Oxytocin has 'Tend-and-Defend' Functionality in Group Conflict Across Social Vertebrates [post]

Zegni Triki, Katie Daughters, Carsten De Dreu
2021 unpublished
Across vertebrate species, intergroup conflict confronts individuals with a tension between group interests best served by participation in conflict and personal interest best served by not participating. Here, we identify the neurohormone oxytocin as pivotal to the neurobiological regulation of this tension in distinctly different group-living vertebrates, including fish, birds, rodents, non-human primates, and humans. In the context of intergroup conflict, a review of emerging work on
more » ... ality suggests that oxytocin and its fish and birds homologs, isotocin and mesotocin, respectively, can elicit participation in group conflict and aggression. This is because it amplifies (i) concern for the interests of genetically related or culturally similar 'in- group' others, and (ii) willingness to defend against outside intruders and enemy conspecifics. Across a range of social vertebrates, oxytocin can induce aggressive behaviour to 'tend-and- defend' the in-group during intergroup contests.
doi:10.31234/osf.io/vq9bt fatcat:c6y7qw7mmva7fhhooiuorwvsoq