This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition healthy
Treatments syntocinon (synthetic oxytocin), placebo
Phase phase 0
Sponsor Penn State University
Collaborator U.S. National Science Foundation
Start date April 2015
End date December 2015
Trial size 71 participants
Trial identifier NCT02443727, STUDY00001225


The main objective of this project is to study whether intranasal oxytocin (OT) affects how young adults perceive and attend to infant and adult faces. Based on existing research the investigators predict that oxytocin will facilitate the allocation of attentional resources on infant faces (compared to adult faces). The investigators also predict that oxytocin will enhance the activity of reward neural-networks associated with the perception of infant faces. The behavioral effects of OT (visual attention and face recognition) will be measured with eye-tracking while participants look at photographs of adult and infant faces. Neurological effects (the activity of emotion and reward networks) will be measured with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) while participants look at infant faces on a computer screen.

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking double blind (subject, investigator)
Primary purpose basic science
Participants will self-administer a single dose of 24 IU oxytocin (Syntocinon, Novartis; three puffs per nostril, each with 4 IU oxytocin, 6 puffs total).
syntocinon (synthetic oxytocin) OT
Dosage and details described in arm.
(Placebo Comparator)
The placebo is identical to the oxytocin formulation with the exception of the active compound. Participants will self-administer three puffs per nostril of placebo (6 puffs total).
Dosage and details described in arm.

Primary Outcomes

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Data
time frame: 45 minutes after OT manipulation
Eye movements data
time frame: 45 minutes after OT manipulation

Secondary Outcomes

Implicit Attitudes toward infants
time frame: 45 minutes after OT manipulation
Theory of mind
time frame: 45 minutes after OT manipulation

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 18 years up to 25 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - Healthy Volunteers - Norma or corrected to norma vision - Participants are non parents - Able to provide written informed consent and to comply with all study procedures Exclusion Criteria: - Dementia or severe cognitive disorders - Endocrine disease or malignancy - Nasal obstruction or upper-respiratory tract infection - Current or previous psychiatric disorder - Current or previous use of psychoactive drugs - Alcoholism or substance abuse - History of seizures - Neurological Disorder - Previous head trauma - Hypertension - Cardiovascular Disease - Claustrophobia - ferrous metal in any part of the body

Additional Information

Official title The Role of Oxytocin in the Perception of Infant Faces
Principal investigator Rodrigo A Cardenas, PhD
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in May 2016.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by Penn State University.