-prime
    • Time Frame: 1 hour
    • Learning performance will be compared between the treatment administrations by calculating the accuracy of learning.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • without past or current psychiatric or neurological disorders

Exclusion Criteria

  • history of head injury
  • medical or psychiatric illness

Gender Eligibility: Male

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 30 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Keith Kendrick, Professor – University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Keith Kendrick, Dr., Principal Investigator, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China

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