This story just had to work for Valentine’s Day…
From The Scientist:
Prairie voles mate for life. Much like humans, once voles form a pair bond—typically with a member of the opposite sex—they cohabitate, coparent, and even prefer each other’s company over that of other voles. Decades of research on the monogamous rodents have led to a better understanding of the so-called love molecule oxytocin, a hormone that studies have suggested is crucial for forming social bonds in prairie voles, humans, and various other species.
But new research published today (January 27) in Neuron has turned 40 years of oxytocin research on its head by showing that voles without oxytocin receptors still form pair bonds. The finding might hold clues as to why researchers have had mixed success in using oxytocin to treat conditions that disrupt the formation of social bonds, such as depression and autism, the authors say.
“I think that it really does require revisiting and reimagining of what we think oxytocin is actually doing,” says Alexander Ophir, a neuroscientist at Cornell University who was not involved in the study. – Natalia Mesa, January 27, 2023
Well, it might be genes…. But gosh, if researchers can’t easily find a purely materialist explanation for devotion even in a rodent, why are we supposed to be listening to “the Voice of Science” on such topics where humans are concerned?